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June 6: Bang on a Can Marathon of Song - Live Online from 1pm-5pm ET

May 12, 2021 | By Maggie Stapleton
Jensen Artists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press contact: Maggie Stapleton, Jensen Artists
646.536.7864 x2 | maggie@jensenartists.com

Bang on a Can Announces 
Bang on a Can Marathon of Song
Live Online – Sunday, June 6, 2021 from 1-5pm ET
Four Hours of LIVE Music at live.bangonacan.org

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Note: An embed code for the Bang on a Can Marathon livestream will be available to press upon request, to allow for hosting on your site.

Brooklyn, NY — Bang on a Can announces the Bang on a Can Marathon of Song – Live Online – on Sunday, June 6, 2021 from 1-5pm ET featuring 15 performances streamed from musicians' homes around the country and across the world. For this Marathon all performances will include some type of vocalization – singing, speaking, murmuring, or other use of the voice. The June 6 Marathon of Song marks Bang on a Can’s eighth marathon concert since the start of the pandemic dating back to May 2020 and will bring the tally to over 150 performances, including 70 world premieres of new commissions. Bang on a Can plans to continue these Marathons, streaming online at live.bangonacan.org.

The four-hour live Marathon, featuring Fred Frith, L’Rain, Albert Kuvezin from Yat Kha, Charles Amirkhanian, Matana Roberts, and many more, will be hosted by Bang on a Can Co-Founders and Artistic Directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, who say: Humming, speaking, crooning, shouting, praying, tuneful, harmonized or noisy, we have spun songs since the beginning of our existence. These adventurous composers are redefining what it means to make song, and these powerful performers bring it to life with a myriad of colors and sensibilities.

A core feature of the program will be eleven world premieres of newly commissioned works:

Albert Kuvezin new work (world premiere) performed by himself

Allison Russell 

Anna Clyne new work (world premiere) performed by Ken Thomson

Charles Amirkhanian Audible Autopsy (world premiere) performed by Robert Black

Eddy Kwon new work (world premiere) performed by himself

Florent Ghys new work (world premiere) performed by David Cossin

Fred Frith new work (world premiere) performed by himself

Julius Eastman Prelude To The Holy Presence Of Joan D'Arc performed by Julian Otis

Kyle Brenn Still/Exist

L’Rain

Mary Kouyoumdjian new work (world premiere) performed by Arlen Hlusko

Matana Roberts How Many (world premiere video)

Peni Candra Rini new work (world premiere) performed by herself

Sophie Cash new work (world premiere) performed by Vicky Chow 

Trevor Weston new work (world premiere) performed by Mark Stewart 

Bang on a Can Marathon June 6, 2021 featuring: 

Albert Kuvezin, Allison Russell, Anna Clyne, Charles Amirkhanian, Eddy Kwon, Florent Ghys, Fred Frith, Julius Eastman, Kyle Brenn, L’Rain, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Matana Roberts, Peni Candra Rini, Sophie Cash, Trevor Weston, Arlen Hlusko, David Cossin, Julian Otis, Ken Thomson, Mark Stewart, Robert Black, Vicky Chow 

Marathon Program Info [Full Schedule to be announced soon] 

Albert Kuvezin is an internationally renowned throat singer from the Tuva Republic, Russia. He was one of the founding members of the Tuvan folk ensemble Huun-Huur-Tu and is the leader of the Tuvan folk/rock/electro/post punk band Yat Kha. Albert is known for his singular inimitable blend of Tuvan Kargyraa throat singing and genre-crossing songwriting. He’ll perform a brand-new commissioned song.

Allison Russell is a singer-songwriter, poet, activist, and multi-instrumentalist of extraordinary power and grace. A veteran of the bands Birds of Chicago and Our Native Daughters, Allison has a brand-new solo record and brand-new songs to share on the Marathon.

Anna Clyne writes lush orchestral music as well as sonic electronic landscapes - all vibrant with emotion! In this new work she brings her personal idea of song to renegade All-Star clarinetist Ken Thomson.

Charles Amirkhanian often sculpts his music out of the sounds and rhythms of the words themselves. His pieces exist in some hybrid place between poetry and music, where the texts and the sounds become inseparable - the words are the music, the sounds are the lyrics. In today's premiere of Audible Autopsy (2021) he works bassist Robert Black into this equation.

