BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS BIG BEAUTIFUL DARK AND SCARY
Premiere Recordings of Music by LOUIS ANDRIESSEN (with film), DAVID LONGSTRETH (from the Dirty Projectors), CONLON NANCARROW, KATE MOORE, MICHAEL GORDON, DAVID LANG, JULIA WOLFE, and EVAN ZIPORYN
Double album with films from Cantaloupe Music
The Bang on a Can All-Stars have recorded their first studio album in five years, for release on Bang on a Can’s sister-label Cantaloupe Music in 2012. The album, Big Beautiful Dark and Scary, is also the first to include the All-Stars’ current line-up: Ashley Bathgate, cello; Robert Black, bass; Vicky Chow, piano; David Cossin, percussion; Mark Stewart, electric guitar; and Evan Ziporyn, clarinets. In celebration of its 25th birthday, Bang on a Can is giving a very special gift to the public. The complete, double album will be available to download for free during the first 25 days of January (January 1-25) from www.bangonacan25.org. In exchange, listeners need only share a memory, thought, story, or photo of Bang on a Can from the last 25 years, to be displayed online. The result will be a scrapbook of memories not just from those closest to the organization, but from the many people worldwide that Bang on a Can has touched over the years. And those new to Bang on a Can can still get the free download.
With Big Beautiful Dark and Scary, the Bang on a Can All-Stars show off their blazing speed, polyrhythmic virtuosity and all-world versatility in a return to the core Bang on a Can sound – an uncategorizable supermix of classical and electric instruments that is part classical ensemble, part rock band, and part jazz sextet. The album is the first in a decade that features the All-Stars exclusively, rather than as part of a collaborative project. Each of the pieces on the double-CD calls upon a different kind of virtuosity, demonstrating the range of musical abilities and experiences arguably unique to this ensemble. Recorded in New York City, all of the music on Big Beautiful Dark and Scary (including the arrangements of the works by Conlon Nancarrow) were written for and premiered by the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
The album features Four Player Piano Studies by the legendary recluse Conlon Nancarrow, who lived most of his adult life in Mexico City. To escape the limitations of human performance, Nancarrow wrote much of his music for player piano, resulting in music that is nearly impossible for live performers. For the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the key word here is “nearly.” In fact, the Bang on a Can All-Stars have been championing a number of these studies in breathtaking arrangements by Evan Ziporyn that bring out the music’s extreme, machine-like, rapid fire rhythmic layering alongside Nancarrow’s bluesy, boogie-woogie feel.