People’s Commissioning Fund Concert
January 20, 2022
7:30 PM ET
Live Stream Will Appear On This Page
Presented by Kaufman Music Center as part of the
Ecstatic Music series in Merkin Hall
Hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer and New Sounds Live
We’re presenting an unprecedented, expanded All-Stars featuring three outstanding additional players in Allison Loggins-Hull on flute, Jen Baker on trombone and David Byrd-Marrow on horn. We’re premiering new commissions from Tomeka Reid, Ken Thomson, Fred Frith, Nick Dunston, Soo Yeon Lyuh, Aeryn Santillan, Jeffrey Brooks and Trevor Weston. If you prefer to attend the concert in-person, just go to Merkin Hall’s page.
Fred Frith: Which It Is *
Tomeka Reid: UNTETHERED*
Jeffrey Brooks: Santuario II **
Nick Dunston: Fainting is Down, Whooshing is Up **
Ken Thomson: Performative *
Soo Yeon Lyuh: See You on the Other Side**
Aeryn Santillan: disconnect.**
Trevor Weston: Rainbows and Butterflies **
**world premiere arrangement
BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS
Jen Baker – trombone
Robert Black – double bass and electric bass
David Byrd-Marrow – horn
David Cossin – percussion
David Friend – piano and keyboard
Arlen Hlusko – cello
Allison Loggins-Hull – flute and piccolo
Mark Stewart – 6-string and double-neck electric guitar
Ken Thomson – clarinet and bass clarinet
Soo Yeon Lyuh – haegum (Korean two-string bowed instrument)
Garth MacAleavey – sound engineer
- Santuario II, by Jeffrey Brooks was commissioned by the People’s Commissioning Fund, with original support for the Pandemic Solo Santuario from Jane and Richard Stewart.
- Fainting is Down, Whooshing is Up, by Nick Dunston, was commissioned by Bang on a Can with the generous support of Charles Read.
- Which It Is, by Fred Frith, was commissioned by Bang on a Can with the generous support of The Robert D. Bielecki Foundation.
- See You on the Other Side, by Soo Yeon Lyuh, was commissioned by The Antonia and Vladimer Kulaev Cultural Heritage Fund, Inc. with original commission support for the “Pandemic Solo” version of See You on the Other Side from Lisa Bauso & Joe Rojas
- UNTETHERED, by Tomeka Reid, was commissioned by Bang on a Can with the generous support of The Antonia and Vladimer Kulaev Cultural Heritage Fund.
- disconnect., by Aeryn Santillan, was commissioned by Bang on a Can with the generous support of Richard Ferrante.
- Performative, by Ken Thomson, was commissioned by Bang on a Can with the generous support of Robert & Pamela Howell.
- Rainbows and Butterflies, by Trevor Weston, was commissioned by the People’s Commissioning Fund, with original support for the “Pandemic Solo” version of Rainbows and Butterflies from Arlene & Larry Dunn.
Fred Frith: Which It Is
Which It Is was composed during a residency in the village of Guarda in Unterengadines, Switzerland in the summer of 2021. It kind of wrote itself, maybe because of my absolute confidence that the All-Stars can play this kind of stuff with aplomb. I’ve made quite a few pieces for choreographers over the years, and spent a lot of time back in 1978 exploring dance music while preparing the record Gravity. The chance to revisit the territory in this rather particular guise was both intriguing and exciting.
Tomeka Reid: UNTETHERED
Untethered is a musical response to the moment that I believe we have all been witnessing. On the one hand, there is this driving rhythm that we want, have been comfortable with or have felt tethered to yet we are being forced to not only reflect but to break free from this pattern and find new ways of existing. In this piece I am exploring what that means for myself, wishing to be untethered—free, even wild, and unapologetically— of many things and wishing that there wasn’t so much push back from so many sides to this new world we are all entering and experiencing.
Jeffrey Brooks: Santuario II
I think there is a general misunderstanding of the term “orchestration.” It is the idea that orchestration is a separate activity from composing and roughly analogous to coloring within the lines in a coloring book.
