BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS
Announce New Album Field Recordings
Release Date: May 12, 2015 (Cantaloupe Music)
Q2 Music Presents Live Performance of Complete Album: May 13, 2015 at 7pm
Hosted by Q2 Music’s Helga Davis | The Greene Space at WQXR | 44 Charlton St., NYC
For tickets & information: www.thegreenespace.org
Live webcast: www.q2music.org
Bang on a Can All-Stars in Revolution of the Eye: May 14, 2015 at 7:30pm
Presented by The Jewish Museum | 1109 Fifth Ave., NYC
For tickets & information: www.thejewishmuseum.org
Watch the Bang on a Can All-Stars in performances of Field Recordings: http://bit.ly/WatchFieldRecordings
New York, NY — The Bang on a Can All-Stars will release their next album, Field Recordings, on Cantaloupe Music on May 12, 2015. The 13-track CD and DVD package co-produced by Bang on a Can All-Stars percussionist David Cossin and Rob Friedman features world premiere recordings of music by Tyondai Braxton, Mira Calix, Anna Clyne, Bryce Dessner, Florent Ghys, Michael Gordon, Jóhann Jóhannsson, David Lang, Christian Marclay, Todd Reynolds, Steve Reich, Julia Wolfe, and Nick Zammuto. Five of the works on the album include videos created in tandem with the music available with both the physical and digital editions. On May 13, 2015 at 7pm, Q2 Music will present a live performance of the complete album with the All-Stars and several of the composers, hosted by Q2 Music’s Helga Davis at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR in New York, which will be webcast live at www.q2music.org. This performance will mark the New York premieres of the works by Dessner, Reich, and Reynolds. In addition, the All-Stars perform at The Jewish Museum on May 14, 2015 at 7:30pm in Revolution of the Eye, featuring Christian Marclay’s Fade to Slide from the album.
Bang on a Can began commissioning new pieces for inclusion in its ongoing, multimedia Field Recordings project in 2012, as part of its 25th anniversary season. The first works were premiered at Lincoln Center in New York and the Barbican Centre in London that year. The New York Times wrote, “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.”
Field Recordings asks 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. Using archival audio, found sound and video, Field Recordings builds a bridge between the seen and the unseen, the present and absent, the present and the past.
The music created for Field Recordings is a bridge through time, sensation, and sound – a thrilling ride through time, from New York to Hollywood to Las Vegas, from John Cage to French Canadian folk singing, from beauty treatments to tape loops, vinyl records, and more. 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 by 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. With Field Recordings, one hundred-plus years of sound and imagery unfold to reveal a contemporary collective consciousness channeled through the electric Bang on a Can All-Stars.
About the Music on Field Recordings
1. Julia Wolfe: Reeling [5:49]
Julia Wolfe has used a beautiful clip of a French Canadian singer Benoit Benoit as her field recording. Wolfe says, “He sings a very special kind of music that’s basically the music that you make when you don’t have a fiddle or banjo handy. There is a personal connection for me in folk – where my music making began. I’m connecting my own history to his singing.”
2. Florent Ghys: An Open Cage [4:08]
Florent Ghys uses texts from one of John Cage’s diaries – a collection of various thoughts on a wide range of topics: American politics, language, music, memories of Schoenberg, quotations of Thoreau, and everyday events of a New York citizen – as his source material.
3. Michael Gordon: Gene Takes a Drink with video edited by Bill Morrison [5:57]
Michael Gordon’s work incorporates video from Gene’s walk around the community gardens on the corner of Avenue C and East 9th in NYC. Video by Gene, the cat, edited by Bill Morrison.
4. Christian Marclay: Fade to Slide [7:40]
Fade to Slide continues Christian Marclay’s exploration into the use of video to create a framework in which live music can develop. Short fragments of films are edited into a rapid succession of events that the musicians use as a structure for their performance. The original soundtracks form a backing audio track. The musicians are not asked to literally interpret on-screen actions, as in a foley studio, but let the images and audio prompt musical reactions to create a mimetic transposition between image and sound, as if one became the other.
5. David Lang: unused swan [5:20]
David Lang uses source material he used once before in a previous work – a background track of people sharpening knives and scissors – as the inspiration for his new work. He says, “What I remember in particular is that the music was fun but the show itself was not good. It wasn’t my fault! But I still feel embarrassed just thinking about it. So I thought it would be interesting to bring that memory and that soundtrack into this project.”
6. Tyondai Braxton: Casino Trem [7:21]
Tyondai Braxton incorporates sounds from New York’s Resorts World Casino. He says, “The horribly named ‘Resorts World Casino’ seemed grotesque in a compelling way. I went there on a weeknight. It was perverse, hearing a choir of slot machines’ enthusiastically arpeggiating major chords as a soundtrack to what had to be one of the saddest places on the planet.”
7. Jóhann Jóhannsson: Hz with video by Jóhann Jóhannsson [6:55]
The subject of Hz is a hydroelectric power station from the 1920’s located in Elliðaárdalur, near Reykjavik. The station is not in use anymore and is currently a museum, but it is powered up once a year to keep the dynamos functional. Jóhann Jóhannsson recorded and manipulated the sounds of the machinery in operation as part of his work.
8. Todd Reynolds: Seven Sundays [6:40]
Todd Reynolds’ piece samples southern Baptist preachers’ sermons from the 1930s-1950s, which he came across on an old LP, long out of print.
