Bang on a Can continues its 30th anniversary landmark season with a performance by the Bang on a Can All-Stars and Chinese superstar singer Gong Linna presented by Lincoln Center Festival on July 14 and 15, 2017 at 8pm at Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College (524 W. 59th St.). A spectacular journey into Chinese myths and ancient poetry, Cloud River Mountain combines the stories of the past with the sounds of the future. In a rare U.S. appearance, Gong Linna joins the Bang on a Can All-Stars in a brilliantly staged concert of new music composed by Gong Linna’s musical partner, composer Lao Luo, and Bang on a Can co-artistic directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe. Gong Linna and the All-Stars’ recording of Cloud River Mountain on Cantaloupe Music will be available for purchase at the performances in advance of the album’s worldwide release date of July 21, 2017.
Tickets: $25-55 at www.lincolncenterfestival.org
Cloud River Mountain exemplifies the connections that Bang on a Can strives to create across boundaries. Weaving together ancient Chinese storytelling and Western songwriting, Cloud River Mountain honors the “sound worlds” of both China and the West, fusing texts sung in both Mandarin and English with a wide range of contemporary musical languages. The lyrics are inspired by the tales, myths, and poems of gods, spirits, and the world of the shamans, primarily drawn from Qu Yuan, the famous Chinese poet and minister who lived during the Warring States period and whose poems were first published during the Han Dynasty in Chu Ci Anthology (Songs of the South).
Watch Gong Linna and the Bang on a Can All-Stars:
The “extraordinary” (The New York Times) and charismatic Gong Linna is a classically-trained Chinese singer from Beijing, passionate about creating a new “Chinese Art Music” but who is also a very recognizable pop star in China. In 2010, her performance of the song Tan Te on Chinese national television to billions of viewers made her an overnight sensation, vaulting her to celebrity status. With her stratospheric vocalizations and adventurous artistic range, she embraces Chinese folk, pop, and avant-garde music in a manner that channels the experimental spirit of artists like Björk. In recent years, she has starred on television in China – but she is virtually unknown to the Western World.
Bang on a Can co-founder and composer Michael Gordon became mesmerized by Gong Linna during visits to China, originally having seen her on Chinese television followed by a chance meeting with her and her musical partner, composer Lao Luo. Gong Linna first performed an initial set of the Cloud River Mountain song cycle with the Bang on a Can All-Stars at the Bang on a Can Marathon in 2015. The New York Times raved, “Her voice, a mixture of traditional and contemporary styles, was commanding and full of feeling in ‘Cloud-River-Mountain,’ a song cycle by Lao Luo, Mr. Gordon, Mr. Lang and Ms. Wolfe set to Chinese poetry. Whether belting, keening or murmuring, insinuating or girlish, Ms. Gong is a star.”
Pre-order Cloud River Mountain