For Immediate Release
17 May 2016
Contact: Jodi Joseph
Director of Communications
15th Annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, July 13–30, 2016
Festival highlights include:
- Brian Eno’s ambient classic Music for Airports performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars
John Cage’s ethereal Atlas Eclipticalis
- Performances of special guest composer John Luther Adams’ In a Treeless Place, Only Snow; The Light Within; and Ten Thousand Birds
- Bun-Ching Lam in an East/West fusion of the delicate and the virtuosic
- Solo performances by Bang on a Can All-Stars members Mark Stewart, David Cossin, Ashley Bathgate, and Vicky Chow
NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS, AND NEW YORK, NEW YORK — From July 13 through July 30, 2016, the “relentlessly inventive” (New York Magazine) new music collective Bang on a Can collaborates with MASS MoCA to present the 15th annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA. The festival is a musical utopia for innovative musicians in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, dedicated entirely to the creation, study, and performance of adventurous contemporary music. Featuring public performances, recitals, and lectures, the festival will be attended by over 50 cutting-edge composers and performers from around the globe, including over 30 fellows selected from a pool of more than 250 applicants from around the world.
This year’s festival features special guest composer John Luther Adams, including an outdoor performance of his Ten Thousand Birds on July 28. In addition, the Bang on a Can All-Stars will perform Brian Eno’s ambient classic Music for Airports on July 23, and the festival will culminate on July 30 with a 6-hour marathon concert featuring more music by John Luther Adams (In a Treeless Place, Only Snow and The Light Within) in addition to Steve Reich‘s Music For Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ, Julia Wolfe‘s raucous Tell Me Everything, and a world premiere by Bang on a Can All-Stars clarinetist Ken Thomson. Other highlights include a performance presented in partnership with CEC ArtsLink featuring talented musicians from Central Asia including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan (July 19); a performance by eighth blackbird cellist Nick Photinos with two young jazz giants, pianist Pascal Le Boeuf and bassist Matt Ulery (July 20); a concert featuring violinist and longtime Bang on a Can collaborator Todd Reynolds and friends (July 22); a late-night concert by bassist Gregg August and special guests Joe Gonzalez and Ben Lapidus with a Latin Music Big Band consisting of festival fellows and guests at North Adams’ American Legion (July 22); a performance of John Cage‘s Atlas Eclipticalis (July 24); the annual World Premiere Composer Concert, featuring over 30 young performers from around the world premiering music by this year’s exciting nine composition fellows (July 25); and a 70th birthday celebration for composer Martin Bresnick (July 26). In addition, performances include Bang on a Can All-Stars clarinetist Ken Thomson presenting his own recently composed work, in addition to classics by Steve Reich and Louis Andriessen (July 13); Bang on a Can All-Stars guitarist Mark Stewart and friends (July 14); Bang on a Can All-Stars percussionist David Cossin in Alvin Lucier’s atmospheric Still and Moving Lines of Silence in Families of Hyperbolas (July 15); and Bang on a Can All-Stars pianist Vicky Chow performing music by Bang on a Can founders Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, in addition to a world premiere by composer Chris Cerrone (July 23); and Bang on a Can All-Stars cellist Ashley Bathgate in Bach Unwound (July 28).
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 created especially for the museum. Daily 4:30pm recitals feature performances by the Bang on a Can faculty and festival ensembles. Kids Can Too! a popular, interactive workshop for children and families, will be held on Saturday, July 16, at 11:30am. On July 27 at 7pm, the festival heads to Windsor Lake for a free, outdoor community concert.
Since its founding in 2002, over 400 musicians have attended the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, from over 50 countries 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 NOW Ensemble, New Amsterdam Records, and Ecstatic Music Festival; 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, recent 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; and Matt McBane, founder of the Carlsbad Music Festival in California.
The 2016 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), Michael Gordon (composition), David Lang (composition), Brad Lubman (conducting), Nicholas Photinos (cello), Todd Reynolds (violin), Mark Stewart (electric guitar), Ken Thomson (saxophone/clarinet), and Julia Wolfe (composition).
Individual tickets to the Bang on a Can All-Stars concert on July 23 and the Bang on a Can Marathon on July 30 are $24 for preferred seating; $18 day of; $12 for students, Bang on a Can alumni, and in advance; and $5 for members. Kids Can Too! tickets are $5 for members and $8 for non-members. The best way to Bang is with a MASS MoCA membership, which offers free gallery admission and $5 concert tickets. The remaining concerts are free with museum admission. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays through June 24, 2016. Beginning June 25, the box office will be open 10am to 6pm every day, with extended evening hours to 7pm on Thursdays through Saturdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 x1 during box office hours or purchased online at massmoca.org. All events are held rain or shine.
The Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA is made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with support from the Amphion Foundation, ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Scholarship, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Robert Black Bass Scholarship, Gabriel Taubman, Chamber Music America, Henry S. McNeil, Jr., and Williamson Foundation for Music. Special thanks go out to Drury High School, Williams College, and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Concert pianos are provided courtesy of Falcetti Music, Springfield, MA.
