Bang on a Can Marathon Live Online – MaerzMusik Edition

Presented by Berliner Festspiele


Sunday, March 21, 2021 from 3pm-7pm EDT | 8pm-12am CET

Full Lineup and Hourly Schedule Announced


Four Hours of LIVE Music

Bang on a Can streaming at:

MaerzMusik streaming at:


Note: An embed code for the Bang on a Can Marathon livestream will be available to press upon request, to allow for hosting the livestream on your site.


Brooklyn, NY / Berlin, Germany — Bang on a Can announces the lineup and full schedule for the Bang on a Can Marathon Live Online – MaerzMusik Edition presented by Berliner Festspiele on Sunday, March 21, 2021 from 3pm-7pm ET / 8pm-12am CET. For MaerzMusik 2021, Bang on a Can has curated a special edition of its online Bang on a Can Marathon – four hours of live performances from both sides of the Atlantic, reflecting the diversity and breadth of the Bang on a Can community. The show is free to watch, but viewers are encouraged to consider purchasing a ticket. Doing so helps Bang on a Can and MaerzMusik to pay more players, commission more composers, and make more music.


Hello Berlin! Hello New York! It’s been a year since we’ve seen a live audience and we miss everyone very much! Since the beginning of COVID Bang on a Can has been presenting our marathons live – commissioning composers, paying performers, streaming their collaborations all over the internet. Musicians need work and it has been our mission to hire as many as we can! On March 21 we are bringing together performers and composers from Berlin and New York – four hours of nonconformist, noncommercial, mind-blowing music including Tomeka Reid!, Bill Frisell!, Mazz Swift!, Arnold Dreyblatt!, Steve Reich!, and many many more. See you there! – Bang on a Can Co-Founders and Artistic Directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe


On its first five live online Marathons in 2020-2021 (May 3, June 14, August 1, October 18, and February 21) Bang on a Can presented over 100 performances, including 47 world premieres of new commissions and over 150 composers and performers. Bang on a Can plans to continue these Marathons, streaming online at, as long as the closure of presenting venues continues, and perhaps beyond. This special edition four-hour live Marathon will be hosted by Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, and in part by MaerzMusik Artistic Director Berno Odo Polzer, who says:


I love the way Bang on a Can has been dealing with the challenges of this pandemic, taking initiative and responsibility for their community. The marathon format is filled with new purpose and life. Presented live online, it reminds us of the irreplaceability of live art in a soothing way. This crisis situation can be an opportunity to team up and make something transatlantic happen that would not happen otherwise – connecting music lovers and communities from all around the world. 


The Bang on a Can Marathon is one of many events taking place during the MaerzMusik Festival 2021, running March 19-28. MaerzMusik 2021 aims at providing a variety of online experiences: world premieres recorded with state-of-the-art 360° camera and 3D sound technology, binaural audio streams, live-streamed concerts, pre-produced concert films, music videos, documentaries, lectures and talks. In addition to the artists of the Bang on a Can marathon, works by Jessie Cox, Halim El-Dabh, Jessica Ekomane, Beatriz Ferreyra, Carlos Guitérrez, Sofia Jernberg, Marisol Jiménez, Hannah Kendall, Daniel Kidane, Tania León, Bernard Parmegiani, Éliane Radigue, Manuel Rodríguez Valenzuela and many others can be experienced. These digital productions are connecting the physical locations Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Chamber Music Hall of the Philharmonie, Zeiss-Großplanetarium, SAVVY Contemporary, silent green, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Université du Québec à Montréal, and Schloss Rheinsberg, as well as private apartments and studios around the world where music, language, and moving images are being created for this festival. The full festival programming is available here:


Bang on a Can Marathon Live Online – MaerzMusik Edition 


Set times are approximate and subject to change. 



