From Wednesday, July 11, through Saturday, July 28, 2012, MASS MoCA explodes with the sounds of the 11th Annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, part of Bang on a Can’s 25th birthday year. The Festival is dedicated entirely to today’s most exciting, fresh, and innovative new music and includes public performances, recitals,
As PBS’s NewsHour reported, “If Tanglewood – classical music’s far better known summer festival, just 30 miles down the road – is the bastion of tradition, ‘Banglewood’ – as the folks here like to call this gathering – is home to the experimental, with everything from a contemporary duet to a Balinese monkey chant.”
Festival highlights this year include daily gallery recitals at 1:30 PM (Monday through Friday) and 4:30 PM (Monday through Saturday), free with museum admission; a performance of Philip Glass’s music featuring Symphony No. 3 arranged for string sextet, on July 21 (4:30 PM); a concert by the inimitable Bang on a Can All-Stars as they perform their brand new evening length masterpiece Field Recordings with guests Nick Zammuto and Todd Reynolds, on July 21 (8 PM).
The exciting annual Bang on a Can Marathon takes place on July 28 (from 4 to 10 PM), featuring more than thirty musicians and composers from around the world for six hours of non-stop, boundary smashing music – a feast of sound including classical, contemporary, minimalism, ambient, jazz, experimental, and more. This year’s festival will feature the music of special guest Steve Reich. In addition, on Monday, July 23 (4:30 PM), during the free Composer Premiere Concert, festival ensembles will premiere seven brand new words written by Banglewood festival composition fellows: Samuel Crawford, Daniel Dehaan, Fjola Evans, Molly Fishman, Yotam Haber, Loren Loiacono, Mike Perdue, and John Supko. The full schedule of concerts and events will be announced in June.
The 2012 Festival faculty members will be drawn from among the most innovative musicians of 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), Vicky Ray (piano), Todd Reynolds (violin), Ken Thomson, (saxophone/clarinet), Julia Wolfe (composition), and more special guests to be announced. Energetic African drumming and dance master Nani Agbeli from Ghana will teach for the first week of the festival. The Festival will be attended by seven composers and 30 performers traveling to North Adams from across the United States and around the world, coming from countries as far away as Uzbekistan.
For more information about the Summer Festival, visit www.bangonacan.org/summer_festival.
More about Field Recordings
Field Recordings is Bang on a Can’s major new project, featuring nine hot-off-the-press commissioned works by Tyondai Braxton, Mira Calix, Florent Ghys, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Christian Marclay, Todd Reynolds (performing live), Julia Wolfe, Nick Zammuto (performing live), and Evan Ziporyn (performing live). For 135 years, recorded sound has permeated every corner of life, changing music along with everything else. Bartók and Kodály took recording devices into the hills of central Europe and modern music was never the same; rock and roll’s lineage comes from artists revealed to the world the Lomaxes, the Seegers, and other archivists. Hip-hop culture democratized sampling – popular music today is a form of musique concrète, the voices and rhythms of the past mixing with the sound of machinery and electronics.
Bang on a Can’s Field Recordings asked nine 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. What they found is a bridge through time, sensation, and sound – a thrilling ride from 1912 to 2012, New York to Hollywood to Las Vegas to John Cage to French Canadian folk singing to Balinese chant to Beauty Treatments, tape loops, vinyl records, and more. With Field Recordings, 100 years of sound and imagery unfold to reveal a contemporary collective consciousness channeled through the “unstoppable, sexy, and loud” (Newsday) Bang on a Can All-Stars. The New York Times observed of its US premiere at Lincoln Center, “Though nodding to the past, the mellow, thoughtful ‘Field Recordings’ was a telling anniversary choice for a collective that has always been focused squarely on the present and future.”
