Entries tagged with: World Financial Center
photos by David Andrako
Oneohtrix Point Never w/ A Far Cry at World Financial Center - 7/14/12
Oneohtrix Point Never (aka Daniel Lopatin), who also played Pitchfork fest over the weekend, and Bang on a Can composer David Lang played the second installment of the Ecstatic Summer concert series at the World Financial Center on Saturday (7/14).
"The composers were Daniel Lopatin, who produces electronic works under the name Oneohtrix Point Never; William Brittelle, whose works are vibrant amalgams of jazz, rock and postmodern chamber music; and David Lang, part of the Bang on a Can triumvirate, whose music ranges widely but most often combines strains of Minimalism and Neo-Romanticism.In the way that these 'Ecstatic' events go, Oneohtrix Point Never played a partial set of solo material and was then joined by string ensemble A Far Cry Orchestra to perform newly arranged renditions of his work with arrangements by Brittelle.
Mr. Lang, the oldest and most firmly established of the three (he won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008), had top billing, but in a way this was Mr. Lopatin's show." [NY Times]
Ecstatic Summer continues and ends at the World Financial Center on August 25 with Escort and Darcy James Argue's Secret Society. The first show in the seires featured Tune-Yards.
Oneohtrix Point Never's next scheduled NYC show is the 'Yo Eskerikk Asko NYC!' festival, which goes down at Public Assembly from August 24 - 25 with Glenn Brenca, Tim Hecker, Colin L. Orchestra, White Suns, and more.
More pictures from Ecstatic Summer are below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Buddy Guy bring the blues to the people, 7/11/2012
Nothing says the blues like the World Financial Center, in the heart of Battery Park City, with massive VIP pens of suits and their female equivalents...Buddy Guy would eventually jam with the 13-year-old prodigy to end an evening of blues at World Financial Center last night (7/11), the first of the two-night Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival. Pictures of Buddy Guy, John Mayall, and Quinn Sullivan are are in this post.
You don't need me to tell you really how this gig went. What can I tell you about Buddy Guy and John Mayall? These are padres of respective kinds of the blues. This is major historical legendary territory. Who am I to wax any kind of authoritative narrative about these men and what they do? I can tell you a little bit about Quinn Sullivan - 13 years old and plays the blues guitar (and the git in general) like another Kenny Wayne or D. Trucks. We can say we saw him when...I hope. Oh I can tell you one thing about Mr. Guy, who I think is still soloing on "Hootchie Cootchie Man" as I write this the next day (I am making that up): he had to sass the crowd for not even being with it to shout "son of a gun" during this top 5 blues classic. "I played India 3 weeks ago," he said, "and they didn't fuck it up as bad as you", he told the crowd. -[Sonic Parthenon]
As mentioned, the free festival continues tonight (7/12) with appearances from Neko Case, Charles Bradley and the Extraordinaires and He's My Brother, She's My Sister.
More pictures of night one, below...
WHEN: Wednesday, July 11 and Thursday, July 12, 2012More details in our original post on the "fest".
TIME: 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. EST
WHERE: World Financial Center Plaza
220 Vesey Street (West Street and North End Avenue)
COST: FREE - No tickets or reservations required
PRESENTER: Brookfield Office Properties
photos by Godlis
Merrill Garbus at World Financial Garden - 6/30/12
tUnE-yArDs mastermind Merrill Garbus teamed up with Roomful of Teeth, William Britelle and Judd Greenstein & The Yehudim on June 30 to kick off the indie/classical Ecstatic Summer concert series, which is part of the River to River festival and happens this summer at the World Financial Center. Merrill played both solo and with vocal group Roomful of Teeth, who also performed Merrill and William Britelle compositions at the show. Merrill's set included tUnE-yArDs songs including a new one called "Not Dead Yet." The Yehudim, who count Olga Bell as a member, opened the show (and that's why Olga couldn't be in Montauk with her new band Dirty Projectors that night. Olga has since played Music Hall and Prospect Park with the Projectors who she is now on tour with). Here are some pictures from the Ecstatic show.
