Bang on a Can Plays Art, MASS MoCA, North Adams, USA

Bang on a Can Plays Art is the culmination of the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA. The festival takes places in the beautiful mountains of Western Massachusetts and is dedicated entirely to the creation, study, and performance of adventurous contemporary music. Featuring three weeks of intensive public performances, recitals and lectures, the final week is a brand-new extravaganza drawing inspiration from the visual art on exhibit in the galleries at MASS MoCA.

Those last eight days will see 14 concerts played to showcase music that interacts with the art on various levels and is performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Festival Artists and Fellows and special guests Steve Reich and Glenn Kotche (of the band Wilco). The music and art speak to one another through a variety of ways: stylistically, thematically, and whimsically.

Artists featured include MacArthur Prize winning artist Ann Hamilton, who has created a series of wearable hand-made paper components during her artistic residency at Dieu Donné. With the help of Bang on a Can All-Stars Mark Stewart and David Cossin, an ensemble of Bang on a Can Fellows will perform the world premiere of Paper Chorus, a piece specially created to explore the sound vocabulary of paper through body movements.

MASS MoCA’s largest gallery is divided into a maze of smaller spaces by artist Izhar Patkin’s piece, The Wandering Veil, and this concept is explored further by Terry Riley’s In C, the national anthem of minimal music. To kick off Bang on a Can Plays Art, Bang on a Can will spread musicians throughout and among Patkin’s massive installation playing Riley’s landmark work in the museum’s largest gallery.

The festival starts on 14 July and will be attended by over 50 cutting-edge composers and performers from around the globe, including over 30 fellows selected from a pool of over 250 applicants from around the world. The festival includes daily performances in the museum galleries, free with museum admission and the final week is a non-stop celebration of art and music combined.

Bang on a Can Plays Art, 14 July – 3 August, The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, 87 Marshall Street, North Adams, MA, USA,

1. Bang on a Can All-Stars copyright 2012 Stephanie Berger