Julia Wolfe’s Steel Hammer is inspired by the composer’s love for the legends and music of Appalachia, while the text is culled from the over 200 versions of the John Henry ballad. The various versions, based on hearsay, recollection, and tall tales, explore the subject of human versus machine in this quintessential American legend. Adding banjo, bones, and mountain dulcimer, the sizzling Bang on a Can All-Stars team up with a trio of singers for a memorable evening.
Curated by John Schaefer, host and producer of WNYC Radio’s popular radio shows New Sounds and Soundcheck.
Part of New Sounds Live, a three-night series in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. The following evening will feature Bryce Dessner, who seamlessly blends aspects of classical and popular music to create compositions that have been described as “deft” and “vibrant” by The New York Times, performing with the orchestral collective The Knights. Providing New Yorkers with eerie ear candy just in time for Halloween, the series will conclude on October 16th with the world premiere arrangement of Wordless Music Orchestra’s new arrangement by Grey Mcmurray of Mike Oldfield’s iconic Tubular Bells, made popular from its use in The Exorcist.
This performance will be recorded by Q2 Music for on-demand streaming at q2music.org.