9. Steve Reich: The Cave of Machpelah [4:39]
Steve Reich writes of this work: “In the Bible, Abraham buys a cave from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place for his wife Sarah. In Jewish mystical sources the cave is also a passageway back to the Garden of Eden. It is said that Adam and Eve are buried there. Today the cave, located in the town of Hebron, is completely built over and inaccessible. The ancient structures built above it reveal not only the wall Herod erected around the cave, but also the remains of a Byzantine church, and finally the mosque built in the 12th century. Since 1967 the mosque built above the cave remains under Moslem jurisdiction, while Israel maintains a presence at the site. The site remains unique as the only place on earth where Jews and Moslems both worship.”
10. Bryce Dessner: Maximus to Gloucester with video featuring archival footage of poet Charles Olson [5:17]
Bryce Dessner uses part of an epic poem by Charles Olson, the last president of Black Mountain College, the experimental art college in the mountains of North Carolina. He says, “My favorite line is ‘An American is a complex of occasions, themselves a geometry of spatial nature.’ Something about this line gets at the complex heart of American identity.”
11. Mira Calix: meeting you seemed easy with video by Mira Calix [6:40]
Mira Calix recorded her experiences in flight, to use as her field recording. She says, “Like a lot of artists, I spend a lot of time in airports, on airplanes. This piece is about all those fleeting, artificially intimate relationships I’ve had with the people sitting beside me. For a few hours, we do everything together; eat, sleep. flirt, talk, laugh, annoy, catch up on blockbusters, drink too much wine, sometimes even cry. We inhabit the smallest of spaces, breathe the same air, feel the same fears. Most of the time, we disembark and are strangers once more, but in the sky we’re confidants and cohorts, moving only forward.”
12. Anna Clyne: A Wonderful Day [5:02]
Anna Clyne recorded an elderly man singing on the street in Chicago, whom she encountered by chance. She set his raw, slow voice – spoken and sung – with the instruments of the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
Digital-Only Bonus Track: Nick Zammuto: Real Beauty Turns with video edited by Nick Zammuto [5:25]
Nick Zammuto’s work is based around a video about cosmetics and haircare, mostly from video samples that he collected over the years at thrift shops all over America.
ABOUT THE BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS
ASHLEY BATHGATE, Cello; ROBERT BLACK, Bass; VICKY CHOW, piano; DAVID COSSIN, percussion; MARK STEWART, electric guitar; KEN THOMSON, clarinets/saxophone
Formed in 1992, the Bang on a Can All-Stars are recognized worldwide for their ultra-dynamic live performances and recordings of today’s most innovative music. Freely crossing the boundaries between classical, jazz, rock, world and experimental music, this six-member amplified ensemble has consistently forged a distinct category-defying identity, taking music into uncharted territories. Performing each year throughout the U.S. and internationally, the All-Stars have shattered the definition of what concert music is today.
Together, the All-Stars have worked in unprecedented close collaboration with some of the most important and inspiring musicians of our time, including Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman, Burmese circle drum master Kyaw Kyaw Naing, Tan Dun, DJ Spooky, and many more. The group’s celebrated projects include their landmark recordings of Brian Eno’s ambient classic Music for Airports and Terry Riley’s In C, as well as live performances with Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Don Byron, Iva Bittova, Thurston Moore, Owen Pallett and others. The All-Stars were awarded Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year in 2005 and have been heralded as “the country’s most important vehicle for contemporary music” by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Recent project highlights include Field Recordings, a major new multi media project featuring 18 (and counting) commissioned works by Tyondai Braxton, Mira Calix, Anna Clyne, Dan Deacon, Bryce Dessner, Florent Ghys, Michael Gordon, Jóhann Jóhannsson, David Lang, Alvin Lucier, Christian Marclay, Paula Matthusen, Richard Reed Parry, Steve Reich, Todd Reynolds, Daniel Wohl, Julia Wolfe, and Nick Zammuto; the world premiere, performances, and recording of Steve Reich’s 2×5 including a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall; the group’s multiple visits to China for the Beijing Music Festival and Hong Kong Arts Festival; the 2014 record release of Julia Wolfe’s Steel Hammer
, featuring Trio Mediaeval and the premiere performances of Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields for the All-Stars with the Trinity Wall Street choir on the NY Phil Biennial; commissioned works by Louis Andriessen, Bill Frisell, Ryuichi Sakamoto and more. With a massive repertoire of works written specifically for the group’s distinctive instrumentation and style of performance, the All-Stars have become a genre in their own right. The All-Stars record on Cantaloupe Music and have released past recordings on Sony, Universal and Nonesuch.
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)
Over 27 years, 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 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 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.
ABOUT Q2 MUSIC
Q2 Music is WQXR’s online music station dedicated to contemporary classical composers, innovative ensembles, and vibrant, live webcasts from New York City’s leading new-music venues. Q2 Music programming includes immersive festivals, insightful commentary from hosts including composer Phil Kline and vocalist Helga Davis, full-length album streams, exclusive concert audio from local and national venues, and special events in front of live audiences at The Greene Space at WQXR. Q2 Music produces Meet the Composer with host Nadia Sirota, a podcast which mines the brains of today’s leading composers. Q2 Music lives online at www.wqxr.org/q2music, where one can find a 24/7 stream of the best in late 20th and 21st century classical music, playlist information, and on-demand audio. WQXR, the nation’s most listened-to classical music station, also makes Q2 Music available via the free WQXR App.
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