Review: Bang on a Can’s in-person return for LOUD Weekend festival

Posted on: August 5, 2021

“Venturing back to live performances and finding a classical music institution in rude health can be like putting on a pair of old jeans and discovering, with relief, an easy fit,” writes Seth Colter Walls in Monday’s (8/2) New York Times. “That’s how it felt to attend Bang on a Can’s LOUD Weekend festival [in North Adams, Mass.] on Friday and Saturday…. Most appearances unfurled with crisp, defiant polish…. That was particularly true of pianist Lisa Moore’s show on Friday, which featured pieces by Philip Glass, Don Byron, Martin Bresnick—and [‘Amoramaro’] a world premiere from Frederic Rzewski, who died in June…. Contemporary and modernist trends from across the globe … included French spectralism … Minimalism … and collective improvisation…. The violinist, improviser and composer Mazz Swift brought Saturday night to an early peak with a presentation of her ‘Sankofa Project,’ which she has described as ‘re-imaginings of so-called slave songs, as well as freedom songs and my own versions of what I’m calling modern-day protest songs.’ … In the final hours on Saturday’s lineup, listeners could sprint from a short set by the rising star [flutist and vocalist] Nathalie Joachim … to a concert of Pandemic Solos, commissioned by Bang on a Can for its virtual marathons during the pandemic.”