From July 1-3 at Bard SummerScape David Lang and choreographer Pam Tanowitz premiere a new evening-length work, entitled Song of Songs. A hymn of yearning, steeped in images from the natural world, the dance was commissioned by The Fisher Center at Bard College, and the music was co-commissioned by The Fisher Center with LA Opera, The Company of Music (Austria), The Crossing (Philadelphia), and Flagey (Brussels). The program pairs Lang’s 2014 work just (after song of songs) with three vocal works composed and premiered over the past two years: let me come in, the sense of senses, and we were.
It was Pam’s idea to make a big project that would be based on the biblical text Song of Songs.I responded to her suggestion by mapping out four different paths through the text, resulting in a new text for the music that I would write myself. Each of these paths applies a different literary filter to the original text, and each path tries to concentrate on the paradox that, for Judeo- Christian believers, the text is both a sensual description of the experiences of two lovers and, at the same time, a deeply spiritual exploration of a relationship with god. My hope is that, by examining this deep and powerful text from such different angles, these movements, taken together, may begin to reveal more of the original text’s emotional and spiritual powers.