For the past few years, the annual Bang on a Can Marathon in New York City has had my mouth watering, juxtaposing performances of fascinating and often under-performed avant-garde classical music with shows by cutting-edge popular music performers (and generally blurring the line between these two categories). Last year’s festival, for instance, featured compositions by Harrison Birtwistle and Terry Riley alongside performances by Marnie Stern and Dan Deacon.
This Sunday, the D.C. area is in for a treat as a scaled-down version of the festival occupies the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center for an afternoon and evening (from 2pm until about 9pm). A free performance of Brian Eno‘s famed Music For Airports is among the attractions, along with performances of compositions by Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche (some of which D.C. concertgoers may have seen when Kotche performed a solo set at the Black Cat back in 2006). A lengthy Terry Riley piece, with Riley himself on vocals and piano, closes out the event.
The first part of the event, from 2pm-6pm, is free; the concert beginning at 6pm is $35. Check out the full schedule of performances here.
Also of note: on Saturday evening, the D.C. Society of Art Rockers hosts renowned electric bassist Michael Manring for a solo show at Jammin’ Java. Manring was long the in-house bassist for new-age label Windham Hill, but don’t let that fool you, as he’s also recorded with jazz luminaries like Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith and even heavy/technical metal musicians like Alex Skolnick (Testament) and Ron Jarzombek (Watchtower). This show celebrates the release of Manring’s latest solo album, Soliloquy, and starts at 7pm.