June 23, 2005
Brian Eno's Classic Kicks Off Bang on a Can Music Festival at MASS MoCA
(North Adams, Mass.) Each year MASS MoCA and Bang on a Can offer intensive training in new music to a select group of emerging musicians. Gallery visitors will find music everywhere from July 13 through July 30 with daily gallery recitals and practice sessions. A perennial highlight of the festival is the Bang on a Can All-Stars concert and this fourth year is sure to be no exception. The stunning Bang on a Can All-Stars will perform on Saturday, July 23, a concert featuring Brian Eno's Music for Airports at 8 P.M. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer described the All-Stars as "not a rock band, not a jazz combo, not a chamber ensemble. It's all three, only different."
"Eno's seminal work was created using recorded tracks, but the All-Stars is the one perfect combo to bring this music to life," said Joseph Thompson, MASS MoCA's director. Best known for his Music For Airports album, work with Roxy Music, and collaborations with David Byrne and the Talking Heads, Eno is credited with creating ambient music and pioneering recording techniques now considered essential for hip-hop, rap, and electronica.
Born in Woodbridge, England, in 1948, Brian Eno was raised in rural Suffolk, where the radio station of a nearby U.S. Air Force base exposed him to doo-wop and early rock & roll from a young age. At art school, studying the principles of conceptual painting and sound sculpture, he was introduced to the music of contemporary composers John Tilbury, Cornelius Cardew, and minimalists John Cage, LaMonte Young, and Terry Riley but particularly Steve Reich's tape orchestration It's Gonna Rain. It was there that Eno began experimenting with tape recorders, which he considers his first musical instrument.
The next several years were spent working with avant-garde performance art troupe Merchant Taylor's Simultaneous Cabinet, improvisational rock unit Maxwell Demon, Cardew's Scratch Orchestra, the Portsmouth Sinfonia, and finally seminal glam band Roxy Music. In 1973 he recorded No Pussyfooting with Robert Fripp where he developed a tape-delay system, dubbed "Frippertronics," treating Fripp's guitar with looped delays in order to use studio technology as a means of musical composition, creating the groundwork for the current dominance of sampling in hip-hop and electronica.
In 1975 a car accident left Eno bedridden for months, unable to move even enough to turn up his stereo to hear the music above the sound of a rainstorm. Realizing that music could assume the properties of light or color, blending into the atmosphere rather than overtaking it, Eno created his most significant innovation: ambient music, which he explored and perfected with his next several releases: Another Green World, Discreet Music (the first in a ten-volume series), Music For Films, and ultimately Music For Airports.
The Bang on a Can All-Stars are: Robert Black, David Cossin, Lisa Moore, Mark Stewart, Wendy Sutter, and Evan Ziporyn. They freely cross classical, jazz, rock, world, and experimental music. This six-member ensemble from New York is known worldwide for unparalleled performances of today's most innovative music, defining styles so new they're yet to be named.
Bassist Robert Black works with his computer-assisted duo, Basso Bongo, composing and commissioning composers. He frequently collaborates with Yoshiko Chuma and her post-modern dance company, The School of Hard Knocks. He tours playing solo performances around the world including Japan, Brazil, Europe, and North America. Black still finds the time to teach at the FUNDEC de Eleazar de Carvalho in Brazil and his alma mater, Hartt School in Hartford, Connecticut.
David Cossin studied classical percussion at the Manhattan School of Music. He specializes in new and experimental music, and has recorded and performed internationally with groups including Talujon Percussion Quartet, NewBand (on the Harry Partch instrumentarium), New Music Consort, Yo-Yo Ma, Tan Dun, Bo Didley, and B-blush. Numerous theater projects include Peony Pavilion, Blue Man Group, The Lion King, and Mabou Mines. Cossin was the solo percussionist for films like Fallen and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which won the Academy Award for best musical score. He has performed solo concerts throughout Europe and the United States, incorporating video, electronic processing, and homemade instruments. Cossin appeared on the television shows Good Morning America and CBS' The Early Show with Yo Yo Ma.
Raised in Australia, Lisa Moore is the resident pianist for the Da Capo Chamber Players and has performed with the New York City Ballet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, St Luke's Orchestra, BargeMusic, Cassatt String Quartet, ISCM, Alpha Centauri, Steve Reich Ensemble, Australia Ensemble, Sydney Symphony, Albany Symphony, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She's performed at Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, La Scola, the Musikverein and at festivals in Adelaide, Israel, Warsaw, Holland, Southbank, Palermo, Paris d'Automne, Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave, Sydney's Olympic Arts and Tanglewood.
Since multi-instrumentalist Mark Stewart's mother taught music, he grew up experimenting with handmade African drums, harmoniums, xylophones, guitars, banjos, violins, cellos and hundreds of others before he was in school. He studied guitar and cello during his conservatory days before moving to New York. Now he works mainly with electric guitar. He regularly performs with Fred Frith, Anthony Braxton, Steve Reich, and Zeena Parkins.
Cellist Wendy Sutter began playing at age five and made her solo debut with the Seattle Symphony at sixteen. She has participated in festivals at Marlboro, Aspen, and Evian and was awarded first prize in the Juilliard cello competition. She made her New York solo concerto debut at Avery Fisher Hall and has participated as soloist or ensemble player with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, the ensemble Sospeso, the Seattle International Chamber Music Festival and New York's Music Today series. She's toured with Mikhail Baryshnikov and performed an onstage duet with him at Lincoln Center.
Clarinetist Evan Ziporyn's work is informed by his 20-year involvement with the traditional music of Bali. He is founder and director of Boston's Gamelan Galak Tika. He co-produced and arranged Bang on a Can's acclaimed recording of Brian Eno's Music for Airports. As part of the Steve Reich Ensemble, he shared a 1999 Grammy for the recording of Music for 18 Musicians. Other collaborators include the Kronos Quartet, The Netherlands Wind Ensemble, Ensemble Modern, Tan Dun, Wu Man, Basso Bongo, Paul Simon and Red Fish Blue Fish. A professor at MIT, Ziporyn has also taught at the Yale School of Music, New England Conservatory, and the University of California.
For the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, some of the world's most renowned musicians and composers hold open classes throughout the MASS MoCA complex. The Festival will close on Saturday, July 30, with a Bang on a Can Marathon performance by both teachers and students featuring guest composer Steve Reich.
Tickets for Bang on a Can Opening Concert are $22. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Special discounted tickets for both this concert and the Marathon concert on July 30 can be purchased for just $35. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. daily in July and August. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.
Bang on a Can is a New York-based organization dedicated to creating a forum for the most innovative and adventurous music of our time. They aim to discover emerging composers and ensembles who are exploring new musical territories and reaching for a musical expression beyond the status quo. Their programming incorporates visionary classics written not more than three decades ago -- exciting music by our best known living composers and by those only starting to gain recognition.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Katherine Myers
(413) 664-4481 x8113