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Innovative, ultra-dynamic, cutting-edge, visionary and category-defying are just some of the terms used to describe the status and impact of longstanding New York music collective, Bang on a Can All-Stars across the globe. Get acquainted with the dynamic collective right here.
The New York Times describes Bang on a Can as “a fiercely aggressive group, combining the power and punch of a rock band with the precision and clarity of a chamber ensemble.”
Bang on a Can emerged from a one-day New York-based Marathon concert in 1987 at a SoHo art gallery, and over 30 years of brilliant music-making has evolved into a multi-faceted performing arts organisation touring the world to rapturous acclaim. Their specialty lies in the way they transcend the boundaries of classical, jazz, rock, world and experimental music, unequivocally and unapologetically redefining what concert music is today.
The All-Stars were founded in 1992 and have collaborated with a mind-blowing array of music visionaries including American music pioneer Steve Reich, renowned Chinese contemporary classical composer and conductor Tan Dun, English iconoclast and front man of Roxy Music Brian Eno, legendary 20th century composer Philip Glass and celebrated singer/songwriter, guitarist and front man of Sonic Youth Thurston Moore just to name a diverse few
As a collective, the Bang on a Can All-Stars imbue “a completely different kind of creativity”.
As individuals, they are Ashley Bathgate (cello), Robert Black (bass), Vicky Chow (piano), David Cossin (percussion), Mark Stewart (guitars) and Ken Thomson (clarinets). Each individual is an established and virtuosic musician in their own right, together they are ‘the country’s most important vehicle for contemporary music’ (The San Francisco Chronicle)
As a 6-piece amplified instrument ensemble, Bang on a Can All-Stars have forged a distinct and deliberate genre-defying identity that must be experienced to appreciate the full scale of their artistry.
From touring performances and the recording of Bang on a Can founding member Julia Wolfe’s Pulitzer Prize winning Anthracite Fields and the record release of Wolfe’s acclaimed Steel Hammer featuring Trio Mediaeval to Field Recordings - a major multi-media project and CD/DVD featuring 30 commissioned works by Tyondai Braxton, Mira Calix, Anna Clyne, Bryce Dessner, Florent Ghys, Michael Gordon, Jóhann Jóhannsson, David Lang, Christian Marclay, Steve Reich, Todd Reynolds, Julia Wolfe and more, the collective’s vast repertoire also includes many works written specifically for the group's distinctive instrumentation and style of performance worthy of a listen.
Thirty years ago, Brian Eno put out Music for Airports, his first "ambient" album. It was the precursor for the broad spectrum of music that is today called ambient, a term Eno himself invented. Twenty years later, the Bang on a Can All-Stars created their own version of the work with live musicians, all the while staying close to the source by sharing the project as it developed with Brian Eno. It was released on record in 1998 to worldwide acclaim.
Delve deeper and explore their YouTube channel here