You may overhear at a concert things like “I love Mahler’s orchestration.” which can be translated as “Mahler put the melody in the English Horn instead of the 1st violin” or “Ravel is such a wonderful orchestrator” which means “Ravel put the melody in the tenor sax instead of the 1st violin” or “I’m not sure what to make of Darius Milhaud’s orchestration” which means “I wish he would stop putting the melody in the Tenor Sax and English Horn and put it back in the 1st violin.” It’s the idea that orchestration is something that happens after the composition is finished. For me, every new piece begins with an overall sound. That sound exists only in my imagination. The Sound IS the Piece. Orchestration for me is realizing that Sound for the available resources. The “imagined sound” may include certain rhythms. pitches, procedures but the composing process remains: Imagine a sound. Realize the sound.
So what does it mean when a composer is asked to re-orchestrate one of their existing pieces? The Sound has already been imagined and realized. But the available sources have changed. This was the problem I faced in re-orchestrating my piece, Santuario, (originally for solo, double necked, electric guitar and “looper pedal”) for a nine member ensemble. I needed to reconnect with the musical essence behind the solo piece and imagine a new sound that could be realized by the nine player All-Stars. While the new work shares some musical DNA with the original, Santuario, it has a completely separate musical identity.
Nick Dunston: Fainting is Down, Whooshing is Up
Cells expand, tissues compress, organ systems move at their own intuition. Deeply inspired by Robert Black’s gorgeous multitudes of performances of “Fainting is Down, Whooshing is Up”; this augmented iteration of the piece serves as a step in the feedback loop (but maybe network of neural pathways is a more appropriate metaphor) of collaboration, agency, and the spaces between potential and kinetic energy.
Ken Thomson: Performative
Performative is about the dance we do to align our own words and actions with those of the society with which we, either by choice or inheritance, surround ourselves; and how our words and actions signify to others the culture to which we would like to belong.
Soo Yeon Lyuh: See You On the Other Side
See You On the Other Side emerges from an array of sounds I improvised after seeing footage of bodies stacked on top of each other in the world’s C-19 hotspots. The piece drew inspiration from the Korean traditional funeral procession, where people pray for the deceased. I reflect the hopes and desires of everyone who believes they can reunite with the departed, despite the sudden, unexpected farewell.
Aeryn Santillan: disconnect.
disconnect. is simply a piece about depression and the feeling of being disconnected from friends, family, the music community, and myself during the beginning of the 2020 pandemic. The recorded samples throughout the piece are from voicemails of calls that I ignored between March-April 2020 – some are misdials, one is my student loan company, and most are my grandma. This piece is a journal entry that encapsulates the emotions I felt and the music I was listening to at the time. Bands like sadness, Capsule, Infant Island, are direct influences. The piece ends on a distorted and stretched sample from my favorite city pop artist – both a reference to my bandmates 2019 SEA/Japan tour a year prior, reminiscent of better times, and also defeating as the chorus is “this is all I have for you.”
Trevor Weston: Rainbows and Butterflies
Rainbows and Butterflies is the product of a collaboration between Trevor Weston and Mark Stewart. I was moved by Mark’s experience connecting with Maya Angelou. Hearing Mark playing the piano to himself after a reception, Maya Angelou sent someone over to tell Mark that she enjoyed his playing. Inspired by that experience, we decided to use quotes from Maya Angelou’s comments, not printed texts, to create the piece. My conversations with Mark shaped and influenced the musical choices and texts to Rainbows and Butterflies.
Suggested Ticket Levels
A big virtual hug and thank you for helping make this and future virtual Marathons possible.
We’d love to list you! For $25 or more, we’ll put your name on the Marathon 2020 website as Ticket Buyer. It’s that easy. Buy a ticket, be a supporter.
$100 and above
Receive the above and reserved seating! Okay, that’s silly. You can sit wherever you want. BUT $100 and above makes you a donor, not just a ticket buyer, and you can get a tax deduction and name on the Marathon website as a PRODUCER! Because you helped us produce the show, and that’s really, really important.
