Bang on a Can to Travel to France, Turkey, China, NY, DC and More in 2013-14
Bang on a Can's 2013-2014 season takes the new music collective's house bands - the Bang on a Can All-Stars and Asphalt Orchestra - on multiple tours throughout the world, for performances as far-flung geographically as Lawrence, Kansas; New York, NY; Krakow, Poland; Paris, France; Istanbul, Turkey; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Essen, Germany; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Moscow, Russia; Macau, China; Seoul, South Korea; Washington, DC; North Adams, MA; and many other places around the globe.
This season continues Bang on a Can's mission to create an international community dedicated to innovative music, wherever it is found. Since shortly after its inception in 1987 Bang on a Can has been producing international events annually, bringing the spirit of its renowned Marathon programs abroad to festivals and venues worldwide. Over the last 20 years, the All-Stars have appeared annually throughout Europe's most prestigious concert halls and festivals, as well as in Australia and Asia, and have toured three times to Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. The New York Times reported, "[Bang on a Can's] impact has been profound and pervasive. The current universe of do-it-yourself concert series, genre-flouting festivals, composer-owned record labels and amplified, electric-guitar-driven compositional idioms would probably not exist without their pioneering example."
Highlights for 2013-2014 include groundbreaking initiatives focused on cultural diplomacy - in September, Bang on a Can's Found Sound Nation partners with the U. S. Department of State for OneBeat, an international cultural exchange that celebrates the transformative power of the arts, and in February Bang on a Can partners with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for a Bang on a Can Institute at the National Centre for the Contemporary Arts in Moscow, a five-day residency-intensive. In addition, the Bang on a Can All-Stars perform for the first time in South Korea at the Tongyeong International Music Festival and the LG Art Center in Seoul, give their South American debut at San Martin Theatre in Buenos Aires, and return for the third time to Krakow's Sacrum Profanum Festival. In November, the All-Stars' five-city European tour features guest performer and Sonic Youth stalwart Lee Ranaldo as part of a program including works by fellow guitarists Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Bryce Dessner (The National), David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors), and Fred Frith.
In New York, Bang on a Can's season includes the All-Stars in a Carnegie Hall Family Concert complementing David Lang's season-long curation as the 2013-2014 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall, Bang on a Can's annual People's Commissioning Fund (PCF) Concert at Merkin Hall, the Bang on a Can Marathon at Brookfield Place (formerly World Financial Center) Winter Garden, and the New York premiere of Julia Wolfe's Anthracite Fields featuring the All-Stars with Trinity Choir as part of the 2013 NY PHIL BIENNIAL at Lincoln Center, following the world premiere of the work with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania. This season will also see the release of the world premiere recording of Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer on Cantaloupe Music. In addition, Bang on a Can's iconoclastic marching band Asphalt Orchestra tours the U.S. with performances across the country.
From September 9 - October 5, 2013, OneBeat brings together 25 musicians (ages 19-35) from 16 countries around the world for four weeks to collaboratively write, produce, and perform original music, and develop ways that music can make a positive impact on local and global communities. OneBeat is an international cultural exchange that celebrates the transformative power of the arts through the creation of original, inventive music and people-to-people diplomacy. The results from the 2012 installment exceeded all expectations, and as of July 2013, Bang on a Can is proud to have been awarded a second two-year contract to bring ever more countries and musicians to the table. This year's participants include musicians from Burma, Cambodia, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, India, Israel, Kenya, Lebanon, Nigeria, Palestine, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, South Korea, the U.S., and Venezuela. OneBeat 2013 begins with a two-week residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida (Sept. 9-21), followed by a two-week tour of the Eastern seaboard featuring performances, youth workshops, and public music-making events in Charleston, SC (Sept. 22-25); Durham, NC (Sept. 26-28); Floyd, VA (Sept. 29-30); Washington, DC (Sept. 30-Oct. 2); and New York, NY (Oct. 2-5). OneBeat is produced by Bang on a Can's Found Sound Nation in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. (For more information: http://foundsoundnation.org/category/onebeat/ )
Bang on a Can continues its international community-building efforts from February 24 - 28, 2014, when it partners with the U.S. Embassy in Moscowfor a music institute/residency program at the National Centre for the Contemporary Arts, bringing the creative and cooperative ethos of its annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA to Moscow. The Bang on a Can Music Institute at the NCCA in Moscow brings together over a dozen musicians from across Russia for a five-day intensive with the Bang on a Can All-Stars and staff. The program will emphasize collaboration through workshops, seminars, rehearsals, and performances featuring young Russian musicians playing side-by-side with some of today's leading contemporary musicians. Both OneBeat and the Institute in Moscow are old ideas with a Bang on a Can twist, offering much promise for peaceful engagement in today's age of strained international relations and divisive ideologies - an extension of Bang on a Can's music programs that defy boundaries, bringing together musicians, composers, and audiences from multiple (typically divisive) genres of music, from across borders and around the world.
