BANG ON A CAN presents 2014 People’s Commissioning Fund Concert (PCF) on March 13 Part of the Ecstatic Music Festival presented by Kaufman Music Center

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Press contact (Bang on a Can): Christina Jensen PR
646.536.7864, [email protected]

Press contact (EMF): Nadine Pena, DKC News
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BANG ON A CAN presents

2014 People’s Commissioning Fund Concert (PCF) on March 13
Part of the Ecstatic Music Festival presented by Kaufman Music Center

World premieres by PCF composers Alvin Lucier, Richard Reed Parry, and Daniel Wohl
Plus David Lang’s death speaks with special guest Shara Worden and Julia Wolfe’s Lick

Watch Shara Worden in death speaks available on Cantaloupe Music:

Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:30pm | Merkin Concert Hall
Kaufman Music Center | 129 W. 67th St. | NYC
Tickets: $25 at 212.501.3330 or

“Merkin Hall was a mob scene…At five minutes to 8, the line of ticket buyers snaked out the door…It was an evening that was packed in every sense: with people, with ideas, with music.”­ –New York Times

Bang on a Can:

New York, NY — On Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:30pm, Bang on a Can will present the 2014 Bang on a Can People’s Commissioning Fund concert, one of the most anticipated and reliable launching pads for composers in New York and beyond, as part of Kaufman Music Center’s Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall (Kaufman Music Center, 129 W. 67th St.). This year the Bang on a Can All-Stars will give the world premieres of works by three PCF-commissioned composers: Alvin Lucier, Daniel Wohl, and Richard Reed Parry. The concert will also include David Lang’s haunting death speaks performed by the All-Stars and special guest Shara Worden, plus Julia Wolfe’s driving classic from 1994, Lick. John Schaefer of WNYC-FM will host the evening for future radio broadcasts on his program, “New Sounds Live;” the concert will be streamed live on Q2 Music and will be available for on-demand listening at

Experimental music pioneer Alvin Lucier’s new work Firewood continues his exploration of auditory phenomena, and calls on the performers to, as Lucier describes, “sweep up and down, following tracks made by insects under tree bark.” Paris born and New York-based composer Daniel Wohl draws on his background in electronic music to create pieces that “blur the line between electronic and acoustic instrumentation” (WNYC). His new piece Holographic recreates the optical illusion of a visual hologram through sound, and utilizes field recordings taken from acoustic instruments that have been processed and stacked. Multi-instrumentalist and composer Richard Reed Parry, a core member of the Grammy-winning band Arcade Fire, contributes The Brief and Neverending Blur, which uses the techniques developed for Parry’s Music for Heart and Breath cycle of compositions. In these pieces, the musicians all wear stethoscopes to tune into their own individual heart rates, and play in synch with their heartbeats or their own breathing. Parry explains, “In The Brief and Neverending Blur, they play alongside old reel-to-reel tape recordings of voice and piano, in a work which is gently inspired by but not limited to ideas around memory, togetherness, aging, the human body, nostalgia and loss.”

The newly commissioned PCF works from Richard Reed Parry and Daniel Wohl will go on to be included in Field Recordings, Bang on a Can’s growing multimedia project featuring hot-off-the-press commissioned works by Tyondai Braxton, Mira Calix, Anna Clyne, Dan Deacon, Bryce Dessner, Florent Ghys, Michael Gordon, Jóhann Jóhannsson, David Lang, Christian Marclay, Paula Matthusen, Steve Reich, Todd Reynolds, Julia Wolfe, and Nick Zammuto.

David Lang’s death speaks was written in 2012 for Bryce Dessner (The National), Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy) and Nico Muhly, to be performed on a program with his Pulitzer Prize winning work the little match girl passion, commissioned by Stanford Live and Carnegie Hall. In 2013, Lang arranged the five-part song cycle, which draws its initial inspiration from Schubert’s Death and the Maiden and portrays Death as a character, for the Bang on a Can All-Stars and Shara Worden. The ensemble premiered the new version during the Bang on a Can Marathon that summer. The recording by Dessner, Worden, Pallett, and Muhly is available on Cantaloupe Music. Of Shara Worden’s performance on the album, Pitchfork raved, “Her rounded, glowing tone remains creamy even as it ascends into its highest register, and she brings an overwhelming sadness to Worden’s Death . . . Her Death is not just human, but humane, burdened by her task and full of compassion for those she visits. She is beautiful, but troubled, and her voice, like these pieces, rings out into a stillness, harmonic and spiritual, that feels both haunted and becalmed.”