Daniel Bernard Roumain Why Did They Kill Sandra Bland? performed by Arlen Hlusko

Arnold Dreyblatt

Mazz Swift

Rohan Chander or THE TRAGEDY OF HIKKOMORI LOVELESS from FINAL//FANTASY performed by Vicky Chow



Kristina Wolfe Listening to the Wind performed by Molly Barth

Miya Masaoka

Aeryn Santillan disconnect. performed by Ken Thomson

Adam Cuthbert



Ken Thomson Birds and Ambulances performed by Robert Black

Tomeka Reid Lamenting G.F., A.A., B.T., T.M. performed by Vicky Chow

Steve Reich Vermont Counterpoint performed by Claire Chase

Christina Wheeler

Molly Joyce Purity performed by David Cossin



Tyshawn Sorey

Jeffrey Brooks Santuario performed by Mark Stewart

Moor Mother

Bill Frisell


Marathon Program Info


Electronica composer Adam Cuthbért performs synthetic flora for trumpet and modular synth – an interactive score where the player chooses the pacing and direction by triggering various sound events in their own time.


Aeryn Santillan is a punk vocalist, guitarist, bassist, and creator of emotional heavy music. Aeryn has recently written a new work entitled disconnect. for Bang on a Can All-Star clarinetist Ken Thomson.


Arlen Hlusko is a brilliant cellist with a powerful sound and a deep commitment to community engagement through music. She’ll perform a new work entitled Why Did They Kill Sandra Bland? by composer/violinist/activist Daniel Bernard Roumain.


Founder of the transcendentally ecstatic Orchestra of Excited Strings, Arnold Dreyblatt is a composer, performer, media artist, band leader and inventor of his own microtonal instruments that play in his own microtonal system of tuning. Originally from New York but living in Berlin for the past 35 years, Dreyblatt is a longtime collaborator with Bang on a Can.


Bill Frisell has long been hailed as one of the most innovative and original guitar players of our time through a career as a composer and improviser, bandleader and soloist, that has spanned more than 40 years and has touched the lives of musicians across every scene. Solo here, with a guitar and an amp, we’re in for a sonic adventure.


Composer / vocalist / multi-instrumentalist Christina Wheeler makes direct and emotional music by weaving together her own voice with high and low tech instruments, electronics, and  very human physical gestures. Her piece is entitled A Coda for the Totality of Blackness Trilogy.


Claire Chase is many things – an amazing flutist, an entrepreneur, an organizer, an activist.  Steve Reich’s Vermont Counterpoint needs a player who can be many things – it is scored for solo flutist playing all different sizes of flute, along with seven other pre-recorded versions of herself.


Daniel Bernard Roumain (aka DBR) is a composer, performer and activist. DBR is the living embodiment of a music that crosses cultural boundaries, using virtuosic violin skills to build bridges to other musicians and communities. He has written a new work entitled Why Did They Kill Sandra Bland? for a fellow string player, the Bang on a Can All-Stars’ cellist Arlen Hlusko.


Bang on a Can All-Star percussionist-drummer-producer David Cossin is a superstar specialist in new and experimental music. Composer Molly Joyce has written a new piece, Purity, for him to perform.


Jeffrey Brooks is no stranger to Bang on a Can, which commissioned and premiered his ecstatic and mesmerizing The Passion, and recorded it in 2019.  As a fan of the electric guitar, his new piece Santuario is for double-neck electric guitar to be performed by Bang on a Can All-Star Mark Stewart.


Bang on a Can All-Star and reed guru Ken Thomson is a passionate performer and also a composer increasingly known for his harmonic and rhythmic complexity and a punk-rock aesthetic. He wears both hats on the Marathon MaerzMusik Edition – Birds and Ambulances, his new work reflecting on the sounds of the pandemic, will be performed by bassist Robert Black, AND he performs disconnect., a high-energy work by Aeryn Santillan.


Danish / American composer Kristina Wolfe is a sound archeologist, wandering the world and listening closely, recording found sounds, transforming them, presenting them to us simply and directly and letting us hear them as music. Her new work, Listening to the Wind, will be performed by passionate flutist Molly Barth.


Bang on a Can All-Star and musical wizard Mark Stewart is a virtuoso guitarist, singer, instrument inventor, who plucks, bows, beats, and breathes life into countless sound-making devices. Here he takes on a new piece, Santuario, for electric double-neck guitar by composer Jeffrey Brooks.


