Full Lineup and Schedule Announced For Bang on a Can Marathon at NYU Skirball

Full Lineup and Schedule Announced For Bang on a Can Marathon at NYU Skirball

Bang on a Can announces its 2018 Bang on a Can Marathon, presented for the first time at the NYU Skirball on Sunday, May 13, 2018 from 12-10pm. This incomparable super-mix of boundary-busting music from around the corner and around the world features ten hours of rare performances by some of the most innovative musicians of our time, side-by-side with some of today's most pioneering young artists. This year, the Bang on a Can Marathon will be streamed via Facebook Live on Bang on a Can's Facebook page and at bangonacan.org. The complete Marathon lineup and schedule is now available (see below).

Bang on a Can started as a one-day Marathon concert on Mother's Day 1987 in a SoHo art gallery and has grown into a multi-faceted performing arts organization with a broad range of year-round international activities. In 2018, the Marathon falls once again on Mother's Day and will take place only a few city blocks from where it began. Bang on a Can is thrilled to bring its trademark event back to downtown New York, where both American experimental music and the Bang on a Can Marathon were born.

The New York Times reports, "A quarter-century later their 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. The Bang on a Can Marathon, the organization's sprawling, exuberant annual mixtape love letter to its many admirers, has been widely emulated..." The Village Voicerecounted, "[one could] enjoy a world made a bit more habitable - something like an authentically felt home - thanks to all manner of cultural practices that get dissed out in the mainstream."

Bang on a Can co-founders and composers Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe say, "We started Bang on a Can as a way toward realizing the world we wanted to live in. It would be a kind of utopia for music: all the boundaries between composers would come down, all the boundaries between genres would come down, all the boundaries between musicians and audience would come down. Then we started trying to build it. Building a utopia is a political act - it pushes people to change. It is also an act of resistance to the things that keep us apart, and it is an act of love, bringing ideas and sounds and people together. This year we are returning to downtown NYC where American experimental music was born. It happened right here. And it's still happening here. Please join us, in a 10-hour marathon concert of radical creativity."

12pm

Galina Ustvolskaya's Symphony No. 2

NYU Contemporary Ensemble; Robert Osborne, voice, David Friend, piano, Jonathan Haas, music director

Stephin Merritt and Sam Davol

Michael Gordon's Sonatra

Vicky Chow, piano

Dylan Mattingly's Stranger Love, Act I: JUBILEE (excerpt)

Contemporaneous

2pm

Gabriella Smith's Panitao

Bang on a Can All-Stars

Brendon Randall-Myers' changes, stops, and swells (for b)*

Bang on a Can All-Stars

Fjóla Evans's Eroding*

Contemporaneous

Alex Weiser's and all the days were purple (excerpts)

Purple Ensemble

Val Jeanty & Ravish Momin: new works from Which Way is Home?

Turning Jewels Into Water: Val Jeanty (turntables, electronics) & Ravish Momin (electronic drums)

Jeffrey Brooks's After the Treewatcher

Bang on a Can All-Stars & Contemporaneous

David Bloom conductor

4pm

Jeffrey Brooks's Capriccio on the Departure of a Beloved Brother*

Bang on a Can All-Stars & Contemporaneous, David Bloom conductor

Tom Chiu's RETROCON*

FLUX Quartet

Mazz Swift & Therese Workman's Revolution:House

Mazz Swift (violin, voice, synth) & Therese Workman (voice, synth)

Jeffrey Brooks's The Passion*

Bang on a Can All-Stars & Contemporaneous

David Bloom conductor

6pm

Nicole Lizée's White Label Experiment**

S? Percussion

Aleksandra Vrebalov's Logbook, Part II

ETHEL

Jessie Montgomery's Voodoo Dolls

ETHEL

Julia Wolfe's Blue Dress for String Quartet

ETHEL

Frederic Rzewski's Coming Together

Bang on a Can All-Stars & Eric Berryman, voice

8pm

Xenia Rubinos & Marco Buccelli

David Lang's the day

Maya Beiser, cello & Kate Valk, voice

Terry Riley's Autodreamographical Tales & Science Fiction

Bang on a Can All-Stars & Terry Riley, voice

* New York premiere

** US premiere

Highlights of the 2018 Bang on a Can Marathon include:

  • The electric Bang on a Can All-Stars and the legendary and inspirational composer Terry Riley performing Autodreamographical Tales, an intimate and whimsical set of "dream narratives" featuring settings of stories and dreams narrated by Riley and orchestrated specifically for the All-Stars, also featuring special guest guitarist Gyan Riley
  • Soviet-era Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya's Symphony No. 2 - a glacial and maniacal monument to her deep spiritual faith - performed by NYU Contemporary Ensemble, directed by Jonathan Haas with pianist David Friendand vocalist Robert Osborne
  • Ever inventive songsmith Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields performing a set with longtime collaborator Sam Davol on cello
  • The soulful and ecstatic Xenia Rubinos performing a rare duo set with Marco Buccelli
  • The endlessly-creative New York native violinist Mazz Swift combining forces with Brooklyn-based song-maker Therese Workman (Oh My Goodness)
  • Composer Michael Gordon's impossible solo piano work Sonatra, performed by Bang on a Can All-Star pianist Vicky Chow
  • The all new Turning Jewels Into Water, a duo featuring Haitian-born composer, percussionist and turntablist Val Jeanty with composer-drummer Ravish Momin
  • New York's pioneering string quartet ETHEL performing music of Julia Wolfe, Jessie Montgomery, and Aleksandra Vrebalov
  • Composer David Lang's the day, an emotional chronicle of remembered moments performed by the breathtaking cellist Maya Beiser and actor Kate Valk, recently released on Cantaloupe Music
  • A triple-threat New York premiere set of commissioned works by Minneapolis composer Jeffrey Brooks performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars and Contemporaneous
  • Frederic Rzewski's Coming Together, the explosive and still poignant setting of letters by Sam Melville, an Attica State prisoner during the time of the famous riots there, performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars and actor Eric Berryman
  • Canadian composer and "musical scientist" Nicole Lizée's unique musical blend tapping Hitchcock, Kubrick, 1960s psychedelia, and more
  • Composer Alex Weiser's wonderfully imaginative musical settings of Yiddish poems
  • Contemporaneous, directed by David Bloom performing a special excerpt of Act I of Dylan Mattingly's visceral (6-hour) opera Stranger Love and Fjóla Evans' shimmering and ambient Eroding
  • NYC veteran FLUX Quartet in the New York premiere of Tom Chiu's sonic perfect storm RETROCON
  • Bang on a Can All-Stars in the New York premiere of composer Brendon Randall-Myers' intricate changes, stops, and swells and Gabriella Smith's Brazilian-rainforest odyssey Panitao

About Bang on a Can: 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 has 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, we never imagined that our 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, and we are not done yet."

Current projects include the annual Bang on a Can Marathon; The People's Commissioning Fund, a membership program to commission emerging composers; the Bang on a Can All-Stars, who tour to major festivals and concert venues around the world every year; recording projects; the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA - a professional development program for young composers and performers led by today's pioneers of experimental music; Asphalt Orchestra, Bang on a Can's extreme street band that offers mobile performances re-contextualizing unusual music; Found Sound Nation, a new technology-based musical outreach program now partnering with the State Department of the United States of America to create OneBeat, a revolutionary, post-political residency program that uses music to bridge the gulf between young American musicians and young musicians from developing countries; cross-disciplinary collaborations and projects with DJs, visual artists, choreographers, filmmakers and more. Each new program has evolved to answer specific challenges faced by today's musicians, composers and audiences, in order to make innovative music widely accessible and wildly received. Bang on a Can's inventive and aggressive approach to programming and presentation has created a large and vibrant international audience made up of people of all ages who are rediscovering the value of contemporary music.

NYU Skirball, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, is one of New York City's major presenters of international work and has been the premier venue for cultural and performing arts events in lower Manhattan since 2003. The 860-seat theater, led by Director Jay Wegman, provides a home for internationally renowned artists, innovators and thinkers. NYU Skirball hosts over 300 events annually, from re-inventions of the classics to cutting-edge premieres, in genres ranging from dance, theater and performance arts to comedy, music and film.

NYU Skirball's unique partnership with New York University enables it to draw on the University's intellectual riches and resources to enhance its programming with dialogues, public forums and conversations with artists, philosophers, scientists, Nobel Laureates and journalists. www.nyuskirball.org

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