It is with great excitement that I write this post detailing the many performances that I will be taking part in at the 2015 Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival that begins next week. On Monday, I’ll be driving up to North Adams, MA where I will be in residence among about 40 fellows at the festival, which is colloquially referred to as “Banglewood” (a pun on the name of a more traditional music festival, Tanglewood, also in the great state of Massachusetts). The festival performances will take place at the amazing Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, or MassMOCA.

The first order of business at the festival will be the rehearsal and performance of new works by festival composers. I will be performing three new works by composition fellows, Brian Paul, Michael Laurello, and Annika Socolofsky. These three new works are written for the instrumentation of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (clarinet, cello, electric guitar, piano, bass, percussion) and the ensemble will be lead by faculty member and Eighth Blackbird cellist, Nick Photinos. Socolofsky’s work employs “fixed media” and Laurello’s work has me in a very unconventional alternative tuning. Paul’s work gives much of the excitement to the percussionist while I will be providing atmospheric supporting material. These works will be premiered on Monday July 27th.

Co-Founder of Bang on a Can and this year’s winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Music, Julia Wolfe, will have a recital of her music on Friday, July 24. I will be playing her piece, “Lick” as part of this concert. “Lick” was written for the Bang on a Can All-Stars and can be heard on the All-Stars’ recording, “Classics.”

On Saturday July 25, I will be performing Terry Riley’s early and rarely played work, “Tread on the Trail.” Written in 1965 for virtuoso jazz saxophonist, Sonny Rollins, Tread on the Trail has several lines of material that are played by the ensemble in canon creating a wild contrapuntal maze of jazzy melody lines. The ensemble will be lead by New York based violinist and contemporary music specialist, Todd Reynolds.

On July 30, I will be playing in a concert showcasing the works of visiting composer Alvin Lucier. Lucier, best known for his landmark experimental piece, “I am Sitting in a Room,” has written two works for a Bang on a Can All-Stars configuration, “Firewood” and “Canon.”

On August 1, the final “marathon” performance will take place and will be a 6 hour affair. I will be playing a number of exciting pieces during this event. Jeffery Brooks’s new work for chamber orchestra, “Capriccio on the Departure of a Beloved Brother” will be premiered on that date and will be conducted by Brad Lubman of Ensemble Signal. In addition to this piece, I will be performing several pieces in a Bang on a Can All-Stars formation, Meredith Monk’s “Double Fiesta,” Paula Mathusen’s “Ontology of an Echo” and Anna Clyne’s “A Wonderful Day.” In addition to these pieces, I will be playing guitar on David Lang’s “how to pray” and will even be singing on “Knee Play 4” from Philip Glass’s experimental opera, “Einstein on the Beach.” There will be much more great music happening at the festival and probably many surprises that are put together on an ad hoc basis. I will be trying to write at least one post per week detailing the happenings at the festival. If you’re within spitting distance of MassMOCA, it behooves you to come check out some of this exciting activity. More info about the festival can be found at: http://bangonacan.org/summerfest2015.