Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bang on a Can Marathon with Eyvind Kang, Shabazz Palaces, Jherek Bischoff, Scrape and Red Fish Blue Fish Ensemble performing Brian Eno's "Music for Airports" and Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians" at Henry Art Museum & The Moore Theatre: Feb 14 - 15

The renowned day-long modern composer performance series comes to Seattle next week at Henry Art Museum and The Moore! What's come to be known as the New Music movement largely centered around late 20th and 21st Century American composers, Bang on a Can have been it's performance locus as the sound's highest profile contemporary ensemble with "A Quarter-Century Of Banging, and Still as Fresh as Ever". Their status enhanced for not only tackling some of the Century's more notoriously difficult composers, but also pieces of exceptional duration in their marathon performances. To quote, "Since the marathon's inception in 1987, it has included an astounding range of revolutionary music and musicians, from John Cage to John Zorn, from minimalism's godfather Terry Riley to Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, from the 30-voice Finnish shouting choir Huutajat to the hyper-mathematical brutality of Iannis Xenakis, from the political sophistication of composer/pianist Frederic Rzewski to the high energy strumming of Japan's Kazue Sawai Ensemble, from the eastern minimalism of Arvo Pärt to the brainy rituals of Karlheinz Stockhausen, to the turntable manipulations of artist Christian Marclay".

No surprise to see the champion of all things modern classical, Alex Ross author of the excellent "The Rest is Noise" has been following the marathon performances from their first year, at the time his "Very Big Bang" was the larger public's introduction to their distinct modus operandi, as was his reporting as the classical writer for The New Yorker in pieces like "Bang Theory" from last year. The focus often being the cross-genre and disciplinary nature of their live incarnation, "Bang on a Can Marathon Fuses Classical, Experimental and Rock" the duration aspect of the day-long performances being less what distinguish them than the diversity of their selections, "From Roars to Rhythmic Mallets, a Day for Savoring Exploration". For Seattle's performance at The Moore the night's 6 hour program will feature the music of Eyvind Kang, Shabazz Palaces and Jherek Bischoff with Scrape in addition to Red Fish, Blue Fish and Bang on a Can's realizations of seminal New Music works including the quietly groundbreaking "Music for Airports" by Brian Eno and Steve Reich's landmark "Music for 18 Musicians". Photo credit: Ayumi Sakamoto