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Press Releases

Bang on a Can and The Noguchi Museum present Meredith Monk & John Hollenbeck

October 14, 2020 | By Maggie Stapleton
Jensen Artists
[Note: Photos of Meredith Monk (by Christine Alicino) and John Hollenbeck (by Mercedes Jelinek) available in high resolution upon request.]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press contacts:

For Bang on a Can – Maggie Stapleton, Jensen Artists
646.536.7864 x2, maggie@jensenartists.com

For Meredith Monk – Chris Schimpf, Sacks & Co.
212.741.1000, chris.schimpf@sacksco.com

For Noguchi Museum – Jennifer Lorch, Amelia Grohman
718.204.7088 x206, communications@noguchi.org  

Bang on a Can and The Noguchi Museum Present 
Meredith Monk & John Hollenbeck
Duet Behavior 2020

MMonkJHollenbeckCompositeScreen Shot 2020-10-06 at 12.04.51 PM.png

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 8pm ET
Virtual performance followed by Q & A with the artists
Free and available for all to watch at www.noguchi.org/bangonacan
No advance registration required. 

www.bangonacan.org | www.noguchi.org

New York, NY — Celebrating their tenth year of collaboration, on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 8pm ET, Bang on a Can and The Noguchi Museum present excerpts from Duet Behavior 2020 by Meredith Monk and John Hollenbeck, a first-time performance of Monk’s music as it has never been experienced. Through a conversational approach, long-time friends and colleagues Monk and Hollenbeck will expand and improvise on pieces from across Monk’s 50 year catalogue, combining her pioneering vocal magic with his inventive and masterful percussion to generate new arrangements of Monk’s iconic compositions.

The duets were performed together but from separate locations – Hollenbeck in Montreal and Monk in upstate New York – using Zoom for the visuals and Jamulus, a tool which enables musicians to perform in real-time over the internet, for the sound. The resulting video presentation was produced by The House Foundation for the Arts.

The Noguchi Museum's director Brett Littman will join Monk and Hollenbeck for a Q & A via Zoom after the performance.

Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, and creator of new opera and music-theater works. Recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, she is a pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique.” Her groundbreaking exploration of the voice as an instrument, as an eloquent language in and of itself, expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which there are no words. Over the last six decades, Ms. Monk has been hailed as one of National Public Radio’s 50 Great Voices and “one of America’s coolest composers.” Her numerous awards and honors include a MacArthur Fellowship and Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Republic of France. Recently Monk received three of the highest honors bestowed on a living artist in the United States: induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2017 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, and a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. Celebrated internationally, her work has been presented at major venues around the world. 

In 1965, Monk began her innovative exploration of the voice as a multifaceted instrument, composing solo pieces for unaccompanied voice and voice and keyboard. In 1978, she formed Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble to further expand her musical textures and forms. Most of her music can be heard on the ECM label, including the Grammy-nominated impermanence and highly acclaimed On Behalf of Nature. Her compositions have also been featured in films by Terrence Malick, Jean-Luc Godard, David Byrne, and the Coen Brothers.

Since the early 2000s, Monk has been creating vital new repertoire for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and solo instruments, with recent commissions from the San Francisco Symphony and Carnegie Hall where she held the 2014–15 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair in conjunction with her 50th Season of creating and performing. Currently Monk is developing Indra’s Net, the third part of a trilogy of music-theater works exploring our interdependent relationship with nature. Indra’s Net will premiere at Mills College with support from the Hewlett 50 Arts Commission. In 2006, Monk performed at the Noguchi Museum’s annual benefit.

Composer/percussionist and five-time GRAMMY nominee John Hollenbeck is renowned in both jazz and new-music worlds. He has gained widespread recognition as the driving force behind the unclassifiable Claudia Quintet and the ambitious John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, groups with roots in jazz, world music, and contemporary composition. He is well known in new-music circles for his longtime collaboration with Meredith Monk and has worked with many of the world's leading musicians in jazz including Bob Brookmeyer, Fred Hersch, and Tony Malaby. John is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the ASCAP Jazz Vanguard Award, and a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. His most notable works include commissions by Bang on a Can All-Stars, Ethos Percussion Group, Melbourne Jazz Festival, University of Rochester, Ensemble Cairn, Orchestre National de Jazz, and Frankfurt Radio Big Band. He joined McGill University Schulich School of Music’s faculty as professor of Jazz Drums and Improvisation in 2015. 

Brett Littman has been the Director of The Noguchi Museum since May 2018. He was Executive Director of The Drawing Center from 2007–18; Deputy Director of MoMA PS1 from 2003–07; Co-Director of Dieu Donné Papermill from 2001–03; and Associate Director of Urban Glass from 1996–2001. Littman’s interests are multi-disciplinary: he has overseen more than seventy-five exhibitions and curated more than twenty exhibitions over the last decade, dealing with visual art, outsider art, craft, design, architecture, poetry, music, science, and literature.

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.” 

In addition to its festivals LOUD Weekend at MASS MoCA and LONG PLAY, current projects include The People's Commissioning Fund, a membership program to commission emerging composers; the Bang on a Can All-Stars, who tour to major festivals and concert venues around the world every year; recording projects; the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, a professional development program for young composers and performers led by today’s pioneers of experimental music; Asphalt Orchestra, Bang on a Can’s extreme street band that offers mobile performances re-contextualizing unusual music; Found Sound Nation, a new technology-based musical outreach program now partnering with the State Department of the United States of America to create OneBeat, a revolutionary, post-political residency program that uses music to bridge the gulf between young American musicians and young musicians from developing countries; cross-disciplinary collaborations and projects with DJs, visual artists, choreographers, filmmakers and more. Each new program has evolved to answer specific challenges faced by today’s musicians, composers and audiences, in order to make innovative music widely accessible and wildly received. Bang on a Can’s inventive and aggressive approach to programming and presentation has created a large and vibrant international audience made up of people of all ages who are rediscovering the value of contemporary music. Bang on a Can has also recently launched its new digital archive, CANLAND, an extensive archive of its recordings, videos, posters, program books, and more. Thirty-three years of collected music and associated ephemera have been digitized and archived online and is publicly accessible in its entirety at www.canland.org. For more information about Bang on a Can, please visit www.bangonacan.org.

About The Noguchi Museum: Founded in 1985 by Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988), one of the leading sculptors and designers of the twentieth century, The Noguchi Museum was the first museum in America to be established, designed, and installed by a living artist to show their own work. Widely viewed in itself as among the artist’s greatest achievements, the Museum comprises ten indoor galleries in a converted factory building, as well as an acclaimed outdoor sculpture garden. Since its founding, it has served as an international hub for Noguchi research and appreciation. In addition to housing the artist’s archives and catalogue raisonné, the Museum exhibits a comprehensive selection of sculpture, models for public projects and gardens, dance sets, and his Akari light sculptures. Provocative installations drawn from the permanent collection, along with diverse special exhibitions related to Noguchi and the milieu in which he worked, offer a rich, contextualized view of Noguchi’s art and illuminate his enduring influence as a category-defying, multicultural, cross-disciplinary innovator. For more information, please visit www.noguchi.org or follow @noguchimuseum. 

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