The 17th Annual Bang On A Can Summer Music Festival at Mass MoCA Releases Schedule for July 2018
From July 12-28, 2018, the "relentlessly inventive" (New York Magazine) new music collective Bang on a Can collaborates with MASS MoCA to present the 17th annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA. The festival is a musical UTOPIA for innovative musicians and adventurous listeners in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, dedicated entirely to the creation, study, and performance of contemporary music. Featuring public performances, recitals, and lectures, the festival features over 60 cutting-edge composers and performers from around the globe, including over 42 fellows selected from a pool of more than 250 applicants from throughout the world. This year's featured guest composer is Steve Reich. MASS MoCA, "a mind-blowing delight," (New York Post) is one of the largest museums of contemporary art in the country, with exhibitions spaces dedicated to James Turrell, Laurie Anderson, Sol LeWitt, Anselm Kiefer and Jenny Holzer, as well as massive gallery spaces with exhibitions by Taryn Simon, Liz Glynn, Allison Janae Hamilton, and Rachel Howard among many others.
Festival highlights include a performance of Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe's Anthracite Fields on Saturday, July 21. The electric Bang on a Can All-Stars team up with the transcendent voices of Choir of Trinity Wall Street for this haunting, poignant, and relentlessly physical examination of the coal-mining industry so musically and socially provocative that it won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize. With visually stunning projections by Jeff Sugg,Anthracite Fields draws on oral histories, interviews, speeches, geography, local rhymes, and coal advertisements to create a work honoring the region's people who persevered, endured, and fueled a nation. Kids Can Too!, an interactive workshop for children and families, will be held onSaturday, July 14 at 11:30am. On Sunday, July 22, Mark Stewart will perform on the spectacular original instruments of Gunnar Schonbeck that Stewart meticulously restored. On Monday, July 23, over 40 young composers and performers from around the world debut ten new works written especially for the festival at the World Premiere Composer Concert. On Tuesday, July 24, downtown New York composer and producer Eve Beglarian joins the festival for pieces that have their roots in literature and on Thursday, July 26, legendary composer Joan Tower presents a concert of her witty, spiky chamber music, including her RELENTLESS percussion ensemble work DNA. On Friday, July 27, After Hours at the Chaletfeatures spontaneous music with the fellows in the summer beer garden, which careens wildly from bluegrass to jazz to salsa to avant-ballads.
On Wednesday, July 25 at 7pm, the festival heads to Windsor Lake for a free, outdoor community concert. Another annual off-campus highlight isLatin Music Night on Friday, July 20 at 10pm at the American LEGION bar in North Adams, MA.
Finally, on Saturday, July 28 from 4-10pm, the legendary Bang on a Can Marathon will close out the Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA in suitably audacious style. The eclectic program includes works from our 2018 guest composer Steve Reich, along with works by Andy Akiho, Michael Gordon, Jonathan Bailey Holland, David Lang, Gyorgy Ligeti, Missy Mazzoli, Finola Merivale, Dobrinka Tabakova, Julia Wolfe, Iannis Xenakis, Pamela Z, and more. There will be a special pre-show extravaganza at 3:30pm with the Orchestra of Original Instruments, led by Mark Stewart and performed by all the festival fellows.
Throughout the Festival, daily 1:30pm recitals offer an opportunity for the performance and composition fellows to interact with the artwork in the galleries, often playing new works written while in residence at MASS MoCA. Daily 4:30pm recitals feature performances by the Bang on a Can faculty and Festival ensembles. Friday, July 13 at 4:30pm features Ghanian drumming and dance led by festival faculty member and Ghanian master drummer Nani Agbeli. Additional 4:30pm recital programs include performances by bassist Gregg August and friends (July 16); cellist Nick Photinos (July 17); cellist Ashley Bathgate (July 19); violinist Todd Reynolds and friends (July 20); Mark Stewart (July 22); pianist Vicky Chow(July 25); clarinetist-composer Ken Thomson (July 26), featuring new works for clarinet and string quartet. Additional programs to be announced in July.
Since its founding in 2002, over 500 musicians have attended the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, coming from all over the world including places as far away as Malaysia, Argentina, and Uzbekistan. Alumni of the Festival are emerging leaders in the new music field. Many have founded new ensembles, new festivals, new record labels, and new bands. Bang on a Can Festival alumni include Judd Greenstein, founder of the New Amsterdam Records; Lauren Radnofsky, founder of Ensemble Signal; Dave Longstreth, founder of the band Dirty Projectors; Missy Mazzoli, composer and founder of the band Victoire; Anna Clyne, recently composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; David T. Little, founder of Newspeak; Jakhongir Shukurov, composer and producer of the Omnibus Festival in Uzbekistan; Olivia De Prato and Mariel Roberts, founders of MIVOS Quartet; Matt McBane, founder of the Carlsbad Music Festival in California; Josh Henderson, founder of Warp Trio; Domenica Fossati, founder of Undergroudn System, and David Bloom, founder of Contemporaneous. A full list of the 2018 Festival fellows is available at:www.bangonacan.org/summer_festival/fellows.
The 2018 Festival faculty members are drawn from among the most innovative musicians or our time, including Gregg August (bass), Ashley Bathgate (cello), Vicky Chow (piano), David Cossin (percussion), Joe Gonzalez (Latin percussion), Michael Gordon (composition), David Lang (composition), Brad Lubman (conductor), Nani Agbeli (African Drumming), Nicholas Photinos (cello), Todd Reynolds (violin), Mark Stewart (electric guitar), Ken Thomson (clarinet, saxophone), and Julia Wolfe (composition).
Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA
DAILY GALLERY RECITALS
1:30pm: Fellows | 4:30pm: Faculty
FREE WITH MUSEUM ADMISSION
Friday, July 13, 4:30pm - Led by Ghanaian drum and dance master Nani Agbeli, Bang on a Can fellows perform music and dance from Africa; Nani leads an informal workshop for audience members after the performance.
Saturday, July 14, 11:30am Kids Can Too! invites the whole family to play along with Bang on a Can faculty and fellows. This musical exploration performance-presentation is hands-on and gets wilder and wilder each year.
Saturday, July 14, 4:30pm - TBA
Monday, July 16, 4:30pm - Bassist Gregg August and friends
Tuesday, July 17, 4:30pm - Award-winning cellist Nick Photinos performs selected solo and electroacoustic music of today, including Nathalie Joachim's Dam Mwen Yo and more.
Wednesday, July 18, 4:30pm - All the Festival fellows present the culmination of Found Sound Nation's 3-day lab with exploring 'Virtuality' in music - modes of playing and composing intent upon emergent potential. Through a series of exercises inspired by Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening pieces and Brain Eno's radical spontaneity games, fellows create new works in small ensembles that examine performance as creation rather than replication, and score as synapses of sonic becoming rather than closed sets.
Thursday, July 19, 4:30pm - "Glorious cellist" (The Washington Post) Ashley Bathgate performs works for solo cello including Songs and Poemsby Philip Glass and in manus tuas by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw.
Friday, July 20, 4:30pm - Violinist Todd Reynolds and friends
Friday, July 20, 10:00pm - Latin Big Band! Led by Gregg August and Ben Lapidus, the Bang on a Can fellows perform for free at the American LEGION bar. Bring your dancing shoes.
Saturday, July 21, 4:30pm - Pianist Karl Larson performs a program of contemporary works for solo piano by Jenny Beck, Scott Wollschleger, and Ravi Kittappa.
Saturday, July 21, 8:00pm - Julia Wolfe's Anthracite Fields
The electric Bang on a Can All-Stars team up with the amazing voices of Trinity Choir, directed by Julian Wachner, for Julia Wolfe's haunting, poignant and relentlessly physical Anthracite Fields, an examination of the coal-mining industry so musically and socially provocative that it netted the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Music and a Grammy nomination. With visually stunning projections by scenographer Jeff Sugg, Anthracite Fields draws on oral histories, interviews, speeches, geographic descriptions, local rhymes, and coal advertisements to create a work honoring the people who persevered and endured in the Pennsylvania Anthracite coal region during a time when the industry fueled the nation. "This is a major, profound work." - Los Angeles Times.
Sunday, July 22, 4:30pm - Mark Stewart presents Music for All Folks Present: A 21st Century Hootenanny featuring MASS MoCA's Gunnar Schonbeck exhibition, a participatory music room featuring hundreds of handmade instruments that Stewart meticulously restored. Tap a toe, smile a smile, sing a song. Come and join in. No experience required.
Monday, July 23, 4:30pm - World Premiere Composer Concert features over 40 young composers and performers from around the world debut TEN NEW WORKS written especially for the festival. This year's new works are composed by: Rafailia Bampasidou, Brooks Frederickson, Eli Greenhoe, Guusje Ingen Housz, Samn Johnson, Stephanie Orlando, Timothy Peterson, Daniel Rhode, Ailie Robertson, and Alicia Jane Turner.
Tuesday, July 24, 4:30pm - Downtown New York composer and producer Eve Beglarian joins the festival for pieces that have their roots in literature. Her piece The Marriage of Heaven and Hell comes from her reading of William Blake, her piece Waiting for Billy Floyd comes from reading Eudora Welty; and more.
Wednesday, July 25, 4:30pm - Piano phenom Vicky Chow plays selections from Philip Glass's monumental Etudes - which have quickly become the 21st century's most significant additions to the international piano repertoire.
Wednesday, July 25, 7:00pm - Free concert at Windsor Lake! Bang on a Can's annual blow-out avant-variety show! Bring a blanket.
Thursday, July 26, 4:30pm - Ken Thomson and Summer Festival fellows perform new dynamic, introspective and aggressive works for clarinet and string quartet, including one work-in-progress and one premiere. Plus, a rare performance of Perpetual from his heralded 2013 CD collaboration with JACK Quartet, Thaw.
Thursday, July 26, 7:00pm - Legendary composer Joan Tower presents a concert of her witty, spiky chamber music, including her RELENTLESS percussion ensemble work DNA.
Friday, July 27, 4:30pm - Festival fellows and faculty perform Michael Daugherty's Firecracker for oboe and chamber ensemble, and more!
Friday July 27, 10:00pm - After Hours at the Chalet showcases spontaneous music performances with the fellows in the summer beer garden, careens wildly from bluegrass to jazz to salsa to avant-ballads.
Saturday, July 28, 4-10pm - Bang on a Can Marathon with Steve Reich
More musical "happening" than concert, the Bang on a Can Marathon with Steve Reich closes out the Festival in suitably audacious style. The eclectic program includes works from the 2018 Festival guest composer Steve Reich, along with works by Andy Akiho, Gregg August, Michael Gordon, Jonathan Bailey Holland, Gyorgy Ligeti, Missy Mazzoli, Finola Merivale, Steve Reich, Dobrinka Tabakova, Iannis Xenakis, Julia Wolfe, and Pamela Z. There will be a special pre-show extravaganza at 3:30pm with the Orchestra of Original Instruments, led by Mark Stewart and performed by all the festival fellows. Share the Marathon experience with hundreds of adventurous listeners, dozens of brilliant performers, great food and drink and of course, big bold art EVERYwhere.