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Bang On A Can All-Stars

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 the 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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Big, Beautiful, Dark and Scary

Disc 1
Composer: Julia Wolfe
Title: Big, Beautiful, Dark And Scary, For Clarinet, Electric Guitar, Cello, Double Bass, Piano & Percussion

1. Big, Beautiful, Dark And Scary, For Clarinet, Electric Guitar, Cello, Double Bass, Piano & Percussion: Big Beautiful Dark And Scary

Composer: David Lang
Title: Sunray, For Clarinet, Electric Guitar, Cello, Double Bass, Piano & Percussion

2. Sunray, For Clarinet, Electric Guitar, Cello, Double Bass, Piano & Percussion: Sunray

Composer: Michael Gordon
Title: For Madeline, For Clarinet, Electric Guitar, Cello, Double Bass, Vibraphone & Piano
Composer: Evan Ziporyn
Title: Shadow Bang, Theater Piece
Disc 2
Composer: David Longstreth
Title: Instructional Video, For Reeds, Electric Guitar, Cello, Double Bass, Piano & Percussion

1. Instructional Video, For Reeds, Electric Guitar, Cello, Double Bass, Piano & Percussion: Instructional Video

Title: Matt Damon, For Reeds, Electric Guitar, Cello, Double Bass, Piano & Percussion

2. Matt Damon, For Reeds, Electric Guitar, Cello, Double Bass, Piano & Percussion: Matt Damon

Title: Breakfast At J&M, For Clarinet, Electric Guitar, Cello, Double Bass, Piano & Percussion

3. Breakfast At J&M, For Clarinet, Electric Guitar, Cello, Double Bass, Piano & Percussion: Breakfast At J&M

Composer: Conlon Nancarrow
Title: Study for Player Piano No.2
Title: Study For Player Piano No. 3a
Title: Study For Player Piano No. 3c
Title: Study For Player Piano No.11, An Isorhythmic Blues Study
Composer: Louis Andriessen
Title: Life, For Saxophone, Guitar, Cello, Double Bass, Piano & Percussion
Composer: Kate Moore
Title: Ridgeway, For Clarinet, Electric Guitar, Cello, Double Bass, Piano & Percussion

12. Ridgeway, For Clarinet, Electric Guitar, Cello, Double Bass, Piano & Percussion: Ridgeway

x

Track List: Evan Ziporyn: Shadow Bang With I Wayan Wija

Title: Shadow Bang, Theater Piece

1. Shadow Bang, Theater Piece: Head 1

2. Shadow Bang, Theater Piece: Head 2/scene 1

3. Shadow Bang, Theater Piece: Angkat

4. Shadow Bang, Theater Piece: Ocean

5. Shadow Bang, Theater Piece: Meditasi/pesta Raksasa

6. Shadow Bang, Theater Piece: Frogs (I Wayan Wija)

7. Shadow Bang, Theater Piece: Forest/tari Subali/quiet Battle/loud Battle/priest's Curse

8. Shadow Bang, Theater Piece: Tabuh Gari

x

Track List: Bang On A Can Classics

Composer: David Lang
Title: Cheating, Lying, Stealing, Bass Clarinet, Cello, Piano & 2 Percussionists

1. Cheating, Lying, Stealing, Bass Clarinet, Cello, Piano & 2 Percussionists: Cheating, Lying Stealing

Composer: Julia Wolfe
Title: Lick

2. Lick: Lick

Composer: Annie Gosfield
Title: The Manufacture Of Tangled Ivory

3. The Manufacture Of Tangled Ivory: The Manufacture Of Tangled Ivory

Composer: Evan Ziporyn
Title: Tsmindao Ghmerto

4. Tsmindao Ghmerto: Tsmindao Ghmerto

Composer: Lois V Vierk
Title: Red Shift IV

5. Red Shift IV: Red Shift IV

Composer: Nick Didkovsky
Title: Amalia's Secret

6. Amalia's Secret: Amalia's Secret

Composer: Michael Gordon
Title: Industry (solo Electric Cello)

7. Industry (solo Electric Cello): Industry

x

Track List: Renegade Heaven

1. Wolfe: Believing

2. Dreyblatt: Escalator

3. Gordon: I Buried Paul

4. Branca: Movement Within

5. Kline: Exquisite Corpses

x

Track List: Cheating, Lying, Stealing

Composer: David Lang
Title: Cheating, Lying, Stealing, Bass Clarinet, Cello, Piano & 2 Percussionists