This fall, Bang on a Can's exhilarating marching band Asphalt Orchestra brings its infectious energy to the stage in Unpack the Elephant, featuring music by Frank Zappa, David Byrne and Annie Clark, Tatsuya Yoshida, Björk, Goran Bregovic, and new music by members of the ensemble in performances at the Lied Center in Lawrence, KS on September 6, 2013, the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, NH on September 10, the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis on October 6, and the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA onOctober 26. Asphalt Orchestra's shows are driven by its virtuosic and uniquely physical music performance. Innovative use of the stage, hall, or surrounding landscape by a band not chained to instruments and equipment that normally limit musicians' mobility, the choreographed performance knows few boundaries. Along the way, Asphalt Orchestra explores and reveals a new form altogether - a mobile-musical-dramatic ensemble, bringing their unstoppable sound and exceptional talent to the stage. (For more information: www.asphaltorchestra.com)
On September 16 and 17, 2013, the Bang on a Can All-Stars return for the third consecutive year to the Sacrum Profanum Festival in Krakow, Poland, performing their legendary arrangement of Brian Eno's Music for Airports and a set from their ever-growing Field Recordings project, a major new multimedia performance which asks composers to go into the field of recorded sound itself - to find something old or record something new, and to respond with their own music, in dialogue with what they found. In Krakow, the All-Stars perform a new addition to Field Recordings by composer/guitaristBryce Dessner of The National, alongside music by Jóhann Jóhannsson, Julia Wolfe, Florent Ghys, Christian Marclay, Todd Reynolds, Tyondai Braxton, Mira Calix, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Steve Reich, and Nick Zammuto. Braxton and Calix join the All-Stars onstage for the performance.
Later that month, the All-Stars travel to France for a three-city tour with performances at Le Lieu Unique in Nantes on September 26, l'Arsenal de Metz on September 27, and Le Bellevilloise in Paris on September 28 on a shared bill with Paris-based minimalist-inspired chamber pop/rock group Cabaret Contemporain, which recently made its U.S. debut at the Bang on a Can Marathon in June 2013.
The All-Stars return to Europe in November for a five-city tour that begins with the world premiere of a major new work by Turkish composer-sound artistErdem Helvacioglu on November 5 and 6 at Borusan Culture and Arts in Istanbul. From there, the group is joined by renowned guitarist Lee Ranaldoof Sonic Youth for concerts in Eindhoven (November 7 at the Muziekgebouw), Amsterdam (November 8 at the Muziekgebouw), and Antwerp (November 9 at Desingel) exploring sounds from a terrific range of ground-breaking guitarist-composers including Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Fred Frith, David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors), Bryce Dessner (The National), Steve Reich, and more. The All-Stars wrap up the tour with a performance of Brian Eno's ambient classic Music for Airports in Essen, Germany (November 10 at Salzlager).
In the spring, the All-Stars make their debut in Korea performing Field Recordings on March 29, 2014 at the Tongyeong International Music Festivaland on April 2 at the LG Art Center in Seoul, following their first visit to Macau, China from March 25-27, 2014. Upon their return to the U.S., the All-Stars return to the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. for a concert on April 11, 2014 featuring music by Louis Andriessen, Julia Wolfe, Steve Martland, Michael Gordon, and David Lang.
Back in New York, on March 13, 2014 at Kaufman Music Center's Merkin Concert Hall, Bang on a Can teams up with the Ecstatic Music Festival to present the 2014 Bang on a Can People's Commissioning Fund (PCF) concert, one of the most anticipated and reliable launching pads for emerging composers in New York and beyond, hosted again this year by John Schaefer/WNYC New Sounds and streamed as a live audio webcast by Q2 Music atq2music.org. Founded in 1997, long before crowd-funding became the norm through Kickstarter and the like, Bang on a Can's PCF has pooled contributions of all sizes from hundreds of friends and fans and since its inception has commissioned over 40 works of music. This year, the Bang on a Can All-Stars will give the world premieres of works by three PCF-commissioned composers: Alvin Lucier, Richard Reed Parry, and Daniel Wohl. (Additional commissioned works will be announced in the fall.)
On April 26 and 27, 2014 Julia Wolfe's Anthracite Fields will have its world premiere at The Rotunda at the University of Pennsylvania, performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, followed by the New York premiere on May 30 and 31 as part of the 2013 NY PHIL BIENNIAL at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars and Trinity Choir. Anthracite Fields is a ballad on life in the Pennsylvania coal mines, which tells the tale of hard work, child labor, dark tunnels, and a fuel that changed the face of America - anthracite, the black diamond of coal, an industry dream and a worker's nightmare. The All-Stars add folk guitar, banjo, and accordion to the mix of their high voltage line up in a staged presentation enhanced by projection and video designed by Jeff Sugg. Anthracite Fields was commissioned through Meet the Composer's Commissioning Music/USA program with additional support from Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia Alan Harler New Ventures Fund; the Presser Foundation; and The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through Philadelphia Music Project.
Summer 2014 will bring Bang on a Can's signature Bang on a Can Marathon back to the Winter Garden in partnership with the River to River Festival in June, and its three-week Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams in July. (Details will be announced in the spring.)
Bang on a Can is dedicated to making music new. Since its first Marathon concert in 1987, Bang on a Can has been creating an international community dedicated to innovative music, wherever it is found. With adventurous programs, it commissions new composers, performs, presents, and records new work, develops new audiences, and educates the musicians of the future. Bang on a Can is building a world in which powerful new musical ideas flow freely across all genres and borders. Bang on a Can plays "a central role in fostering a new kind of audience that doesn't concern itself with boundaries. If music is made with originality and integrity, these listeners will come" (The New York Times).
Bang on a Can celebrated 25 years during the 2011-2012 season, having grown from a one-day New York-based Marathon concert (on Mother's Day in 1987 in a SoHo art gallery) to a multi-faceted performing arts organization with a broad range of year-round international activities. "When we started Bang on a Can in 1987, in an art gallery in SoHo, we never imagined that our one-day, 12-hour marathon festival of mostly unknown music would morph into a giant international organization dedicated to the support of experimental music, wherever we would find it," write Bang on a Can Co-Founders Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe. "But it has, and we are so gratified to be still hard at work, all these years later. The reason is really clear to us - we started this organization because we believed that making new music is a utopian act-that people needed to hear this music and they needed to hear it presented in the most persuasive way, with the best players, with the best programs, for the best listeners, in the best context. Our commitment to changing the environment for this music has kept us busy and growing for the last 25 years, and we are not done yet."