The Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival is underway at MASS MoCA in North Adams for the 13th year. This year, the Festival culminates with an 8-day new music extravaganza called "Bang on a Can Plays Art" from July 26 through August 2. Fourteen concerts over this 8-day period will draw inspiration from the visual art on exhibit in the galleries at MASS MoCA.
A pioneer in the use of computers in performance, beginning in the late 1970s, Neil Rolnick’s music has been performed around the world, and appears on 16 CD’s.
Though much of Rolnick’s work connects music and technology, his music has always been highly melodic and accessible. Whether working with electronic sounds, chamber ensembles, orchestra, improvisation, or multimedia, his music has been characterized by critics as “sophisticated,” “hummable and engaging,” and as having “good senses of showmanship and humor.”
From 1981-2013 Rolnick was a Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, where he was founding director of the iEAR Studios.
Since 2005 Neil Rolnick has written three large-scale works for piano and computer. On Tuesday, February 18th – a concert at The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall will feature the upstate premiere of the third of these pieces - "Dynamic RAM & Concert Grand", commissioned by the Fromm Foundation for Bang On A Can All-Stars pianist Vicky Chow.
The evening will also include the previous two works, each played by the pianist who commissioned it. Kathleen Supove will play "Digits" (2005) and Bob Gluck will play "Faith" (2009). Rolnick will perform the computer part for all three pieces.
The 12th Annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA is taking place through August 3rd. The three-week intensive residency program of public performances, recitals, and lectures will be attended by over 50 cutting-edge composers and performers from around the globe, including 37 fellows selected from a pool of over 250 applicants from 17 countries.
Festival highlights this year include the Composer Premiere Concert on Monday, July 29 showcasing brand new works written by the Summer Festival composition fellows; the 12th annual Bang on a Can Marathon at MASS MoCA, featuring more than fifty musicians and composers in six hours of non-stop, music, which closes the Festival on Saturday, August 3 and the Bang on a Can All-Stars and special guests performing Julia Wolfe’s evening-length art ballad, Steel Hammer, this Saturday, July at 8pm in the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA.
Julia Wolfe founded Bang on a Can in 1987 with Michael Gordon and David Lang and she joins us to talk about the festival and about Steel Hammer.
This Saturday, September 15th at 8pm, the EMPAC Concert Hall in Troy, NY will host the world premiere of Rushes by composer Michael Gordon.
New York City-based Michael Gordon, composer and founder of the iconic new music organization Bang on a Can, wraps up a recording residency with the performance of this brand new work for seven bassoons.