Bang on a Can, New York's premiere experimental composition organization, will kick off its 25th season Saturday night with a performance by Bang on a Can All-Stars at Carnegie's Zankel Hall.
The All-Stars, which is the organization's chamber ensemble, will perform a variety of new pieces, many of which will be getting their New York premiere, such as Louis Andriessen's "Life," which will feature an accompanying film by Marijke Van Warmerdam, and David Lang's "Sunray." The performance begins at 9 p.m., and the first 200 audience members to arrive will get a free drink an hour beforehand in the Zankel lounge.
The All-Stars will also perform Michael Gordon's "For Madeline,"and Kate Moore's "Ridgeway," which Moore says "came about when I revisited an ancient trackway that ran through the town where I was born. I remember it well from when I was tiny as it was a terrifying place, ancient ruins that screamed an unwieldy past."
Another composition they will play that night, Lukas Ligeti's "Glamour Girl" is inspired by his work with African music.
"Based on traditional music from Uganda, I developed a polymetric drumset playing technique. Since (All-Star percussionist) David Cossin is fantastic on both classical percussion and drum set, I could use this technique when writing for him," Ligeti says. "The piece explores some of my polymetric composing techniques crossing back and forth between Western and African approaches to writing and music theory."
Bang on a Can will also have a little something for the indie rock fans with three pieces, "Instructional Video," "Matt Damon" and "Breakfast at J&M" that the organization commissioned from David Longstreth of The Dirty Projectors.
Recorded versions of these compositions and more will appear on the upcoming All-Stars album Big Beautiful Dark And Scary which will be released in January via Cantaloupe Music and is clearly crying out for some kind mash-up with Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
The All-Stars have been busy recording and touring, which means they should be in fighting shape for Carnegie.
"Most of this music is on our upcoming CD, and that kind of studio work also always helps us get inside the music," says Evan Ziporyn, All-Star clarinetist.
Saturday night's performance is just the beginning of a busy season for the All-Stars, who will continue to tour the world for the next several months, and are planning a special 25th anniversary concert for April of 2012.