Under the mononym L’Rain, Brooklyn native Taja Cheek has quickly become an acclaimed figure in New York experimental music. Her performances are informed by her interest in the history of contemporary art and the legacy of downtown performance in New York City. She is particularly interested in exploring the complex nuance of black grief and its proximity to black joy, using voice memos and other manipulated samples recorded in her hometown as inspiration and source material.
Cheek and her band are heralded for their magnetic live show and have performed across the United States; recent performances include headline performances at The Getty and The Kitchen, festival performances as a part of Basilica Soundscape and FORM Festival, and an improvised duo with artist Kevin Beasley as a part of his solo exhibition Kevin Beasley: A view of a landscape at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She has contributed music to Bring Down The Walls, a compilation album featuring Honey Dijon, Empress Of, and Larry Heard, created with Creative Time, artist Phil Collins, and The Fortune Society. In 2018, Jace Clayton (aka DJ /rupture) invited her to participate in a new collaborative sound work as a part of the exhibition Mel Chin: All Over the Place at the Queens Museum.
L’Rain’s sophomore LP, Fatigue, released in June 2021 via Brooklyn label Mexican Summer, was received to wide critical acclaim from publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, Pitchfork, Stereogum and many others. lrain.info
Now in its eleventh season, the Bang on a Can | Artists at Noguchi series features musicians performing an inclusive blend of music from across genres and across the world. noguchi.org/bangonacan