The Bang on a Can All Stars in the eerie late-night lighting at the Winter Garden during the 2008 Marathon. (Photo by SPM.)
Bang on a Can, the genre-spanning musical organization, is staging its annual Music Marathon in the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden atrium for the third year. It runs from noon to midnight (maybe a little later) on Sunday, May 31, and it is FREE!
While the space is essentially an urban mall, with a few acoustic drawbacks, it’s a great place for an eclectic program. And it’s a beautiful spot on the water and it’s an easy place to duck out of when you need a break.
If you expect to be there for the long haul, though, come prepared. Seating is provided, but the folding chairs are flimsy and can be a bit uncomfortable. It’s a good idea to bring a pad or stadium cushion. And because the show is free thanks to the generosity of the World Financial people, it’s only right to patronize the eateries and shops in the Winter Garden. But be prepared for long queues for food and drink during set changes and don’t be surprised if eateries run out of provisions and close early. It’s tough for the businesses to predict demand, so be patient.
Highlights of this year’s marathon for me include Signal performing Michael Gordon‘s Trance, my friend Todd Reynolds with the Todd Reynolds String Quartet doing Stringsongs by Meredith Monk, the fantastic Lionheart (with Ethel, the string quartet), performing excerpts of Phil Kline‘s John the Revelator, and a performance by Ryuichi Sakamoto. There are some other artists, such as closing act Tortoise, that are unfamiliar to me, so my list could change as I dig more deeply into this list.
The full schedule is below, or click here to go to Bang on a Can’s site, where you’ll find everything you need to know about the Marathon, from inception to today: