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Having a MoCA at Banglewood

If you thought there couldn’t possibly be any more we could tell you about Bang on a Can events the past couple months, you’re so so wrong!  Starting today and running to the end of the month, The “Banglewood” summer festival at Mass MoCA is underway in North Adams, Massachusetts. (Mass MoCA is the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art there, and the fest’s co-sponser.)  Head on up to find public performances, workshops for participants in everything from Balinese music to improvisation, master classes, music business seminars, and more.

Festival events open to the public this year include daily gallery recitals at 1:30pm and 4:30pm, free with museum admission; the perennially popular Kids Can Too event (July 18, 11:30am); an afternoon conversation with the big guy — Steve Reich — about Sol LeWitt (July 25, 3pm); a performance by Bang on a Can artists of Reich’s seminal work, Music for 18 Musicians (July 25, 8pm); and what BoaC event would be complete without a Marathon – six hours of non-stop new music featuring more than thirty composers and performers (August 1, 4-10pm). There are also two recitals daily in the galleries at 1:30 and 4:30 from July 16-July 31.  The Marathon will include a performance of George Anthiel’s 1924 classic Ballet Mećanique, John AdamsShaker Loops – heard here in its version for seven solo strings, David Lang’s Pierced, Julia Wolfe’s Dark Full Ride, Michael Gordon’s Potassium, music by Meredith Monk, Frederick Rzewski, and more. In between these events, come and hear music by Todd Reynolds, Eric Chasalow, Daniel Wohl, Walter Zimmerman, Olivier Messiaen, Art Jarvinen, Aaron Jay Kernis, Steve Mackey, Jeff Stanek, Louis Andriessen, Gregg August, Derek Johnson, Brad Lubman, Sarah Kirkland Snider and Morton Feldman.

This year’s Festival faculty members include Gregg August (bass), David Cossin (percussion), Katie Geissinger (voice), Michael Gordon (composition), David Lang (composition), Brad Lubman (conducting), Nicholas Photinos (cello), Vicki Ray (piano), Todd Reynolds (violin), Derek Johnson (guitar), Ken Thomson (clarinet, saxophone), and Julia Wolfe (composition). The Festival will be attended by 10 composers and 24 performers  from across the US, as well as from Russia, South Korea, New Zealand, Scotland, Spain, The Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Yeah, it’s not totally free (but not bank-breaking, either) and you’d better bring bug spray, but other than that what’s not to love?