About the Bang on a Can Marathon Feb 10, 2015
Bang on a Can Marathon concerts are hours-long transformative musical events featuring players and contemporary composers of the highest caliber. The Bang on a Can founders and players are intensely dedicated to introducing new music of all genres to the world. From the Bang on a Can website:
"Composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe created the first Bang on a Can Marathon concert in 1987 in order to break down the barriers that separate musical communities. Their idea was simple: instead of sorting music by style, genre, or venue it would be more powerful to group music by innovation, finding the rebels in each musical community, the restless creators not content to leave conventions unchallenged. Putting all of these fresh voices back to back on one gargantuan concert would allow the audience to experience the excitement of the innovation and breadth of vision. Their first Marathon, in the Exit Art Gallery in Soho, featured appearances by such leading lights as Steve Reich, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros and Milton Babbitt, alongside music by young composers whose musical voice had no home.
Since then the marathons have included an astounding range of revolutionary music and musicians, from John Cage to John Zorn, from minimalism's godfather Terry Riley to Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, from the 30-voice Finnish shouting choir Huutajat to the hyper-intelligent brutality of Iannis Xenakis, from the political sophistication of composer/pianist Frederic Rzewski to the high energy strumming of Japan's Kazue Sawai Koto ensemble, from the eastern minimalism of Arvo Pärt to the indie-rock stylings of Kaki King, from the brainy rituals of Karlheinz Stockhausen to the turntable manipulations of artist Christian Marclay and the pulsing electronic beats of Dan Deacon, alongside the new voices of hundreds of younger and unknown composers. It is in the range of these musics that one sees how big the world really is, and how big it can be."
photo by Stephanie Berger