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Happy Anniversary: Free Bang on a Can All-Stars Album through January 25

"Big Beautiful Dark and Scary" album cover; culled from Bang on a Can press release.

Few ensembles have been as integral to the propagation of new music both nationally and abroad as the Bang on a Can All-Stars. In addition to premiering compositions by Bang on a Can founding composers Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, the amplified sextet has interpreted the works of Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Terry Riley, and many others.

In honor of Bang on a Can’s 25 years of commissioning, presenting, creating, and recording contemporary classical music, the collective is offering the All-Stars’ forthcoming album Big Beautiful Dark and Scary free of charge through January 25, in advance of its February 28 physical release date.

The double album is the first to feature the All-Stars’ current incarnation–cellist Ashley Bathgate, bassist Robert Black, pianist Vicky Chow, percussionist David Cossin, guitarist Mark Stewart, and clarinetist Evan Ziporyn. The music itself is an idiosyncratic mix featuring music by Gordon, Lang, and Wolfe alongside works of Louis Andriessen, David Longstreth (of indie band Dirty Projectors), Kate Moore, Conlon Nancarrow, and Ziporyn. The resulting recording evokes the dizzying musical precision and invigorating discovery one encounters at the annual Bang on a Can People’s Commissioning Fund Concert in New York City.

To obtain the complete album for free, simply visit and submit your favorite memory, story or thought about Bang on a Can’s first 25 years, which will then be posted online (if you don’t yet have a memory to share, you can still receive the album). Between January 31 and February 27, the album will be available as an iTunes Exclusive for $5.99, and will include a live version of Philip Glass’s Closing as a bonus track.

There are still three days to pick up Big Beautiful Dark and Scary for free, and I highly recommend you check it out.