The series of free shows continues this Saturday (7/14) with Oneohtrix Point Never, David Lang, and A Far Cry Orchestra. As mentioned, "The third show is on August 25 and will feature Brooklyn disco orchestra Escort collaborating with the equally large Darcy James Argue's Secret Society."
In other tUnE-yArDs news, bassist Nate Brenner also has a solo project called Naytronix, under which he will release his debut LP, Dirty Glow, on October 9 via Plug Research. That LP will be supported with a TBA fall tour, which includes MusicFestNW. The cover art, tracklist, and a video for the appropriately named track, "Robotic," are below, along with more pictures from the Ecstatic Summer show.
Glenn Branca Ensemble at last year's Marathon (more by Andrew Frisicano)
As previously announced, the 2012 River to River Festival will kick off with the annual 12-hour Bang on a Can Marathon on June 17 from noon to midnight at the World Financial Center Winter Garden:
Some highlights include Bang on a Can All-Stars, astonishing cellist Maya Beiser, Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening Band, sound pioneer Alvin Lucier, indie guitar sensation Kaki King, jazz genius Matthew Shipp, music by David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors), Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Steve Reich, David T Little, Ruby Fulton, Michael Harrison; film by Bill Morrison, and much more. Stay all Day!River to River just released the full Bang on a Can Marathon schedule which is detailed below.
Presented by River To River Festival, Arts Brookfield and Bang on a Can.
Meanwhile, you can also catch Thurston Moore in NYC tonight (5/31) with Bill Nace and Joe McPhee.
Bang on a Can Marathon last year (more by Andrew Frisicano)
Bang on a Can, who recently celebrated their 25th anniversary with a big show at Lincoln Center, bring the annual, free Marathon back to the World Financial Center Winter Garden this year from June 17,12PM - June 18, 12AM...
Bang on a Can brings its 25 Year celebration back downtown with its incomparable 12-hour super-mix of boundary-busting music from around the corner and around the globe. What started as a scruffy loft concert in Soho back in 1987, now ranks among the iconic annual concert events in NYC. This year's edition features rare performances by some of the most innovative musicians of our time side-by-side with some of today's newest music pioneers. Some highlights include Bang on a Can All-Stars, astonishing cellist Maya Beiser, Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening Band, sound pioneer Alvin Lucier, indie guitar sensation Kaki King, jazz genius Matthew Shipp, music by David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors), Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Steve Reich, David T Little, Ruby Fulton, Michael Harrison; film by Bill Morrison, and much more. Stay all Day!Stay tuned for more details.
Presented by River To River Festival, Arts Brookfield and Bang on a Can.
Neko Case in Long Island in 2011 (more by Greg Cristman)
READS THE PRESS RELEASE:
BUDDY GUY, NEKO CASE TO HEADLINE FREE OUTDOOR BLUES FESTIVAL ON HUDSON RIVER WATERFRONT, JULY 11-12Charles Bradley also has shows coming up at Beacon Theater, in Asbury Park and elsewhere.
Second annual Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival, NYC's only free summer blues festival, returns with stellar lineup of living legends and groundbreaking new stars
Brookfield Office Properties today announced that Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy, fresh from jamming with President Obama at an all-star concert at the White House last month, will join celebrated chanteuse Neko Case to headline a free two-day blues music festival in Lower Manhattan on July 11th and 12th.
Cementing its status as one of the city's premiere free summer festivals, the second annual Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival will return to the spectacular outdoor plaza at the World Financial Center with full headlining sets from Buddy Guy and, in her first concert of 2012, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Neko Case. The two-day free concert will also feature an exceptional lineup of renowned blues acts and rising stars like John Mayall, Charles Bradley and the Extraordinaires, He's My Brother She's My Sister, and Quinn Sullivan.
