Bang On A Can All-Stars, Renegade Heaven
Classical music steeped in the same downtown New York scene as rockers like Lou Reed and Patti Smith
Some composers retain classical forms like the symphony and the concerto when they borrow from popular culture. Others, like Michael Gordon, a co-founder of the new music collective Bang on a Can, prefer flexible ensembles that incorporate electronic and computer technology. Gordon’s music is gritty, hard-edged and aggressive, steeped in the same downtown New York scene as rockers like Lou Reed and Patti Smith. But he’s also taken a keen interest in Led Zeppelin and the Beatles. “I Buried Paul” pays homage to the infamous ending of the Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever,” where John Lennon’s voice intones what many heard as "I buried Paul," although he later said the lyric was actually “cranberry sauce.” Gordon builds that snippet into a surreal 10-minute electronic pastiche in which the military drums, flute and backwards tape effects are all reshuffled with a playful sense of postmodern irony.