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Julia Wolfe’s Steel Hammer is inspired by the composer’s love for the legends and music of Appalachia, while the text is culled from the over 200 versions of the John Henry ballad. The various versions, based on hearsay, recollection, and tall tales, explore the subject of human versus machine in this quintessential American legend. Adding banjo, bones, and mountain dulcimer, the sizzling Bang on a Can All-Stars team up with a trio of singers for a memorable evening.
Curated by John Schaefer, host and producer of WNYC Radio’s popular radio showsNew Sounds and Soundcheck.