Full Lowdown Hudson Blues Fest lineup by day with more info, below....
This is the info:
Jóhann is making landfall in North America for three exciting and unique performances. The first stop is New York City. Jóhann will perform in its entirety his most recent release: the haunting soundtrack to Bill Morrison's film The Miners' Hymns.. This performance features a 22 piece brass and string ensemble and will be accompanied by a screening of the documentary. The event will take place at the World Financial Center's Winter Garden. on January 31st as part of WNYC's Wordless Music Series, hosted by John Schaefer. - Admission is free; no tickets or reservations needed!If you can't make tonight's show, you can also listen to the stream.
Next stop is Winnipeg, Manitoba, where, on February 3rd, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra will perform the world premiere of Jóhann's A Prayer to the Dynamo, a new 40 minute piece commissioned by the WSO for the Winnipeg New Music Festival.. The piece takes its title from Henry Adams' poem inspired by his mystical experience in the Great Hall of Dynamos at the World´s Fair in Paris in the year 1900.
Finally, Jóhann goes west to Los Angeles, where he'll be joined by the Formalist Quartet for a retrospective concert at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. on February 8th. This will follow a performance on KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic," which airs on Tuesday, Feb. 7th at 11:15 PST.
photos by Ryan Muir
"Just met Taj Mahal after seeing him perform at the Lowdown Hudson Blues festival in NYC! My night is complete!" - Tatiana
American blues legend Taj Mahal played a free show at World Financial Center Plaza Thursday night (7/28) with Amy LaVere and Mike Farris. Taj Mahal played with his group, the Taj Mahal trio, as part of the Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival. Pictures are on this post.
The Taj Mahal Trio has more North American dates scheduled for the next few months including a show at Brooklyn Bowl on September 20. Tickets are on sale now. All tour dates and more pictures from the WFC show below...
"Rufus Wainwright and the City Opera singers/pianist that came with him put on a really lovely and charming show tonight. #FillsMyHeart" - Jennifer Jones
Crowd at Rufus' World Financial Center show (via Daniel Mazur)
Rufus Wainwright packed the house (as pictured above) when he performed excerpts from his opera Prima Donna at World Financial Center on Tuesday (6/28). According to Dumbo Books of Brooklyn, the fantastic performance also featured:
Arias from Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, Bizet and Massenet performed by soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird, mezzo-soprano Laura Vlasak Nolen, tenor Robert Mack, and bass-baritone Matthew Burns, and Kevin Murphy, City Opera director of music administration, on the piano, and a couple of great Rufus Wainwright non-opera songs, 'Damned Ladies"' and the exquisite 'Who Are You New York?'Check out a video from the performance below.
Rufus also recently recorded a cover of Richard Thompson's "Down Where the Drunkards Roll" with his father Loudon Wainwright III. Check out a video of the recording session over at The Guardian.
Loudon will be at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square on July 7 performing music and reading from his essay "My Cool Life" which comes with his new 40 Odd Years boxed set. Priority seating is available with the purchase of the box set which Loudon will be signing copies of. The event starts at 5 PM.
The video of Rufus below...
words & photos by Andrew Frisicano
"13 consecutive hours of experimental and avant-garde noodling" - NY Times on the Bang on a Can Marathon as quoted by Glenn Branca
The 2011 Bang on a Can Marathon went down on Sunday, June 19th, at the World Financial Center in NYC. As usual, a healthy contingent stayed for the duration (not me, I made it from around 5pm to the end). But even in just those last few hours there were some incredible performances. I caught Bang on a Can All-Stars playing with Philip Glass (who also opened with a solo performance of his "Metamorphosis IV"), a lively set from Sun Ra Arkestra, a show-stealing piece by Evan Ziporyn for himself and three other clarinetists, and a closing, full-on rock set by Glenn Branca Ensemble, who played from his album The Ascension: The Sequel.
