Every year, the People’s Commissioning Fund, a part of the New York-based ‘Bang On A Can’ music organisation, asks a few contemporary artistes to create musical pieces, which are then performed at the Merkin Concert Hall at Lincoln Center, New York by an all-star ensemble.
In the past, artistes like Brian Eno and Philip Glass have composed for Bang On A Can. This year, Indian composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Karsh Kale composed the piece Crawl, walk, run, fly… that premiered at the festival on February 10 in New York.
“I’ve performed twice in the past for the Bang On A Can festival, but this is the first time that I composed a piece for them,” says Kale. “It’s definitely an honour for me as my composition will be played across the world by at numerous music concerts their All-Star ensemble.”
Other artistes selected to compose included Bryce Dessner, guitarist of the American indie rock band, The National, and Nick Brooke, who is a music researcher and instrument builder. Popular radio jockey John Schaefer hosted the event and conducted interviews with the artistes between the performances, talking about the selected pieces while giving a little background about them to the audience.
Kale’s defined his calm and melodic composition as a trajectory of struggle from birth to death. “The story is told in four movements as the name suggests. It’s what I was going through at the time when Bang On A Can approached me last year. I was buried under many projects, including my upcoming album Cinema and a couple of Bollywood film scores. Sometimes, I felt as if I was crawling, and at other times flying or running,” says Kale.