Performing music from the All-Stars’ album Big Beautiful Dark and Scary (Cantaloupe Music) Bang on a Can is offering a free download of the music from ARTHUR to the public (limited time): http://bit.ly/BOACDownload
The Bang on a Can All-Stars are special guests on PBS KIDS’s popular cartoon featuring everyone’s favorite aardvark, ARTHUR, in an episode called “Binky’s Music Madness” airing nationwide on May 14, 2014 as part of ARTHUR Arts Week, which celebrates the arts with three all-new episodes beginning on May 12. For the occasion, Bang on a Can is offering ARTHUR fans (and the public in general) a free download of the music featured on the episode, from the All-Stars 2012 album Big Beautiful Dark and Scary (http://bit.ly/BOACDownload). Two years in the making, the animated All-Stars lineup includes founding Bang on a Can All-Star clarinetist Evan Ziporyn, percussionist David Cossin, guitarist Mark Stewart, bassist Robert Black, cellist Ashley Bathgate, and pianist Vicky Chow. Bang on a Can co-founder composer Julia Wolfe is also portrayed and recorded her own speaking role for the episode.
In “Binky’s Music Madness,” the Bang on a Can All-Stars take Elwood City by storm. Everyone is intrigued by their funky brand of experimental music. It sounds like nothing they have ever heard before! Binky is skeptical though. A musical purist, he sets out to prove that their musical compositions are more noise than music. Recording everything from dogs barking to tummy gurgles, Binky composes his very own soundscape and attempts to pass it off as the work of a hot new musical group. But the joke’s on him when all the kids – and even Binky – realize it’s not only music, it’s pretty good!
“We are delighted to introduce our audience to the innovative music of the Bang on a Can All-Stars,” says Carol Greenwald, executive producer of ARTHUR. “We know that exposing kids to different forms of music not only expands their awareness, but also encourages creativity. Like Binky, we hope that kids will develop an appreciation for nontraditional music and perhaps be inspired to create some of their own.”
“Part classical ensemble, part rock band, the Bang on a Can All-Stars freely cross musical boundaries and have built up an incredible audience worldwide of all ages and from across many genres that are less concerned with defining music by traditional categories and more interested in making music and hearing music that is exciting and new and virtuosic and sometimes hard to define!” says Bang on a Can Executive Director Kenny Savelson. “It’s a thrill for us to present our sound and ideas to so many young listeners, hopefully inspiring them to be daring and creative with ears wide open to the world around them.”
ARTHUR, based on the best-selling books by Marc Brown, is television’s longest-running children’s animated series. Over the past 17 seasons, ARTHUR has remained one of the highest-rated weekday children’s series on PBS among children 4-8. Arthur has won numerous awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award, a BAFTA, and six Daytime Emmys®-four for Outstanding Children’s Animated Program. ARTHUR is produced by WGBH Boston and 9 Story Entertainment. Executive producers are Carol Greenwald (WGBH), Vince Commisso (9 Story), and Marc Brown (Marc Brown Studios). Directed by Greg Bailey. Funding for ARTHUR is provided by public television viewers. Corporate funding is provided by Chuck E. Cheese’s®.
About Bang on a Can: Bang on a Can is dedicated to making music new. Since its first Marathon concert in 1987, Bang on a Can has been creating an international community dedicated to innovative music, wherever it is found. With adventurous programs, it commissions new composers, performs, presents, and records new work, develops new audiences, and educates the musicians of the future. Bang on a Can is building a world in which powerful new musical ideas flow freely across all genres and borders. Bang on a Can plays “a central role in fostering a new kind of audience that doesn’t concern itself with boundaries. If music is made with originality and integrity, these listeners will come.” (The New York Times)
Over 27 years, Bang on a Can has grown from a one-day New York-based Marathon concert (on Mother’s Day in 1987 in a SoHo art gallery) to a multi-faceted performing arts organization with a broad range of year-round international activities. “When we started Bang on a Can in 1987, in an art gallery in SoHo, we never imagined that our one-day, 12-hour marathon festival of mostly unknown music would morph into a giant international organization dedicated to the support of experimental music, wherever we would find it,” write Bang on a Can Co-Founders Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe. “But it has, and we are so gratified to be still hard at work, all these years later. The reason is really clear to us – we started this organization because we believed that making new music is a utopian act – that people needed to hear this music and they needed to hear it presented in the most persuasive way, with the best players, with the best programs, for the best listeners, in the best context. Our commitment to changing the environment for this music has kept us busy and growing for the last 27 years, and we are not done yet.”
Current projects include the annual Bang on a Can Marathon; The People’s Commissioning Fund, a membership program to commission emerging composers; the Bang on a Can All-Stars, who tour to major festivals and concert venues around the world every year; recording projects; the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival – a professional development program for young composers and performers led by today’s pioneers of experimental music; Asphalt Orchestra, Bang on a Can’s extreme street band that offers mobile performances re-contextualizing unusual music; Found Sound Nation, a new technology-based musical outreach program now partnering with the State Department of the United States of America to create OneBeat, a revolutionary, post-political residency program that uses music to bridge the gulf between young American musicians and young musicians from developing countries; cross-disciplinary collaborations and projects with DJs, visual artists, choreographers, filmmakers and more. Each new program has evolved to answer specific challenges faced by today’s musicians, composers and audiences, in order to make innovative music widely accessible and wildly received. Bang on a Can’s inventive and aggressive approach to programming and presentation has created a large and vibrant international audience made up of people of all ages who are rediscovering the value of contemporary music. For up-to-date information regarding Bang on a Can programs, events, and CD releases, please visit www.bangonacan.org.