Before that, Signal performed a droning, dramatic piece by BoaC cofounder Julia Wolfe, and Talea Ensemble and soprano Tony Arnold lead the NY premiere "An Index of Metals" by Fausto Romitelli, which tapped a laptop for atmospherics that bounced around the room's different speakers. Asphalt Orchestra similarly made good use of the Winter Garden space, marching around various quadrants of the room (and starting off the day with an outdoor performance). As you'll see in the pictures below, the Sun Ra Arkestra also made their way around the room, leaving the stage in a procession to the back.
As with past years, the Winter Garden was an adequate but not ideal venue. The sound could vary dramatically in different corners of the massive room, from bone dry in front of the stage to an echoey wash-out in the wings and the back (most noticeable when a speaker takes the mic, and is unintelligible from various vantage points). At the same time, the open space encourages the concert's free-flowing, low-pressure atmosphere, which is a huge part of its recurring appeal.
More pictures from the day, and a couple of videos, below...
Asphalt Orchestra at Lincoln Center (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
The Bang on a Can Marathon returns on Sunday (6/19) with a mammoth thirteen hours of FREE live music kicking off at 11AM at NYC's World Financial Center Winter Garden (200 Vesey Street). Featuring over 150 musicians/composers, the fest includes performances from, and compositions by, names like Philip Glass, Glenn Branca Ensemble, Sun Ra Arkestra, David Byrne/Annie Clark, Bryce Dessner, Frank Zappa, Bjork, Yoko Ono, and many more. The full lineup and schedule is below.
House of Rufus will be released on July 18 and contain 19 discs including 6 studio albums, 2 concerts on CD, 4 discs of rarities/demos/collaborations/etc, and 6 DVDs. "All of this will be housed in a beautiful red velvet encased, 90-page hardback book containing rare and unseen photos, Rufus' early hand-drawn tour posters, handwritten lyrics, four art prints and other memorabilia, extensive sleeve notes featuring interviews with Neil Tennant, Martha Wainwright, Linda Thompson and Lenny Waronker and an introduction by Rufus." The set is up for pre-order now, and more details can be found on Rufus's site.
No tickets needed for this one though:
Tuesday June 28, 2011Other free shows this summer at NYC's World Financial Center include the 12-hour Bang on a Can Marathon and two shows by Ivan & Alyosha
New York City Opera - Rufus Wainwright Goes To the Opera!
Presented by Arts World Financial Center
Join New York City Opera singers, pianist Kevin Murphy, and the great singer/songwriter and opera composer, Rufus Wainwright, who hosts a performance featuring excerpts from his opera Prima Donna (which receives its New York premiere at New York City Opera in Spring 2012) and a selection of his favorite arias. Wainwright will also perform excerpts from a selection of songs inspired by his love of opera.
7pm. World Financial Center Winter Garden, 220 Vesey Street.
Rufus debuted a new song in March at a benefit called the Hope North Ping Pong Ball. Watch a video of that below...
photos by Kyle Dean Reinford
Ivan and Alyosha & NYC's Living Room
Seattle's Ivan & Alyosha played a pair of NYC dates in March: 3/3 at Bowery Ballroom supporting Bobby Long and 3/4 at the Living Room (where these pictures come from). Since then they visited SXSW, and hopped on tour with John Vanderslice. That tour ends in Seattle on 4/21. In June they'll return to NYC to play two free shows in one day at NYC's World Financial Center. That's listed like this:
Ivan & AlyoshaUPDATE: These two shows are NOT the same day.
Presented by Arts World Financial Center and Arts Brookield
Seattle's Ivan & Alyosha are not nihilist indie rockers, but a new brand of tender dreamers. They navigate the music world contemplating their path as a band, and, despite the uncertainty, Ivan & Alyosha's soulful folk tunes suggest a band inspired, hopeful, and longing, unafraid to probe their collective faith and doubts. Acoustic, 12:30pm. One New York Plaza. Also full band, 5:30pm. June 23 World Financial Center Plaza, 220 Vesey Street.