Eddy Kwon is a composer, performer, singer, violinist. They are also an educator and a collaborator with musicians who cross all musical boundaries. Kwon's songs weave together quirky combinations of delicate word play and fierce fiddling.

Florent Ghys is a composer, bass player and multimedia artist. His witty multi-channel music videos often tell a story from several perspectives at once. Here percussionist David Cossin gets to play all the angles.

The legendary innovator Fred Frith has been making creative noise of one kind or another for almost 50 years. Starting with the iconic rock collective Henry Cow and through many other bands like Art Bears, Skeleton Crew, and the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, Fred is best known and revered as a pioneering composer, electric guitarist and improviser. Here he’ll be sharing a brand-new commissioned song.

The definition of “ahead of his time,” Julius Eastman was a pioneer of performance art, gay activism and civil rights advocacy. A spellbinding singer and performer, he wrote Prelude To The Holy Presence Of Joan D'Arc for himself, as a kind of meditation on the strength Joan of Arc would need to get through her ordeals. For this performance, rising star tenor Julian Terrell Otis sings.

Composer, drummer, vocalist Kyle Brenn traverses genre boundaries, building obsessively repeating patterns to create a trance-like ecstaticism. On June 6th he reveals Still/Exist, the opening of his multi-media music theater project the shape of a child.

Brooklyn native, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Taja Cheek performs under the mononym L’Rain. Her songs, at once visceral, spiritual, ethereal, and urgent, are equally rooted in R&B, jazz, noise and experimental pop.

There is an element of genealogical discovery to Mary Kouyoumdjian's work. Much of her music is a powerful, personal exploration of the stories of her family, haunted by memories of the Armenian genocide and the Lebanese civil war. For this performance, she teams up with Bang on a Can All-Stars cellist Arlen Hlusko on a brand-new work.

Matana Roberts is a composer, saxophonist and mixed-media artist. Roberts works in many contexts and mediums, including improvisation, dance, poetry, and theater. For this performance she has created a new video work. 

Peni Candra Rini is one of few female contemporary composers, songwriters, poets, and vocalists who performs sinden, a soloist-female style of gamelan singing. Streaming from her native East Java Indonesia, Peni will treat us to the world premiere of a brand-new commission.

Sophie Cash's songs come to us in a psychedelic haze, as if we are listening to them in the indistinct static between distant radio stations. They crackle and they hum. Sometimes the static becomes just as poetic as the words. Sometimes more. For this performance, Bang on a Can All-Stars pianist Vicky Chow joins the mix for Sophie’s new work.

Trevor Weston is a composer, writer, educator, and scholar. A few years back, Bang on a Can commissioned his piece Dig It for the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and noticed just how hard the part he wrote for our guitarist Mark Stewart grooved. So the June 6 piece is commissioned just for Mark.

Bang on a Can All-Star Arlen Hlusko, a brilliant cellist with a powerful sound and a deep commitment to community engagement through music, teams up with composer Mary Kouyoumdjian for the world premiere of a new song for cello and voice. 

Bang on a Can All-Star percussionist-drummer-producer David Cossin is a superstar specialist in new and experimental music. For this performance, he premieres a new work for percussion and voice by composer Florent Ghys

Rising star tenor Julian Terrell Otis has hit the contemporary music scene with a seemingly limitless expressive capacity and enthusiasm for song. Here he’ll be singing Julius Eastman’s meditative Prelude To The Holy Presence Of Joan D'Arc.

Bang on a Can All-Star and reed guru Ken Thomson is a passionate performer and also a composer increasingly known for his harmonic and rhythmic complexity and a punk-rock aesthetic. He will be performing a brand-new piece by Anna Clyne.

Bang on a Can All-Star and musical wizard Mark Stewart is a virtuoso guitarist, singer, instrument inventor, who plucks, bows, beats, and breathes life into countless sound-making devices. For this performance he will premiere a new song for guitar and voice by Trevor Weston

Spectacular founding and current Bang on a Can All-Star, bassist Robert Black tours the world constantly creating unheard of music for the solo double bass. On this Marathon he teams up with legendary composer Charles Amirkhanian

Vicky Chow, powerhouse pianist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, premieres a brand-new song by Sophie Cash.

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 March 2020, when the pandemic began, Bang on a Can responded with the Live Online concert series including its signature Marathon concerts. With this online series, Bang on a Can has been able to support composers and performers and engage audiences throughout the pandemic shutdown. Other in-person programs include two 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.

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