$1,500 – Commissions!
This is a very special category indeed. We are going to try to commission as many pieces as we can over the next few months, before we can all settle into a venue together to hear music together. So…for each $1,500 gift, we will apply the funds in equal parts to the composer, to the performer and to the Marathon 2020 fund that keeps this all going. If you want to know more about these commissions, just send an email to Tim Thomas, email@example.com. Or, when you give $1,500, we’ll contact YOU with info on your composer and when the piece will be premiered. You will also receive a signed score from the composer and our undying gratitude.
Elena Moon Park, Kyla-Rose Smith, Jeremy Thal, Chris Marianetti, Ezra Tenenbaum – hosts
Jody Elff – live stream producer and engineer
Peter Wise – live stream coordinator
Nyokabi Kariuki and Alejandro Salazar – OneBeat production assistants
Denise Burt – logo design
This performance is a continuation of Bang on a Can’s online offerings during the pandemic shutdown. In 2020-2021 our Marathons have featured more than 150 performances, including 60 world premieres of new commissions and over 175 composers and performers.
OneBeat is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and produced by Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation.
Bang on a Can is grateful for the support of these crucial 2020-21 Funders:
Commissioners of New Work at the live online Bang on a Can Online Marathons include Stephen Block, Margaret Cullum, Lawrence Greenfield, Russ Irvin, David Lake & Linda Wright, Herb Leventer, George Lewis, Raulee Marcus, Rob Mason, Gordon Nicol, Maria & Robert A. Skirnick, Jane & Richard Stewart, Connie Steensma & Rick Prins.
Support of the Marathon Performers comes from the Williamson Foundation for Music. Support of Composers/Commissions comes from the ASCAP Foundation. Both funders have been key supporters of our Summer Festival at MASS MoCA, which we look forward to in 2022!
Bang on a Can’s 2021-22 programs are made possible with generous lead support from: Amphion Foundation, ASCAP and ASCAP Foundation, Atlantic Records, Daniel Baldini, Stephen A. Block, Bishop Fund, Jeffrey Calman, Charina Endowment Fund, City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Exploring the Arts, Howard Gilman Foundation, Jaffe Family Foundation,, Alan Kifferstein & Joan Finkelstein, Michael Kushner, Leslie Lassiter, Herb Leventer, MAP Fund, Raulee Marcus, MASS MoCA, Henry S. McNeil, Jr., Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Jeremy Mindich & Amy Smith, Elizabeth Murrell & Gary Haney, National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, New York Community Trust, New York State Council on the Arts (with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature), O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Scopia Capital Management, Matthew Sirovich & Meredith Elson, Maria & Robert A. Skirnick, Jane & Dick Stewart, Sandra Tait and Hal Foster, Trust for Mutual Understanding, Williamson Foundation for Music, Adam Wolfensohn & Jennifer Small, and Wolfensohn Family Foundation.
Bang on a Can’s Board of Directors: Michael Kushner, president; Sandra Tait, vice-president; Alan Kifferstein, Treasurer; Robert A. Skirnick, secretary. Betto Arcos, Daniel Baldini, Jeffrey Bishop, Stephen Block, Jeffrey Calman, Michael Gordon, Lynette Jaffe, David Lang, Leslie Lassiter, George Lewis, Raulee Marcus, Elizabeth Murrell, Jane Stewart, Julia Wolfe, Adam Wolfensohn
Bang on a Can Staff:
Artistic Directors: Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe
Executive Director: Kenny Savelson
Development Director & OneBeat Oversight: Tim Thomas
Project Manager: Philippa Thompson
Producer: Sruly Lazaros
1Beat Co-Directors: Chris Marianetti, Jeremy Thal, Elena Moon Park
1Beat Managers: Kyla-Rose Smith and Ezra Tenenbaum
Accounts Manager: Brian Petuch
Online Store Manager: Adam Cuthbert
Archive Content Manager: Matt Evans
Assistant Store Manager: Cassie Wieland
Publicity: Jensen Artists