Bang on a Can: Playing Art, Premiering Works, Marathon and More

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Bang on a Can Summer Festival 2014
Saturday, July 26th – Saturday, August 2nd
MASS MoCA • North Adams, MA

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art … MASS MoCA. It’s a converted factory building complex located in North Adams that is one of the largest centers for contemporary visual art and performing arts in the United States.

Bang on a Can is dedicated to making music new.

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 music organization with year-round international activities. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in its annual summer music festival at the well-fitted venue of MASS MoCA.

While the 13th Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival is well underway, its about to peak with an 8-day new music extravaganza called Bang on a Can Plays Art with fourteen concerts drawing inspiration from the visual art on exhibit in the galleries at MASS MoCA.  Some of this weekend’s include:

Rooms within rooms. Artist Izhar Patkin‘s The Wandering Veil divides Mass MoCA’s largest gallery into a maze of smaller spaces. So does Terry Riley’s In Cthe national anthem of minimal music.

Alt-diva Shara Worden joins the Bang on a Can All-Stars for David Lang’s post-Schubertian song cycle death speaks

In the middle of artist Teresita Fernández’s dynamic and monumental works, the Bang on a Can Festival String Orchestra plays a monumental work of its own with Julia Wolfe‘s intense and harrowing Cruel Sister, based on a chilling folk song of two sisters tragically in love with the same man. A post-performance talk follows.

We hope you’ll explore the Hudson Sounds Bang on a Can Plays Art listings to find something you can partake. If you’re looking for something more spontaneous, then check out the jam sessions (July 31st & August 1st) with the Festival players at MASS MoCA’s summer beer garden, The Chalet.

It’s genre-bending … you won’t find anything neat and tidy for the categories and bins here. It’s clear that Bang on a Can is about taking and respecting risk and the challenges inherent in making new. Some would say putting a fresh spin on what “classical” or chamber music can be as the world around us evolves.

Check back in as we’ll be highlighting festival events throughout the week.

Upcoming Events

  • Bang on a Can Gallery Recital
  • MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
    Monday, July 28th 2014 at 1:30 pm

  • Glimmerglass Festival: Strauss’s “Ariadne in Naxos”
  • Glimmerglass Festival, Springfield Center, NY
    Monday, July 28th 2014 at 1:30 pm

  • Bang on a Can Word Premiere Composer Concert
  • MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
    Monday, July 28th 2014 at 4:30 pm

  • Bang on a Can Gallery Recital
  • MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
    Tuesday, July 29th 2014 at 1:30 pm

  • Glimmerglass Festival: Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly”
  • Glimmerglass Festival, Springfield Center, NY
    Tuesday, July 29th 2014 at 1:30 pm

  • Bang on a Can Plays Art: Ann Hamilton / “Paper Chorus”
  • MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
    Tuesday, July 29th 2014 at 4:30 pm

  • Bang on a Can Gallery Recital
  • MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
    Wednesday, July 30th 2014 at 1:30 pm

  • Bard Summerscape 2014 presents Carl Maria von Weber’s “Euryanthe”
  • Fisher Center, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504
    Wednesday, July 30th 2014 at 2:00 pm

  • Bang on a Can Plays Art: Mark Dion / Morton Feldman “Why Patterns?”
  • MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
    Wednesday, July 30th 2014 at 4:30 pm

  • Bang on a Can Gallery Recital
  • MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
    Thursday, July 31st 2014 at 1:30 pm

  • Bang on a Can Plays Art: Sol LeWitt / Steve Reich
  • MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
    Thursday, July 31st 2014 at 4:30 pm

  • Schubert and the Long 19th Century: “Fitzcarraldo”
  • Ottaway Film Center at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson
    Thursday, July 31st 2014 at 7:00 pm

  • Glimmerglass Festival: Tobias Picker’s “An American Tragedy”
  • Glimmerglass Festival, Springfield Center, NY
    Thursday, July 31st 2014 at 7:30 pm

  • The Sembrich: “The Eve of War” – A Centennial Concert with Thomas Pandolfi, pianist
  • Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum, Bolton Landing, NY
    Thursday, July 31st 2014 at 7:30 pm

  • Bang on a Can Plays Art: Anselm Kiefer / Georg Fiederich Haas “In iij. Noct”
  • MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
    Thursday, July 31st 2014 at 8:00 pm