New Yorker Mazz Swift is the avant-violinist for this moment, informed equally by her Juilliard training, her free improvisatory spirit, and her commitment to building a better world.  She is also a powerhouse singer, and all these aspects of her persona are woven together in her performances.


Miya Masaoka is part composer, part performer, part sound philosopher. She also is a virtuosa of the koto, and has pushed this traditional Japanese instrument into new, non-traditional universes – she will play music from one of these new universes on the ichi-ten-kin, or one string koto.


Molly Barth is a fierce flutist fueled by a passion for new sounds, new works, and new experiences. She has premiered innumerable new works for flute as a soloist and in chamber ensembles including as a longtime collaborator with Eighth Blackbird. Here she’ll be performing a new work, Listening to the Wind, by Kristina


Ever-inventive composer Molly Joyce writes music that is both commanding and calm. Here she is collaborating with Bang on a Can All-Star percussionist David Cossin on a new work entitled Purity.


Moor Mother – poet Camae Ayewa – is a powerhouse. Her intense music and delivery propel her words directly into you, making her meaning, her activism, her passion impossible to resist.


Founding and current Bang on a Can All-Star bassist Robert Black tours the world constantly creating unheard of music for the solo double bass. Matched here with bandmate/composer Ken Thomson, Black performs Thomson’s new work, Birds and Ambulances.


Young renegade composer Rohan Chander challenges the avant garde with loud aggressive gestures, digital corruption, and performative electronics. All his interests merge in this new work, or THE TRAGEDY OF HIKKOMORI LOVELESS from FINAL//FANTASY for the Bang on a Can All-Stars’ powerhouse pianist Vicky Chow.


Since the 1970s Steve Reich has been making music in layers, with live instruments playing against pre-recorded versions of themselves. Vermont Counterpoint for amplified flute and tape is one of these works from the early 1980s, dedicated to Betty Freeman who was an early supporter of Reich’s music and will be performed live by Claire Chase.


Cellist/composer and jazz artist improviser Tomeka Reid is a powerhouse. She has written a new work, Lamenting G.F., A.A., B.T., T.M., for Bang on a Can All-Star pianist Vicky Chow.


Tyshawn Sorey is a whirlwind across the spectrum of music happening today. Composer, multi-instrumentalist, and one of the most active, wide-ranging collaborators in the business, working with everyone from jazz legend Anthony Braxton, to opera star Julia Bullock, to new music virtuoso Claire Chase. On this Marathon he performs his brainy, intricate music himself. 


Vicky Chow, powerhouse pianist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, performs two recently written works, Lamenting G.F., A.A., B.T., T.M., by composer/jazz improviser Tomeka Reid, and or THE TRAGEDY OF HIKKOMORI LOVELESS from FINAL//FANTASY, by innovative composer Rohan Chander.


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)


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, we never imagined that our 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, and we are not done yet.”


In addition to its festivals LOUD Weekend at MASS MoCA and LONG PLAY, current projects include 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 at MASS MoCA, 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. Bang on a Can has also recently launched its new digital archive, CANLAND, an extensive archive of its recordings, videos, posters, program books, and more. Thirty-three years of collected music and associated ephemera have been digitized and archived online and is publicly accessible in its entirety at For more information about Bang on a Can, please visit


About Berliner Festspiele: All year round, Berliner Festspiele hosts a multitude of festivals, exhibitions and individual events in two houses – the Haus der Berliner Festspiele at Schaperstraße and the Gropius Bau near Potsdamer Platz – and other venues in the city. The combination and network of a festival house and an exhibition hall bears special potential for interdisciplinary project formats and the interaction of different forms of art. An annual programme includes the exhibitions and events at Gropius Bau, the festivals MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues, Theatertreffen, Musikfest Berlin and Jazzfest Berlin, the programme series Immersion as well as four National Contests for young people in the fields of theatre, dance, music and creative writing. In addition, there are education programmes, international guest performances, special events, venue rentals and conferences. Since Thomas Oberender was appointed director in 2012, Berliner Festspiele have been focusing on topics like performativity, alternative ways of artistic production and cross-genre approaches. Their formats provide both an overview and orientation, creating new connections between contemporary art, technological innovation and heterogeneous forms of work, discourse and experience.


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