All tour dates and more pictures from the Living Room are below....
Asphalt Orchestra outside Lincoln Center in 2010 (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
Sunday June 19For more on what this 12-hour free show is like, check out our pictures from 2010.
Bang on a Can Marathon
Presented by Bang on A Can and Arts World Financial Center
Bang on a Can returns with its incomparable 12-hour super-mix of genre-defying music featuring over 150 astounding musicians and composers from throughout the world. Highlights include Philip Glass performing live with the Bang on a Can All-Stars; music by Bryce Dessner of The National; sonic downtown legend Glenn Branca; the outerplanetary Sun Ra Arkestra; the Asphalt Orchestra playing music by David Byrne/Annie Clark, Yoko Ono, and Frank Zappa; the intrepid Signal in a blistering string orchestra work by Julia Wolfe plus New York premieres by Richard Ayers, Fausto Romitelli, Poul Ruders, Toby Twining and much more! 12pm-12am. World Financial Center Winter Garden, 220 Vesey Street.
Meanwhile catch Bang on a Can performing Steve Reich at Carnegie Hall on April 30th.
In July Bang on a Can head to MASS MoCA for 20 days. Details below...
Alloy Orchestra - Terry Donahue, Ken Winokur, Roger Miller
ALLOY ORCHESTRA is a three man musical ensemble, writing and performing live accompaniment to classic silent films. Working with an outrageous assemblage of peculiar objects, they thrash and grind soulful music from unlikely sources.Mission of Burma's Roger Miller has been a member of the Alloy Orchestra since 1999, when he replaced original member Caleb Sampson who took his own life. Between the reincarnated Mission of Burma, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, Alloy, the occasional guitar lesson and other projects, Roger keeps busy.
Performing at prestigious film festivals and cultural centers in the US and abroad (The Telluride Film Festival, The Louvre, Lincoln Center, The Academy of Motion Pictures, the National Gallery of Art and others), Alloy has helped revive some of the great masterpieces of the silent era.
An unusual combination of found percussion and state-of-the-art electronics gives the Orchestra the ability to create any sound imaginable. Utilizing their famous "rack of junk" and electronic synthesizers, the group generates beautiful music in a spectacular variety of styles. They can conjure up a French symphony or a simple German bar band of the 20's. The group can make the audience think it is being attacked by tigers, contacted by radio signals from Mars or swept up in the Russian Revolution.
Alloy collaborates with some of the worlds best archives and collectors (such as the George Eastman House, The British Film Institute, Paramount pictures, Film Preservation Associates and The Douris Corporation) to present audiences with the very best available prints of some of history's greatest film.
Mission of Burma are playing twice in NYC at the end of January. Alloy Orchestra are playing three free NYC shows in February. More details below...
photos by Greg Cristman
Robert Fripp, the man behind "Frippertronics" and the brain behind progressive kingpins King Crimson, played four shows at the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center in NYC on 12/3 and 12/4. Each day he played at 12:30pm - especially convenient for the downtown lunch crowd on Friday, and again at 7:30pm. The shows were billed as "Soundscapes", "site-specific, often done in majestic spaces, and always created in the spirit of the moment..."
"Fripp played his sunburst colored Les Paul as he sat next to a rack of devices and floor pedals. The tone was clear and went through different loops and sound delay. There are no hard riffs or arpeggios, but instead light orchestral spacey phrases occasionally punctuated with some minimalistic soloing. The closest thing to compare soundscapes to for the uninitiated is probably film soundtrack music. The relaxing calm of the music appeared to comment on, but not be interrupted by the holiday noise of shoppers and tourists that came in and out of the atrium. The music works as something that you can sample and walk away from by design, take from it what you will. The only identifiable familiar part of the almost hour long set was a brief quotation from the 1974 King Crimson album Red from the song "Starless."" [Mark's Music Loft]That review came from the third of four shows. The pictures in this post are from the 2nd, and more of them are below...
