Former longtime New York Times music critic Allan Kozinn and William Robin, author of the new book Industry: Bang on a Can and New Music in the Marketplace explore the evolution of contemporary music over the last 40 years through the lens of the pioneering composer collective Bang on a Can.
The world of contemporary music changed enormously as young composers who felt comfortable not only with Serialism and Minimalism, but with rock, jazz and world music, began pouring out of conservatories and into concert spaces. Among the first to embrace this porous musical aesthetic were the three visionary composers who came together in the late 1980s as Bang on a Can — David Lang, Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe. Evolving from their early concerts of experimental music in crumbling venues on the Lower East Side, they became active entrepreneurs — forming a touring ensemble, making recordings, and presenting their renowned marathons at a new home at Lincoln Center, all while furthering their composing careers. Kozinn and Robin discuss the trajectory of Bang on a Can, its continuation as a vital force in new music, and the state of contemporary music in America today.
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