The Ecstatic Music Festival, the name of Merkins 10-week series dedicated to slipstream, genre-eschewing contemporary music by youngish composers, suggests a rave, but the Bang on a Caninspired marathon concert that kicks it off today is hardly that. It opens with a rarely heard piece by African-American composer Julius Eastman (who died of AIDS in 1990) and closes some seven hours later with a collaboration between instrument hackers Buke and Gass and composer Missy Mazzolis Victoire quintet. In between, composer-pianist Timo Andres plays Charles Ives and his own Everything Is an Onion; cellist Ashley Bathgate rocks Mike Gordons seminal Industry; Gabriel Kahane (Craigslistlieder) performs pop-perfect art songs; violist Nadia Sirota plays Grizzly Bear collaborator Nico Muhlys Keep in Touch; monster pianist Vicky Chow cranks up the electronics for Daniel Wohls Aorta; and more, more, more. If nothing else, the pricefreeis bliss indeed.
Mon., Jan. 17, 2 p.m., 2011