New York, NY — On Friday, September 24, 2021 at 6:30pm, Bang on a Can and The Noguchi Museum present the next concert in its 2021 Artists at Noguchi season, a monthly series of performances in the Museum’s garden and galleries. Celebrating their eleventh season of collaboration, the Bang on a Can | Artists at Noguchi series features musicians performing an inclusive blend of music from across genres and across the world.
Under the mononym L’Rain, Brooklyn native Taja Cheek has quickly become an acclaimed figure in New York experimental music. A multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and vocalist, her songs are equally rooted in R&B, jazz, noise, and pop, and are at once visceral, spiritual, ethereal, and urgent. Her performances are informed by her interest in the history of contemporary art and the legacy of downtown performance in New York City. She is particularly interested in exploring the complex nuance of Black grief and its proximity to Black joy, using voice memos and other manipulated samples recorded in her hometown as inspiration and source material.
L’Rain and her band are heralded for their magnetic live show and have performed across the United States; recent performances include headline performances at The Getty and The Kitchen, festival performances as a part of Basilica Soundscape and FORM Festival, and an improvised duo with artist Kevin Beasley as a part of his solo exhibition Kevin Beasley: A view of a landscape at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She has contributed music to Bring Down The Walls, a compilation album featuring Honey Dijon, Empress Of, and Larry Heard, created with Creative Time, artist Phil Collins, and The Fortune Society. In 2018, Jace Clayton (aka DJ /rupture) invited her to participate in a new collaborative sound work as a part of the exhibition Mel Chin: All Over the Place at the Queens Museum.
L’Rain’s sophomore LP, Fatigue, released in June 2021 via Brooklyn label Mexican Summer, received wide critical acclaim from publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, Pitchfork, Vulture, and many others.
The September 24 performance will take place in The Noguchi Museum’s first floor gallery, with only 30 public tickets available, on sale September 10, 2021 at 12pm. Tickets are $10 (the same price as museum admission) and allow patrons access to the galleries and garden after hours. Doors open at 6:15pm and the performance runs from 6:30pm–7:30pm. Masks and proof of vaccination are required. More information is available at 718.204.7088 or www.noguchi.org/bangonacan. The Noguchi Museum is located at 9-01 33rd Road (at Vernon Boulevard), Long Island City, NY.
The third and final concert of the 2021 Artists at Noguchi season will take place on Friday, October 22, 2021 at 6:30pm. Lee Ranaldo presents a special performance of his Hurricane Transcriptions with electric guitar quartet Dither and drummer Brian Chase. Tickets go on sale Friday, October 8, 2021 at 12pm.
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 March 2020, when the pandemic began, Bang on a Can responded with the Live Online concert series including its signature Marathon concerts. With this online series, Bang on a Can has been able to support composers and performers and engage audiences throughout the pandemic shutdown. Other in-person programs include two 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 www.canland.org. For more information about Bang on a Can, please visit www.bangonacan.org.
About The Noguchi Museum: Founded in 1985 by Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988), one of the leading sculptors and designers of the twentieth century, The Noguchi Museum was the first museum in America to be established, designed, and installed by a living artist to show their own work. Widely viewed in itself as among the artist’s greatest achievements, the Museum comprises ten indoor galleries in a converted factory building, as well as an acclaimed outdoor sculpture garden. Since its founding, it has served as an international hub for Noguchi research and appreciation. In addition to housing the artist’s archives and catalogue raisonné, the Museum exhibits a comprehensive selection of sculpture, models for public projects and gardens, dance sets, and his Akari light sculptures. Provocative installations drawn from the permanent collection, along with diverse special exhibitions related to Noguchi and the milieu in which he worked, offer a rich, contextualized view of Noguchi’s art and illuminate his enduring influence as a category-defying, multicultural, cross-disciplinary innovator