A tradition in New York since 1987, Bang on a Can brings its signature Bang on a Can Marathon back to the Berkshires on Saturday, July 28, from 4 PM to 10 PM. More than thirty performers and composers from around the world will team up for a six hour feast of sound ranging from classical, contemporary, and jazz, to rock and experimental music. The schedule for the day will include Steve Reich’s energetic 2×5 (written especially for the Bang on a Can All-Stars), the ever-popular Eight Lines, and a rare performance of Cello Counterpoint played live by eight cellists; George Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children; Giacinto Scelsi’s Okanagon for tam-tam, bass, and harp; Lou Harrison’s Violin Concerto; plus music by David Lang, Michael Gordon, and much more.
Throughout the Festival, daily 1:30 PM 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. The 4:30 PM recitals feature performances by the Bang on a Can faculty and Festival ensembles. The 4:30 PM recital schedule will be posted at http://www.massmoca.org. The always popular (and nearly always sold out!) Kids Can Too event, a delightful morning of music that teaches kids about a variety of new instruments and sounds, will take place on Saturday, July 14, at 11:00 AM.
Tickets & Directions
Tickets to the evening concert on July 21 and the Marathon on July 28 are $24 each. Kids Can Too tickets are $6 per person. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount on tickets to any evening event. Tickets are available at the MASS MoCA Box Office 11 AM to 5 PM every day but Tuesday until June 20. Starting June 21, the MASS MoCA Box Office is open 10 AM to 6PM daily. The MASS MoCA Box Office can also be reached by phone at 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours, or online at www.massmoca.org.
Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival Schedule
Daily except for Sundays July 11-27, 1:30 PM and 4:30 PM
Free with museum admission
Kids Can Too
Saturday, July 14, 11 AM
Saturday, July 21, 8 PM
Composer Premiere Concert
Monday, July 23, 4:30 PM (replacing the Gallery Recital)
Free with museum admission
Bang on a Can Marathon
Saturday, July 28, 4 to 10 PM
About Bang on a Can @ 25
Bang on a Can celebrates 25 years during 2012, 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 yearround international activities. 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 recontextualizing 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. 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.
Bang on a Can’s 25th year has included performances around the world featuring a broad selection of brand new musical adventures alongside a recommitment to acclaimed projects from past years. The Bang on a Can All-Stars have toured to Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Amsterdam, Bordeaux, London, Moscow, Glasgow, and many other places throughout the U.S. and internationally. Projects for 2011-2012 have included the All-Stars in a dizzying array of collaborations with friends old and new – joining forces with Norwegian superstars Trio Mediaeval (in Julia Wolfe’s Steel Hammer); with percussion legend Steven Schick (in an evening of music by Steve Reich in Los Angeles’s Disney Hall, featuring 2×5 and Music for 18 Musicians); with an all-new expanded live tour of Brian Eno’s ambient classic Music for Airports; and with a host of composers, visual and sound artists (in the premiere of a new evening-length touring project, Field Recordings – a collaborative program created from found sounds, images, and voices). The season also included the premiere of a newly staged show featuring the exceptional marching band Asphalt Orchestra, new CD releases on Bang on a Can’s sister-label
Cantaloupe Music including the January 2012 release of the Bang on a Can All-Stars first studio recording in five years, the 2-CD set Big Beautiful Dark and Scary, and more.
“When we started Bang on a Can in 1987, 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 need to hear this music and they need 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, and we are not done yet.”
For up-to-date information regarding Bang on a Can programs, events, and CD releases, visit www.bangonacan.org.
About MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA is known for exhibitions and performances by renowned artists, in addition to being a place where the process of creativity is explored; rehearsals, art fabrication shops, and production studios are open to public view. Bang on a Can has found a home at MASS MoCA for the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival since 2001, building a bridge between music and the visual arts. MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA is an independent 501(c)(3) whose operations and programming are funded through admissions and commercial lease revenue, corporate and foundation grants, and individual philanthropy. Except for an initial construction grant from the Commonwealth, and competitive program and operations grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MASS MoCA is privately funded: 90% of annual operating revenues are from earned revenues, membership support, and private gifts and grants. For more information, visit www.massmoca.org.
Pianos for the 2012 Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival are from Falcetti Music