Additional support is provided by The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA.
Bang on a Can Performance Schedule (subject to change)
Daily Gallery Recitals, July 13–29
1:30pm: Fellows | 4:30pm: Faculty
Free with museum admission
Wednesday, July 13, 4:30pm
Ken Thomson’s “40 Years Recital” features recently composed music performed by Ken and colleagues, and classics by Steve Reich and Louis Andriessen. Special guests include master percussionist Doug Perkins.
Thursday, July 14, 4:30pm
Mark Stewart and friends
Friday, July 15, 1:30pm
African Drumming in the Courtyard
Festival fellows and our African Drumming Master, Nani Agbeli, perform outdoors in the MASS MoCA courtyard.
Friday, July 15, 4:30pm
David Cossin performs Alvin Lucier’s atmospheric Still and Moving Lines of Silence in Families of Hyperbolas.
Saturday, July 16, 11:30am
Kids Can Too!
A performance for families
Monday July 18, 4:30pm
Bang on a Can All-Star Gregg August and friends perform music by Ornette Coleman, a new piece by Gregg for double bass and cello, and more.
Tuesday July 19, 4:30pm
Bang on a Can celebrates many years of partnering with CEC ArtsLink and talented musicians from Central Asia. The performance includes musicians from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan performing traditional music as well as new collaboratively composed works on instruments such as the kyl-kobyz, komuz, temir, zhygach ooz, tanbur, rubab, and dutar.
Wednesday, July 20, 4:30pm
Cellist Nick Photinos, of the new music ensemble eighth blackbird, presents a recital with friends featuring the works of two young jazz giants, pianist Pascal Le Boeuf and bassist Matt Ulery.
Thursday July 21, 4:30pm
The music of Bang on a Can co-founders and co-artistic directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe is performed by festival fellows and faculty.
Friday July 22, 4:30pm
Todd Reynolds gathers faculty and fellows to present a variety of music for piano quintet, including music composed and arranged by Pascal Le Boeuf, Gregg August, and Ken Thomson — everything from brand-new work to Latin to Prog Rock.
Friday July 22, 10pm
Latin Music Big Band
In this free concert in downtown North Adams, Bang on a Can All-Star Gregg August and special guests Joe Gonzalez and Ben Lapidus lead a Latin Music Big Band consisting of festival fellows and guests at
North Adams’ American Legion bar.
Saturday, July 23, 4:30pm
Pianist Vicky Chow plays compositions by Bang on a Can founders Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, plus a world premiere by composer Chris Cerrone.
Saturday, July 23, 8pm
Bang on a Can All-Stars play Brian Eno’s Music for Airports
The Bang on a Can All-Stars bring Eno’s pioneering ambient work from the 1970s to life in an expanded performance that includes an orchestra of festival fellows. The concert will also feature new entries in the All-Stars’ Field Recordings project — new music interwoven around archival recordings — including works by Roomful of Teeth’s Caroline Shaw, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Gabriella Smith, René Lussier, and more.
Saturday, July 24, 4:30pm
Fellows and faculty perform John Cage’s monumentally ethereal Atlas Eclipticalis.
Monday, July 25, 4:30pm
World Premiere Composer Concert
Over 40 young performers from around the world debut festival work — some mere days or hours old — by this year’s exciting nine composition fellows.
Tuesday, July 26, 4:30pm
Martin Bresnick’s expressive and direct music has influenced a generation of composers, including many Bang on a Can regulars. Come celebrate his 70th birthday with us.
Wednesday, July 27, 4:30pm
Born in Macau and now splitting her time between Poestenkill, New York, and Paris, composer Bun-Ching Lam spins an East/West fusion of the delicate and the virtuosic.
Wednesday, July 27, 7pm
Concert at the Lake
Bang on a Can’s annual blow-out avant-variety show. Bring a blanket! (Free)
Thursday, July 28, 4:30pm
Ashley Bathgate performs Bach Unwound, an energetic piece for solo cello, written by the Sleeping Giant collective.
Thursday, July 28, 7:30pm
A rare outdoor performance of Ten Thousand Birds, by the renowned new music master John Luther Adams.
July 28 & 29, 10pm
After Hours at the Chalet
Spontaneous music with the fellows in our summer beer garden, which careens wildly from bluegrass to jazz to salsa to avant-ballads.
Friday, July 29, 4:30pm
Music for percussion by John Luther Adams
Saturday, July 30, 4–10pm
Bang on a Can Marathon
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).
“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 27 years, 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, 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 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; and 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. For additional information, visit bangonacan.org.
About MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative.
MASS MoCA’s galleries are open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. From June 26 through September 7, MASS MoCA’s galleries are open 10am to 6pm every day, with extended evening hours to 7pm on Thursdays through Saturdays. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is open seasonally, spring – fall. Gallery admission is $18 for adults, $16 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit massmoca.org.