A group of three "downtown
" New York composers
: Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, and David Lang.
All students at Yale in the seventies, these composers found their aesthetic outside the prevailing schools of music. They were uninterested in European-style serialism, turned off by the pretentions of the John Cage school of aleatoric music, and younger than the minimalists, such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Their aesthetic embraced the visceral impact of pop music, while retaining the complexity of the art music in which they were educated.
They began to organize marathon concerts of their music, along with the music that influenced them. They assembled a house band with an instrumentation inclusive of rock instruments, who could play their complex music. This band became known as the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
Since the early eighties, they have continued putting on the marathon concerts. Though they started in lofts and art galleries, they have moved on to larger venues, such as Lincoln Center. They regularly tour, and have released several albums.
Albums: Bang on a Can Live, Vol. 1 (1991), Bang on a Can Live, Vol. 2 (1993), Industry (1995), Cheating, Lying, Stealing (1996), Brian Eno: Music for Airports (1998), and Renegade Heaven (2001).