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BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS: BANG ON JA-PAN
Charles B. Wang Center Theatre at Stony Brook University
Music by Mamoru Fujieda, Akiko Ushijima, Somei Satoh, Tan Dun, Julia Wolfe & Steve Martland
Friday, April 18, 2014 at 7pm
Charles B. Wang Theatre | Stony Brook University | 100 Nicolls Road | Stony Brook, NY
Tickets: $10-$35 at 631.632.4400 or www.stonybrook.edu
Stony Brook, NY — On Friday, April 18 at 7pm the Bang on a Can All-Stars will perform a concert titled Bang on Ja-pan at the Charles B. Wang Theatre at Stony Brook University (100 Nicolls Road). The program features new and recently commissioned works from the All-Stars’ impressive collaborations with leading Japanese composers, including Shu (Spells) by the spectacular Japanese titan Somei Satoh, Gamelan Cherry by post-minimal innovator Mamoru Fujieda, and Distorted Melody by the playfully complex Akiko Ushijima. The concert also features core works commissioned for the group from contemporary music superstars Tan Dun (Concerto for Six), Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe (Believing), and Horses of Instruction with special guest percussionist Eduardo Leandro, by Britain’s recently departed Steve Martland. This is the first in a series of three concerts the Bang on a Can All-Stars will perform at the Charles B. Wang Theatre.
Historically, Bang on a Can has an important track record of working with leading Japanese composers, and has commissioned and premiered works by Yoko Ono (2010), Ryuichi Sakamoto (2009), Tatsuya Yoshida (2011) and Nobukazu Takemura (2004) in addition to the pieces to be performed on this concert.
Somei Satoh is a composer of the post-war generation whose hauntingly evocative musical language is a fusion of Japanese timbral sensibilities with 19th century Romanticism and electronic technology. Satoh has been deeply influenced by Shintoism, the writings of the Zen Buddhist scholar DT Suzuki, his Japanese cultural heritage, and the multimedia art forms of the sixties. Satoh’s Shu, written for the All-Stars and commissioned by Japan Society in 2004, is an exploration of the two contradictory meanings of the word “shu,” which is derived from Buddhism and originally meant “incantation” or “spells.”
A leading figure of Japan’s postminimalism movement, composer Mamoru Fujieda was born in 1955 and first studied at the Tokyo College of Music, then received his Ph.D. in music from University of California, San Diego. Working with artists including John Zorn, Yuji Takahashi, and Malcolm Goldstein, Fujieda composes music that emerges from his fascination with the collaborative formation of music. “[Rimpa artist] Sakai Hōitsu’s cherry blossoms begin to sing,” says Fujieda of the inspiration for his piece Gamelan Cherry, written for the All-Stars in 2012. “My work is based on patterns derived from the subtly changing electric potentials in cherry blossoms.”
Akiko Ushijima was born in Japan and now lives in The Hague, Netherlands. Her music is influenced by electronica, jazz, pop, and experimental music. The Bang on a Can All-Stars gave the US premiere of her work Distorted Melody at the 2012 Bang on a Can Marathon in New York; The New York Times praised its “rollicking stop-start momentum and hot-potato note-tossing.”
Bang on a Can commissioned Horses of Instruction from Steve Martland in 1994. The dancing, driven work takes inspiration and title from William Blake and was described by WNYC as “a muscular jazz-funk summit between Reich and Stravinsky.”
Believing (1997) was Wolfe’s second piece composed for the Bang on a Can All-Stars and was inspired by John Lennon’s Tomorrow Never Knows – a song that was written when the Beatles were exploring spiritual questions. Wolfe says “’Believing’ is such a powerful word – full of optimism and struggle. It’s hard to believe and it’s liberating to believe.” Believing was commissioned by NPR for a special Bang on a Can/Dutch exchange.
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 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.
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 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 www.bangonacan.org.
Bang on a Can – Upcoming Concerts (subject to change, updates at www.bangonacan.org/events/upcoming)
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, 7pm
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
Wellesley College | Wellesley, MA
Wednesday, May 14
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
Sunday, June 22
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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