"Robert Fripp, the famed English guitarist, composer, and founder of the prog-rock band, King Crimson, takes up a brief residency in the Winter Garden to perform his solo Soundscapes. Based on his Frippertronics explorations of the '70s, Fripp now creates lush sonic tapestries with electric guitar and digital effects. Each performance of Soundscapes is site-specific, often done in majestic spaces, and always created in the spirit of the moment.This is happening at the World Financial Center in NYC today, Friday December 3rd at 12:30 pm and 7pm, and Saturday at the same two times. Free.
This performance is part of New Sounds Live, curated by John Schaefer, host and producer of WNYC Radio's popular shows New Sounds and Soundcheck"
by Andrew Frisicano
The annual Bang on a Can Marathon took over the World Financial Center Winter Garden Sunday, June 27th for 13 hours (one over the expected 12).
As evidenced in the pictures below, I only caught the last quarter or so of the night (it the was the same day as Gil Scott-Heron in Central Park). The day was packed with curiosity-provoking sets, like the US premiere of Fausto Romitelli's "Professor Bad Trip," performed by the Talea Ensemble...
Broken into three "lessons," the dense piece vividly communicated a kind of doomed atmosphere, beginning with sighing, deflating sounds pouring out of the winds and violins and pitched percussion nervously skittering, and later growing into thunderous sound from the full chamber orchestra. The highlight came in the second section, with a pained, growling cello solo played with impressive control by Chris Gross.When I arrived, a group of musicians, Slagwerk Den Haag, were scribbling furiously (and rhythmically) on chalk boards.
While Romitelli had his share of devotees, there was a clear sense of relief with the contrast Buke and Gass offered next. Playing their namesake baritone ukelele (buke) and guitar-bass hybrid (it's pronounced "gase"), and a drum with tambourines embedded, their emphatic, quirky brand of rock, enhanced by buke player Arone Dyer's pure folk-singer voice, was exactly what the crowd needed.
[NJ Star Ledger]
A focus toward the end seemed to be video projections, which accompanied the double bass loops of Florent Ghys, guitarist Tim Brady's wall of sound, and the night's final performance by Signal, Shelter, a piece composed by Bang on a Can heads Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe. Burkina Electric provided a late-evening burst of energy with West African dance music (they play Celebrate Brooklyn on July 8th and Central Park on July 25th).
Q2 will be broadcasting music from this year's Marathon in August (as will WNYC's New Sounds), so look out for that.
More pictures are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Bang on a Can 2009 (photo by Stephanie Berger)
The schedule is up for this year's Bang on a Can Marathon, the free day-long affair hosted at the World Financial Center Winter Garden. This year's 12-hour show takes place on Sunday, June 27th from noon to midnight. It starts with a performance by John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble and closes with sets by Burkina Electric (who also play SummerStage), and new music ensemble Signal doing a piece by BoaC cofounders Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe. The entire thing is posted below. There's also a Youtube playlist of this year's artists to get yourself acquainted.
The Marathon will be recorded for an episode of WNYC's New Sounds in August, but before that the station will be broadcasting and streaming (on Q2) parts of BoaC marathons past (possibly including 2007's 27-hour fest, 2008's 4am Dan Deacon set or parts of last year's thoroughly enjoyable show).
The full schedule and details on the radio programming are below...
After many months of planning, Wordless Music is deliriously proud to announce details of Warp20 NYC, the second and only U.S. installment in a series of worldwide events taking place this year in Paris, Tokyo, London, and Sheffield.The fest so far includes a September 4th show at Terminal 5 with Battles, !!!, Prefuse 73 and Pivot. Tickets go on AmEx presale today at noon. General sale starts Friday, July 24th at noon.
Warp20 NYC will be a four-day celebration of the music, films, and 20th anniversary of the the peerless UK label Warp Records, without which there would surely have never been a Wordless Music series.
