The inveterate experimentalist who melded rock with the avant-garde, John Cale (Paris 1919 and A Tribute to Nico, 2012 Next Wave) has exerted an incalculable influence on the last half century of popular music, from punk to noise to chamber pop. He returns to BAM for a three-night celebration of his life and art.
For the first two nights, Cale is accompanied by members of the Wordless Music Orchestra and special guests to perform the album that charted the course of underground music for decades to come. Fifty years after its release, The Velvet Underground & Nico remains a raw, bracing transmission from the downtown demimonde of 1960s New York City, combining Lou Reed’s streetwise lyrics, Nico’s husky contralto, and Cale’s Fluxus-inspired electric viola. In the final evening of this engagement, Cale celebrates 75 years, backed by the Wordless Music Orchestra and Chorus. They perform selections from his legendary, impossible-to-pin-down career, including his landmark work with the Velvet Underground, the baroque pop perfection of Paris 1919, pioneering forays into drone minimalism, and beyond.
Program A • November 16 & 17 at 8pm
50th Anniversary of The Velvet Underground & Nico
Curated by John Cale
Members of Wordless Music Orchestra
Program B • November 18 at 8pm
John Cale’s 75th Birthday Celebration
Music by John Cale
Wordless Music Orchestra and Chorus