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The Bang on a Can Marathon comes to NYU Skirball for the first time! 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.
Highlights 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; the soulful and ecstatic Xenia Rubinos performing a rare duo set with Marco Buccelli; the ever-creative New York native violinist Mazz Swift combining forces with Brooklyn-based song-maker Therese Workman (Oh My Goodness); 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 Friend and vocalist Robert Osborne; Ever inventive songsmith Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields performs a set with longtime collaborator Sam Davol on cello; 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 more; 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 Lizee’s White Label Experiment honoring avant-garde pioneer John Cage, performed by New York’s unparalleled drumming masters So Percussion; 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 Fjola Evans’ shimmering and ambient Eroding; NYC veteran Flux Quartet in the New York premiere of Tom Chiu’s sonic perfect storm Retrocon; the 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; and MORE!
“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, home first of Charles Ives and Edgard Varese and Elliott Carter and then Steve Reich and Meredith Monk and Thelonious Monk and Philip Glass and Henry Threadgill and La Monte Young and Ornette Coleman and Laurie Anderson – 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.” – Bang on a Can co-founders Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe
MUSIC BY Jeffrey Brooks, Tom Chiu, Fjola Evans, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Nicole Lizee, Dylan Mattingly, Jessie Montgomery, Brendon Randall-Myers, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Gabriella Smith, Galina Ustvolskaya, Alex Weiser, Julia Wolfe, and MORE!
PERFORMANCES BY Terry Riley, Bang on a Can All-Stars with special guests Eric Berryman, Todd Reynolds, and Gyan Riley, Contemporaneous, Eliza Bagg, David Friend, ETHEL, Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields) and Sam Davol, Flux Quartet, Maya Beiser and Kate Valk, Mazz Swift and Therese Workman, NYU Contemporary Ensemble/Jonathan Haas, Robert Osborne, Val Jeanty and Ravish Momin, Vicky Chow, Xenia Rubinos, So Percussion and MORE!
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