On September 3-6, in venues across New York City, Warp artists Battles, Flying Lotus, Chris Clark, !!!, Prefuse 73, Pivot, and Hudson Mohawke will headline shows in two different venues, while The New Museum offers free and continuous screenings of full-length features, documentaries, music videos, and shorts from several dozen directors hailing from around the globe.
The other confirmed fest show will be a free concert at the World Financial Center Winter Garden with Flying Lotus, Chris Clark and Hudson Mohawke on September 5th.
The "kick off" for Warp20 NYC (two months before the fest...) will be tonight's (7/22) Alarm Will Sound show at (Le) Poisson Rouge. The program for the night commemorates the five-year anniversary of the group's 2005 album Acoustica with chamber orchestra arrangements of music by Aphex Twin, Autechre, Mochipet, John Dowland, and The Beatles. Nic Offer from the band !!! will DJ the late show. Tickets for both the late and early shows are still on sale.
Also starting tonight (7/22), and also celebrating 20 years of a record label's existence: XX Merge (the Merge Records party in North Carolina).
The full program for tonight's LPR show, with more info on Warp20 NYC, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Ryuichi Sakamoto & the Bang on a Can All-Stars
"This year's marathon offered works by 28 composers on Sunday, from noon to just past midnight, at the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan. Like the last several, it was presented as a free concert, part of the River to River Festival. Early in the day listeners came and went, but by 5 p.m. the center's atrium (which holds 2,000) was packed, and it remained so to the end." [NY Times]Sunday, May 31st was the 22nd annual Bang on a Can Marathon in the World Financial Center's Winter Garden. The 2008 fest ran from 6pm to 6am, with a 4am Dan Deacon set in the early morning lull. This year's concert took a more diurnal approach, with a noon start and a finish coming after Tortoise's encore-less set a little past midnight. When the final introducer asked who'd been there since noon, a weary cheer came from that select but healthy part of crowd. Near night's finale, the Winter Garden stairs and seats were all full, and as Tortoise set up, even more filtered in, perhaps from one of the other shows that night.
Around 10pm, Ryuichi Sakamoto sat behind the room's piano for a quiet solo piece punctuated by sparks of crackling static. Mid-set he paused to call a BoaC tech over to fix the piano, before finishing with a burst of dreamy chords and carefully spare melodies.
After welcoming the Bang on a Can All-Stars on stage (a sextet of guitar, bass, percussion, cello, keys and clarinet), Sakamoto and two band members "conducted" with pocket mirrors, reflecting the room's lights on the white backdrop in what looked like lens flare from a sunny photo. The sustained textures of the ensemble's first piece gave way to a more structured, percussive songs that focused on a repeating three-bar phrase and its variations.
The BoaC All-Stars remained on stage for their performance of Steve Martland's Horses of Instruction, apparently an old standard for the group. They certainly had fun with it, adding percussionist Eduardo Leandro on marimba. Clarinetist Evan Ziporyn traded for a tenor sax as he led the piece jumping and gesticulating through the changes. The busy work juxtaposed the restrained Sakamoto songs with parts that moved from shredding cello to Frisell-like guitar comping to swinging and pulsating drums. The song was a sufficient energy boost to prep the crowd for Tortoise, who'd be closing the night.
Tortoise was recently discussed at length in a review of their show at the Bell House one night earlier, but briefly speaking, the band played a short, 7-song set largely driven by its two drum kits. Other songs abandoned the drums for malleted percussion, which moved the group away from driving jams to more minimal pastures. Their volume drowned out the room's rattling air conditioners, but at times the drums, right up front, overwhelmed the total group sound in the echoing hall. Granted, shifting, propulsive beats are kind of Tortoise's raison d'être, and their groove-heavy songs capped the Marathon with engaging, kinetic energy. A collection of psyched devotees jammed along in an area next to the stage.
The Marathon officially kicked off this year's River to River Festival, which will host many shows throughout the summer. Tortoise will be back as well, with a July tour that includes a show at (Le) Poisson Rouge.
