In 1987, David Lang was a 30-year-old composer and doctoral student who, with his Yale buddies Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe, founded Bang on a Can, a scruffy organization dedicated to the proposition that all musics are created equal. These days, Lang is an eminence: Pulitzer Prize winner, member of the Yale faculty, and composer in residence at Carnegie Hall for 2013-14. Justin Davidson talked with him midway through “collected stories,” a six-concert festival he curated at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, and days before the release of his recordinglove/fail…continue reading
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David Lang is one of the most thoughtful composers working today. His music is consistently probing, emotionally urgent, strange, and beautiful. It is also getting simpler as the years roll on—a sign that the mind behind it is undergoing a kind of ritualistic purification. I’ve been obsessed with David’s music since I bought a recording by mail order of his piece cheating lying stealing when I was in high school, and I have written a piano piece called David Lang Needs a Hug…continue reading
David describes the epiphany he had at nine years old that lead to his life as a composer. He and Paul have a fun, freewheeling conversation amidst excerpts of David’s music, with a little Steve Reich thrown in as well.
By Collin RaeRead more…
(…) What I find so fascinating about David’s music is its direct sonic link to what we now call “Indie Rock”. His homage to the Velvet Underground is a fine illustration of this link. It is however pieces like Pierced and Cheating, Lying, Stealing with their organic and almost awkward loops, the spaces and hesitations that flow within that circular-like sound which really grab and propell the listener…continue reading
I wanted to tell a story. A particular story—in fact, the story of The Little Match Girl, by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The original is ostensibly for children, and it has that shocking combination of danger and morality that many famous children’s stories do. A poor young girl, whose father beats her, tries unsuccessfully to sell matches on the street, is ignored, and freezes to death. Through it all she somehow retains her Christian purity of spirit, but it is not a pretty story…continue reading