1. Cheating, Lying, Stealing, Bass Clarinet, Cello, Piano & 2 Percussionists: Cheating, Lying Stealing

Composer: Annie Gosfield
Title: The Manufacture Of Tangled Ivory
Composer: Evan Ziporyn
Title: Tsmindao Ghmerto

4. Tsmindao Ghmerto: Tsmindao Ghmerto

Composer: Lois V Vierk
Title: Red Shift, For Cello, Electric Guitar, Percussion & Synthesizer

5. Red Shift, For Cello, Electric Guitar, Percussion & Synthesizer: Red Shift

Composer: Nick Didkovsky
Title: Amalia's Secret
Composer: Frederic Rzewski
Title: Piano Piece No. 4
x

Track List: Industry

Composer: Julia Wolfe
Title: Lick

1. Lick: Lick

Composer: Louis Andriessen
Title: Hout, For Tenor Saxophone, Marimba, Guitar & Piano

2. Hout, For Tenor Saxophone, Marimba, Guitar & Piano: Hout

Composer: David Lang
Title: The Anvil Chorus, For Solo Percussion
Composer: Louis Andriessen
Title: Hoketus For Mixed Ensemble
Composer: Michael Gordon
Title: Industry (solo Electric Cello)

8. Industry (solo Electric Cello): Industry

x

Track List: Field Recordings

Composer: Julia Wolfe
Title: Reeling, for ensemble

1. Reeling, for ensemble: Reeling

Composer: Florent Ghys
Title: An Open Cage, for ensemble

2. An Open Cage, for ensemble: An Open Cage

Composer: Michael Gordon
Title: Gene Takes a Drink, for ensemble

3. Gene Takes a Drink, for ensemble: Gene Takes A Drink

Composer: David Lang
Title: Unused swan, for ensemble

5. Unused swan, for ensemble: Unused Swan

Composer: Johann Johannsson
Title: Hz, for ensemble

7. Hz, for ensemble: Hz

Composer: Todd Reynolds
Title: Seven Sundays, for ensemble

8. Seven Sundays, for ensemble: Seven Sundays

Composer: Steve Reich
Title: The Cave, multimedia theater work for piano, sampling keyboards & voice of Neville Chamberlain
Composer: Bryce Dessner
Title: Maximus to Gloucester, Letter 27 (withheld), for ensemble

10. Maximus to Gloucester, Letter 27 (withheld), for ensemble: Maximus To Gloucester, Letter 27 [Withheld]

Composer: Anna Clyne
Title: A Wonderful Day, for bass clarinet, vibraphone, piano, electric guitar, cello, double bass & tape

12. A Wonderful Day, for bass clarinet, vibraphone, piano, electric guitar, cello, double bass & tape: A Wonderful Day

x

Track List: The Essential Martin Bresnik

Title: String Quartet No. 2 ("Bucephalus")

1. String Quartet No. 2 ("Bucephalus"): I. Bucephalus

2. String Quartet No. 2 ("Bucephalus"): II. Around To The Sun

3. String Quartet No. 2 ("Bucephalus"): III. Alexandrine

4. String Quartet No. 2 ("Bucephalus"): IV. At Jhelum

5. String Quartet No. 2 ("Bucephalus"): V. The New Advocate

Title: Trio For Piano, Violin & Cello

6. Trio For Piano, Violin & Cello: I. Semplice, Inesorabile

7. Trio For Piano, Violin & Cello: II. Leggeiermente, Con Accenti Diversi "Cat's Cradle"

8. Trio For Piano, Violin & Cello: III. Parlando. Affetuoso

9. Trio For Piano, Violin & Cello: IV. Ardente, Superduto

Title: The Bucket Rider, For Clarinet, Guitar, Bass, Keyboard & Percussion

10. The Bucket Rider, For Clarinet, Guitar, Bass, Keyboard & Percussion: The Bucket Rider

Title: BE JUST!, For Clarinet, Guitar, Bass, Keyboard & Percussion

11. BE JUST!, For Clarinet, Guitar, Bass, Keyboard & Percussion: Be Just!

Comments

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what a wonderful !discovery
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Love this group!
Report as inappropriate
sounds like random banging on cans, not very good
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I'm all ears.

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