Bang on a Can and MASS MoCA announce a new, three-day music festival called LOUD Weekend, presented for the first time from Friday, August 2 through Sunday, August 4, 2019, at MASS MoCA, located in the Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts. Over the three-day period, more than 30 concerts will take place in the museum’s vast galleries and throughout its stunning collection of indoor and outdoor performing arts venues.
LOUD Weekend is an expansion of Bang on a Can’s long-running Bang on a Can Marathon, tripling that inclusive and ambitious programming from one day, to three days. Of the new project, Bang on a Can co-founders and artistic directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfesay: “12 hours is not enough! We are revving up the Marathon format so you can feel the full range of revolutionary curiosity in the music world today. We call it LOUD Weekend.”
The inaugural Bang on a Can LOUD Weekend at MASS MoCA will include the incomparable and outer-planetary Sun Ra Arkestra; Dracula, the timeless, classic, original 1931 film brought to life with Philip Glass’ acclaimed score, featuring Michael Riesman, music director/keyboardist of the Philip Glass Ensemble; Ben Frost’s visceral and maniacal Music for 6 Guitars featuring Ben Frost, Daniel Reimer, Dither Guitar Quartet, and brass sextet; the electric Bang on a Can All-Stars performing Field Recordings, a major multi-media concert of endless ambient textures, film, and electro-acoustic forays into the future; Brian Eno’s pre-ambient classic Discreet Music performed by Contact; a communal, open-to-the-public, all ages and skill levels performance of Pauline Oliveros’ Sonic Mediations; a hypnotic other-worldly odyssey solo set by electronic multi-instrumentalist and singer Julianna Barwick; the just intonation electric guitar driven Baltimore band Horse Lords; groundbreaking rediscovered composer Julius Eastman’s Gay Guerrilla from 1979 and Stay On It from 1973; pioneering composer-singer Pamela Z’s unique blend of operatic bel canto and live digital looping; Annie Gosfield’s industrial-inspired Flying Sparks and Heavy Machinery, developed in 1999 during Gosfield’s six-week residency in the factories of Nuremberg, Germany; Dither Guitar Quartet playing Tristan Perich’s Interference Logic and Brendon Randall-Myers’ Dynamics of Vanishing Bodies; Peter Maxwell Davies’ monodrama Eights Songs for a Mad King, based on the words of George III; Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen’s epic, hour-long meditation Schnee, inspired by J.S. Bach’s canons and Abrahamsen’s obsession with repetition; composer-singer-instrument inventor Lesley Flanigan’s live sonic sculpture; Annea Lockwood’s Thousand Year Dreaming, inspired by the Paleolithic cave paintings of Lascaux, featuring instruments including didgeridoos, conch shells, rattles, frame drums, oboe, English horn, clarinet, contrabass clarinet, and trombone; music by the intrepid Bang on a Can co-founders: Michael Gordon’s rhythmic meditation Dry written for Crash Ensemble; David Lang’s beseeching prayers for night and sleep for solo cello and voice with chamber orchestra; and Julia Wolfe’s my lips from speaking for two pianos, inspired by the opening few chords of Aretha Franklin’s “Think”; Bang on a Can All-Stars pianist Vicky Chow performing Tristan Perich’s Surface Image for solo piano and 40-channel 1-bit electronics; solo sets by Bang on a Can All-Stars bassist Robert Black, composer and keyboardist Michael Riesman, and Iceland-based Australian composer/producer Ben Frost; performances by Gregg August, David Cossin, Mark Stewart, Ken Thomson, Brad Lubman, Nick Photinos, Todd Reynolds, Lauren Radnofsky, and more
LOUD Weekend at MASS MoCA concludes the 18th annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, a professional development program led by today’s pioneers of experimental music for young composers and performers selected from an international applicant pool, which runs from July 15-August 4, 2019.
Festival Passes include museum addition to MASS MoCA’s 250,000 sq. ft. of art, including installations by Annie Lennox, a major survey of Cauleen Smith, and the largest-ever exhibition of Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock, in addition to virtual reality experiences by Laurie Anderson, nine immersive installations by James Turrell, two large galleries filled with the handmade instruments of musicologist Gunnar Schonbeck, and more.
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)
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 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, and we are not done yet.”