The Mohawk
Indie Dessert

American Shelter

This was the name David Lang gave to the second of three sections he wrote for "Shelter," his most recent collaboration with fellow Bang on a Can founders Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe, and filmmaker Bill Morrison. It could also be a metaphor for Bang on a Can itself, giving young musicians the chance to play (and write) some of the wildest, loudest music out there, without all the stifling pressures of the conservatory. Gordon told the audience that during his week in North Adams, Terry Riley's work with the BOAC fellows consisted entirely of teaching them how to sing Indian ragas. "We just think that's such a beautiful way to absorb and think about music," Gordon said.

As if to drive the point home, Riley himself appeared onstage behind the piano, chanting and playing an extended improvisation with BOAC All-Stars Todd Reynolds, Evan Ziporyn and others. It was shimmering, transcendent, the most mystical experience of the entire weekend. Take that, kids. And run with it.Image018