bang on a can

Technically, the name Bang on a Can refers not to a specific set of musicians but to a yearly festival of new music curated by avant-garde composer/performers Julia Wolfe, David Lang, and Michael Gordon. (Albums by the group are most often credited to the Bang on a Can All-Stars, a relatively stable group of six to eight performers and arrangers who comprise the core of the creative group.) The trio formed Bang on a Can in 1987; over the next ten years, the concept grew from a one-day festival to an impressive array of live and recorded works. The first three Bang on a Can releases were CD anthologies of live recordings taken from the group's 1992, 1993, and 1994 festivals released on their own CRI label as Bang on a Can Live, Vol. 1, 2, and 3. Their studio debut came with 1995's Industry, featuring a track each by Wolfe, Lang, and Gordon and two lengthy chamber music pieces by their spiritual mentor Louis Andriessen. Both Industry and its more eclectic follow-up, 1996's Cheating, Lying, Stealing, were released by Sony Classical. Bang on a Can jumped to Universal's new music imprint Point for their next release, a brilliantly conceived and flawlessly executed re-imagining of Brian Eno's Ambient 1: Music for Airports that often turned Eno's sketches for tape recorders into beautiful works for live musicians. Next, Lang, Wolfe, and Gordon collaborated on the opera Lost Objects, an extended narrative work with libretto by Deborah Artman featuring vocal soloists, a mixed chorus, a full orchestra and, intriguingly, guest appearances by turntable guru DJ Spooky. Following that masterwork, the group recorded several early pieces by the great minimalist composer Steve Reich and paid tribute to another landmark of modern classical music by reinterpreting Terry Riley's In C for a bevy of electric, electronic, and acoustic instruments. That recording was the first release on Cantaloupe Records, a label owned by Bang on a Can to release albums by affiliated composers and performers. The second Bang on a Can release on the label was 2001's eclectic Renegade Heaven, featuring pieces by Glenn Branca and Phil Kline, as well as Gordon's "I Buried Paul," a tongue in cheek salute to the playing of backwards tapes and other unintentional avant-gardisms in relation to the Paul Is Dead hoax of 1969.

- Stewart Mason, All Music Guide

Bang On A Can is scheduled to perform Zappa pieces a the Bang on a Can Music Festival during the Bang on a Can Marathon, on July 26, 2008.


  bang on a can: live, vol.1
    (1994, cd, usa, cri cd 628)
  bang on a can: live, vol.2
    (1994, cd, usa, cri 646)
  bang on a can: live, vol.3
    (1995, cd, usa, cri 671)
  bang on a can: industry
    (199?, cd, usa, sony classical sk 66483)
  bang on a can: cheating, lying, stealing
    (199?, cd, usa, sony classical sk 62254)
  bang on a can: brian eno - music for airports
    (1995, cd, usa, point)
  bang on a can: lost objects
    (1995, cd, usa, point)
  bang on a can: terry riley - in c
    (199?, cd, usa, cantaloupe records)
  bang on a can: renegade heaven
    (2001, cd, usa, cantaloupe records)
  bang on a can: classics
    (2002, cd, usa, cantaloupe records)
  bang on a can: louis andriessen - gigantic dancing human machine
    (2003, cd, usa, cantaloupe records)
  evan ziporyn: shadowbang
    (2003, cd, usa, cantaloupe records) - feat. bang on a can
  bang on a can: philip glass - music in fifths / two pages
    (2004, cd, usa, cantaloupe records)
  bang on a can: bang on a can meets kyaw kyaw naing
    (2004, cd, usa, cantaloupe records)
  iva bittova: elida
    (2005, cd, usa, cantaloupe) - feat. bang on a can
  don byron: a ballad for many
    (2006, cd, usa, cantaloupe records) - feat. bang on a can
  martin bresnick: the essential martin bresnick
    (2006, cd, usa,cantaloupe records) - feat. bang on a can
  bang on a can: the carbon copy building
    (2007, cd, usa, cantaloupe records)


random notes

Bang on a Can Marathon
Saturday, July 26, 2008, 4:00 pm
Hunter Center
$24/$40 in combination with Marathon

Highlights of this signature event of the Festival will include special guest Terry Riley, music by Frank Zappa, AND and the mixed media oratorio Shelter, a visually stunning collaboration from Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe and Ridge Theater.

30+ musicians and composers of the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival join for 6-hours of non-stop, boundary smashing music highlighted by rarely performed works of the late-great Frank Zappa. Come and go as you please, grab a drink or a snack, or stroll through the exhibitions -- Galleries open until 8 PM. Hunter Center.


from :

Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA: July 10-26

Bang on a Can and MASS MoCA present their 7th consecutive year of musical collaboration with a rich daily schedule of exciting performances. Music will ricochet through the galleries every day as the festival once again teems with talented faculty and fellows from around the world who offer daily recitals in the museum (free with gallery admission) at 1:30 and 4:30. The always vibrant, always unpredictable Bang on a Can All-Stars perform on July 19 at 8 PM with Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, (preceded in the morning by the perennially popular Kids Can Too event). The closing Bang on a Can Marathon extravaganza will feature special guest Terry Riley and live performances of music by Frank Zappa. The Marathon will take place on July 26 from 4 - 10 PM. Music will spill off the MASS MoCA campus and into the community in the form of free concerts at Windsor Lake on Wednesday, July 23 plus selected musicians will perform at Pittsfield's "Third Thursday" event on July 17 and at Gallery 51 in downtown North Adams on July 18.

Click here for a full schedule of events, or visit the Mass MoCA website for more details. Festival passes and tickets to the All-Stars concert and Marathon are available through the MASS MoCA box office and their website:

from the full schedule of events:

Sat July 26 - 2008

4:00 pm - 10:00 pm Bang on a Can Marathon with Special guest Terry Riley. Includes works by Terry Riley, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Donald Crockett, Ken Thomson, Iannis Xenakis, Morton Feldman, Lois V Vierk, Chris Adler, Judd Greenstein, Evan Ziporyn, and FRANK ZAPPA!



the others of invention



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