Julia Wolfe, the co-founder of Bang on a Can, along with David Lang and Michael Gordon, claims Led Zeppelin, Beethoven and Motown music as her formative influences. But listening to “Dig Deep,” a one-movement string quartet commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, one is mostly reminded of heavier stuff: metal bands like Iron Maiden or Metallica. Like Andriessen, Wolfe's esthetic is a highly dissonant brand of minimalism, thick in texture and just plain loud. The opening five minutes is just a series of blistering power chords that become increasingly disjoined and fragmented. Soon an all-out struggle ensues, leaving the listener (and no doubt the performer) exhausted.
By John Schaefer on 04.29.14 in Reviews
Julia Wolfe's masterful meditation on the legend of John Henry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2010, and it's not hard to see why. Written for the Bang On A Can All-Stars (Wolfe is a co-founder of Bang On A Can)...
By John Schaefer on 03.06.12 in Reviews
This collection was put together to mark the 25th anniversary of Bang On A Can, the New York-based composers collective/presenting organization/festival/record label. It features the house band, the Bang On A Can All-Sta...
By Seth Colter Walls on 10.28.14 in Features
John Luther Adams tells Seth Colter-Walls why he spent the premiere of his Pulitzer-winning work on an operating table.
By Britt Robson on 09.30.14 in Reviews
Become Ocean is both profound and easy to grasp. Composer John Luther Adams sets the premise: "Life on this earth first emerged from the sea. As the polar ice melts and sea level rises, we humans find ourselves facing th...