Created in 1997, PCF is a radical partnership between artists and audiences to commission works from adventurous composers and is one of the first pre-social media, crowd-sourcing art-creating platforms. The fund began when Bang on a Can co-founders Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe recognized a need to go beyond the usual sources of support to create new, groundbreaking music. Each year, Bang on a Can pools together the contributions of hundreds of individuals to fund the commissions. Donations range from $5 to $5,000. To date, over 50 new pieces have been created through PCF, and over $300,000 has been raised.

Past PCF commissions have gone to Nik Bärtsch, Eve Beglarian, Oscar Bettison, Nick Brooke, Jeffrey Brooks, Anna Clyne, Dan Deacon, Bryce Dessner, Sussan Deyhim, James Fei, Yoav Gal, Annie Gosfield, Erdem Helvacioglu, John Hollenbeck, Cynthia Hopkins, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Karsh Kale, Carla Kihlstedt, John King, Lukas Ligeti, Annea Lockwood, David Longstreth, Keeril Makan, Ingram Marshall, Miya Masaoka, Paula Matthusen, Marc Mellits, Kate Moore, Thurston Moore, Virgil Moorefield, Joshua Penman, Tristan Perich, Dan Plonsey, Ed Ruchalski, Matthew Shipp, Christine Southworth, Lok Yin Tang, Jim Thirwell, Ken Thomson, Toby Twining, Stefan Weisman, and Pamela Z.


ASHLEY BATHGATE, Cello; ROBERT BLACK, Bass; VICKY CHOW, piano; DAVID COSSIN, percussion; DEREK JOHNSON, 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 hot-off-the-press commissioned works by Tyondai Braxton, Mira Calix, Anna Clyne, Dan Deacon, Bryce Dessner, Florent Ghys, Michael Gordon, Jóhann Jóhannsson, David Lang, Christian Marclay, Paula Matthusen, Steve Reich, Todd Reynolds, 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 US tour and Carnegie Hall performance of Julia Wolfe’s Steel Hammer, an evening-length staged concert with Trio Mediaeval; 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.


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 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 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.  For up-to-date information regarding Bang on a Can programs, events, and CD releases, please visit our website at

Bang on a Can – Upcoming Concerts (subject to change, updates at

Monday, February 24 – Friday, February 28
Bang on a Can Institute, Moscow
National Centre for the Contemporary Arts | Moscow, Russia

Thursday, March 13
Bang on a Can All-Stars People’s Commissioning Fund | World premieres by Alvin Lucier, Richard Reed Parry, Daniel Wohl
Merkin Concert Hall | New York, NY

March 21 – March 23
Bang on a Can All-Stars
Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM), Beijing, China
The Bang on a Can All-Stars return to Asia for a six-concert tour and residency.

Tuesday, March 25 – Thursday, March 27
Bang on a Can All-Stars | Field Recordings
Macao Cultural Centre | Macau, China

Saturday, March 29 & 30
Bang on a Can All-Stars | Field Recordings and more
Tongyeong International Music Festival | Tongyoeng Korea

Tuesday, April 1
Bang on a Can All-Stars | Music by Lang, Gordon, Wolfe, Andriessen
Kumho Art Hall | Seoul, South Korea

Wednesday, April 2
Bang on a Can All-Stars | Field Recordings
LG Art Center | Seoul, Korea

Friday, April 11, 8pm
Bang on a Can All-Stars | Music by Louis Andriessen, Julia Wolfe, Steve Martland, Michael Gordon, David Lang
Atlas Performing Arts Center | Washington, D.C.

Friday, April 18
Bang on a Can All-Stars | Music by Mamoru Fujieda, Akiko Ushijima, Somei Satoh, Tan Dun, Julia Wolfe, Steve Martland
Charles B. Wang Center, Stonybrook University | Stony Brook, NY

Saturday, April 26 & Sunday, April 27, 4pm & 7:30pm
Bang on a Can All-Stars & Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia | World Premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields
The Rotunda, University of Pennsylvania | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Wednesday, May 7
Asphalt Orchestra
Wellesley College | Wellesley, MA

Wednesday, May 14
Asphalt Orchestra
Queens College | Queens, NY

Friday, May 30, 8pm & Saturday, May 31, 7pm
Bang on a Can All-Stars & Trinity Choir | New York premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields, part of NY PHIL BIENNIAL
Avery Fisher Hall | New York, NY

June TBA
Bang on a Can Marathon
Brookfield Place Winter Garden | New York, NY

Monday, July 14 – Saturday, August 2
Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival @ MASS MoCA
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art | North Adams, MA

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