Bang on a Can will use the Marathon's momentum to host two benefits this week -- both taking place Wednesday, June 3rd at LPR. The big-money early show and bargain-priced late show will feature established big names and talented up-and-comers, respectively. More specifically, Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, David Cossin, Wu Man, Maya Beiser, Talujon and Doug Aitken appear for the intimate dinner and music early benefit. So Percussion, Gutbucket, Newspeak and NOW Ensemble hold it down late. Tickets for the late show are still on sale.
Check out some videos from the whole day, and a few more pics from the late-night portion, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
The Bang on a Can Marathon returns to World Financial Center for its fourth year to kick-off the 2009 River To River Festival on May 31st. The 12-hour marathon (noon-midnight) of mind-boggling, genre-bending music will include Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tortoise, Bill Frisell, Bang on a Can All-Stars and more.Those acts will be performing "music composed by Gavin Bryars, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Evan Ziporyn, and many more." The annual NYC event is free.
As previously reported, Tortoise will play a Saturday, May 30th show at the Bell House, in addition to the Marathon. Tortoise also has an appearance at Pitchfork Fest, plus a new album coming out and a track on Thrill Jockey's Record Store Day comp.
Michael Gordon, whose work will be performed at the Bang on a Can Marathon, is also having his composition Trance performed by Signal at a (Le) Poisson Rouge show on Wednesday, April 22nd.
The Japan Times recently profiled Japanese pianist and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who will be performing at the Bang on a Can Marathon, about his 30 year career and his connections with David Bowie, John Cage, and others. Read an excerpt from that, with videos of Sakamoto solo and with Iggy Pop, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Dorit Chrysler @ World Financial Center, 2008 (more by Ryan Muir)
The next free show at NYC's World Financial Center will be "Songs of Love & Despair: A Musical Tribute to Pablo Neruda" on Wednesday, April 15th. The event, "curated and produced by David Spelman, known worldwide for his biannual New York Guitar Festival," will include Clogs, Irene & Vojtech Havel, Colin Stetson, Pedro Soler with Benat Achiary, Bob Holman, Laurie Anderson & Cecilia Vicuna. The last show for Clogs (the instrumental band w/ members of The National) was at BAM on February 26th.
The Pablo Neruda tribute will take place in WFC's Winter Garden (220 Vesey St) -- the same spot as the annual Bang on a Can Marathon which is scheduled this year for Sunday, May 31st. Tortoise will be performing at that event.
If you haven't been to the venue (where all shows are free), "The World Financial Center is a complex of buildings across West Street from the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan in New York City, overlooking the Hudson River. This complex is home to offices of major corporations including Merrill Lynch and American Express as well as Dow Jones and its Wall Street Journal division among others. The entire complex is owned by Brookfield Properties, except for the space occupied by American Express."
Also performing there this summer will be Anthony Gonzalez from M83 on Tuesday, July 14th.
Mountains, who we wrote about in February, play the venue on Tuesday, July 7th with Scanner.
More WFC dates with descriptions, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
M83 @ Webster Hall (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
M83 has been added to Pitchfork Festival, which is taking place from July 17th - Sunday, July 19th in Chicago. Other bands added to the bill include Black Lips, Fucked Up, Wavves, the Dutchess and the Duke, and Matt and Kim. The whole, updated lineup is below. Tickets for the fest are still on sale.
Five days before he performs in Chicago, M83's Anthony Gonzalez will perform a free show at NYC's World Finanial Center Winter Garden (July 14th). For that NYC gig:
Anthony Gonzalez, M83's chief stargazer, performs a special one-off ambient performance. New York-based artist Janet Biggs begins the night with a screening of her short film, Vanishing Point.The NYC show announcement is one of the first for the mostly unannounced 2009 River to River Festival (a series of free shows at various venues all over NYC all summer). More WFC show updates on the way.
More Pitchfork Fest info below...