2019-20 MIT Sounding

The Music of Glenn Branca Live: The Glenn Branca Ensemble/Ambient Orchestra

September 20, 2019 / 8:00pm
MIT Kresge Auditorium, W16
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

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“When science fiction writers describe the ‘Music of the Future,’ one can imagine Branca’s music – shimmering and heavenly, and stark, physical, and austere.”– Lynden Barber, Melody Maker

This concert honors legendary composer Glenn Branca (October 6, 1948 – May 13, 2018) and the continuing work of the Glenn Branca Ensemble to expand what is possible in contemporary music. Branca’s 45 years of work as a composer included music for experimental rock bands, large ensemble instrumentals for electric guitars, symphonies for both electric instrumentation and acoustic orchestras, chamber ensembles, an opera, a ballet, choral works, and music for film, dance, theater, and installation art. His impact is also felt in the influence he had on artists as diverse as Sonic Youth, David Bowie, Swans, and many other composers and sound artists. The Glenn Branca Ensemble, led by Reg Bloor, concertmaster and Branca’s right hand since 2000, will perform the soon-to-be-released The Third Ascension and Branca’s last composition, “The Light (For David)”.  Also on the program will be two of Branca’s rarely performed orchestral works, Free Form and the first movement of Symphony No. 14: 2,000,000,000 Light Years from Home, performed by the Ambient Orchestra under the direction of Evan Ziporyn.

More about the Glenn Branca Ensemble at MIT.

Lochan Rijal’s काँचो आवाज (Raw Sounds)

October 5, 2019 / 6:30pm
Reception to follow
Lobdell, MIT Building W20
84 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

Free and open to the public

Reserve a seat

Lochan Rijal, an award winning multi-instrumentalist singer and songwriter from Nepal, brings काँचो आवाज (Raw Sounds), a public concert of Nepali music featuring original compositions played on traditional Nepali instruments.

Rijal presents an exquisite collection of songs that celebrate Nepali’s traditional musical heritage in a contemporary world to create a unique and rich blend of sounds. काँचो आवाज also features Sarangi and the nearly extinct Gandharva lute arbaja that Lochan Rijal discovered during his research in Nepal.

In काँचो आवाज, Rijal experiments with new dimensions of sound while encompassing his own literary style to tell stories of everyday life in Nepal including the premiere of पागलखाना को साँचो, a song about social inclusion.


More about Lochan Rijal at MIT.

The Heart is a Bell: Iva Bittová with the MIT Symphony Orchestra

October 10, 2019 / 8:00pm
MIT Kresge Auditorium, W16
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

Iva Bittová performs with the MIT Symphony Orchestra as part of the 2019–20 MIT Sounding series.

Program includes:

Vítězslava Kaprálová, Suita Rustica

Evan Ziporyn, Frog’s Eye

Iva Bittová, Zvon (US Premiere)
with Iva Bittová, solo voice; and jazz combo featuring Keala Keumeheiwa

Composed over 75 years apart, Kapralova’s Suita Rustica and Bittová’s Zvon pull from their parallel yet distinct musical and cultural backgrounds to create orchestral tapestries merging Czech folk art with urbane modernity. Together they exemplify the ongoing ways in which composition can fiercely assert identity and difference.


More about Iva Bittová at MIT.

DJ Septet

the wave function collapses
harbanger DJ Septet Concert
January 16, 2020 / 8:00pm
MIT Building W97
345 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA


Interested in auditioning for the septet? Learn more here.


harbanger (pronounced “harbinger”), a turntable septet featuring Visiting Artists Harry Allen, Hip-Hop Activist & Media Assassin, and X-Ecutioners’ DJ Rob Swift, in a groundbreaking concert. Seven DJs will perform a custom score created for the ensemble.


More about the DJ Septet at MIT.

Johnny Gandelsman’s Bach Cello Suites for Violin (solo)

February 8, 2020 / 8:00pm
Kresge Auditorium, MIT Building W16
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

Johnny Gandelsman returns to MIT to perform Bach’s immortal Cello Suites in a new way—on the violin. Gandelsman will perform all six Cello Suites in a solo performance in Kresge Auditorium.


More about Johnny Gandelsman at MIT.

Moving Images: MITSO & Film

March 13, 2020 / 8:00pm
Kresge Auditorium, MIT Building W16
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

Celebrating the relationship of music and film, the MIT Symphony Orchestra performs works by Tod Machover, Don Byron, Christine Southworth, and Angelo Badalamenti.

Dark Energy: A Space Opera

The Invisible College Public Concert
May 2, 2020
MIT Chapel, Building W15
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

As the 2018–20 Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist, Matthew Ritchie creates a new transmedia work in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of MIT artists, faculty, and students. This new collaborative work takes inspiration from the “invisible college” of MIT: the interactions, discussions, and thought processes that take place outside of the formal classroom and administrative structure of the Institute.

The Invisible College takes shape as a site-specific installation and VR and auditory experience. The visuals and soundscape draw on datasets representing scales of the universe—from nanoparticles to dark energy—reinterpreted by Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), a class of machine learning systems.

Dark Energy: A Space Opera features local musicians performing new compositions by Evan Ziporyn and Christine Southworth.


More about Matthew Ritchie at MIT.