Jun 12, 2016

Sundaze 1624

Hello, the European football Championsship has started and the biggest clash thusfar ended in a draw UK 1 - Russia 1 an injury header outclassed the UK defense. 0-0 at halftime UK the upperhand but the second half was much more even. The coach made a big mistake not exchanging his forwards Kane and Stirling who both were disappointing at least after the 1-0 he should have brought Vardy and Rashford and scare the Russians. Well they have a neighborly war next against Wales, Kane has to proof himself there or sink.

Today's artist  is an American composer living in New York City. As one-third of the composer-collective Bang on a Can, David Lang is something of a genial father figure of the indie-classical scene. Talk to any of the world's main players and you're likely to hear them tell you about their life-changing stint in Bang on a Can's summer festival, which has acted as a sort of feeder school and incubator for the group's try-anything mentality. Lang's music has undergone many stylistic shifts over the years: In the 80s, he wrote bristlier stuff, but in the last decade or so, he's shifted quietly into a more pensive register.  ........N'Joy

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David Lang has often been categorized as a post-minimalist, but his style is deeper and more complex than that term might suggest: though he has broadened minimalist techniques like other post-minimalists, he has employed a variety of disparate elements in his compositions, including rock and Bachian compositional forms. Lang won a Pulizter Prize for his choral composition The Little Match Stick Girl Passion (2007), a work formally modeled on Bach's St. Matthew Passion but containing music so highly individual that some critics expressed astonishment at how to categorize or describe its imaginative character. Lang's music can seem harmonically and rhythmically static, with seemingly little going on, as in How to Pray (2002) and Men (2001), both pieces being part of a visual/musical work called Elevated. Yet his admirers will assert there is much profundity beneath the surface of his music, and many critics will agree. Lang has also collaborated with other composers on large works, as he did with Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon on The Carbon Copy Building (1999), a so-called comic-strip opera, which was awarded the Village Voice OBIE Award in 2000. Lang's works have been issued on a variety of labels, including BMG, Cantaloupe, Chandos, Decca, Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, Sony Classical, and others.

Lang was born in Los Angeles, California. After completing his undergraduate degree at Stanford University, he went to the University of Iowa; he says, "There was a teacher in composition at the University of Iowa named Martin Jenni, and he had come to Stanford as a leave replacement to teach for a semester. And I just thought he was amazing. He knew a lot of stuff that I’d never heard of before. So when I thought about grad school, I went to Iowa. I was happy I did. It was really a kind of golden age. I really loved it." Lang went on to earn a DMA at Yale University in 1989. In addition to Jenni, his teachers have included Henri Lazarof, Lou Harrison, Richard Hervig, Jacob Druckman, Hans Werner Henze, and Martin Bresnick.. In 1987 he co-founded, with Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon, Bang On A Can, an organization promoting new and eclectic music, often presented in marathon concerts. .

Lang's music is informed by modernism, minimalism, and rock - and can perhaps be best described as post-minimalist or totalist. His music can be in turn comic, abrasive, and soothing, and it usually retains elements of conceptualism. He sometimes gives his concert pieces strange and even iconoclastic titles such as Eating Living Monkeys (1985) and Bonehead (1990). He is well known for his work with choreographers Pam Tanowitz, Annie-B Parson, Twyla Tharp, Shen Wei, Benjamin Millepied, Susan Marshall and Édouard Lock / La La La Human Steps.

In 1999 he collaborated with composers Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon and librettist/illustrator Ben Katchor on the composition of the "comic strip opera" The Carbon Copy Building. The production won an Obie Award for Best New American Production. Lang, Wolfe and Gordon subsequently collaborated on the 'oratorio' Lost Objects, the recording of which was released in summer 2001. Their next collaborative project was Shelter, a multi-media work with librettist Deborah Artman, for the Scandinavian vocal group Trio Mediaeval and the German ensemble musikFabrik, which was performed in Germany and the U.S. in 2005.

In 1999 Lang drew notice for his opera The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, a work whose libretto was inspired by an Ambrose Bierce short story. The piece was scored for and premiered by the Kronos Quartet, with vocal soloists. Lang continued drawing notice in the new century with works like Fur (2004), for piano and orchestra. Most of his larger works came as the result of important commissions, including The Little Match Stick Girl Passion, which was a co-commission from the Carnegie Corporation and the Perth Theater and Concert Hall. Since 2008 Lang has been teaching composition at Yale University Music School.

The composer surveyed all of the national anthems of the world, drew ideas and phrases from them, and translated them into English. Musically, it is very similar to The Little Match Girl Passion made up primarily of short, arpeggiated phrases. It is scored for chorus and string quartet. It was premiered on June 7, 2014 at Walt Disney Concert Hall by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the recording of the world premiere comes out on Cantaloupe Music in the spring of 2016.[14] The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, where Lang is Composer-in-Residence in 2015-16, will perform the Canadian premiere of the national anthems, Trinity Choir Wall Street performs the New York premiere as part of their Twelfth Night Festival, and the London Symphony Chorus performs the UK premiere.

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Composer David Lang came to prominence as one of the organizers of the Bang on a Can festival, a musical event organized around postmodern contemporary ideas with feet in minimalism, rock, jazz, and other forms. This disc of his own compositions ranges widely, sometimes ingratiating, sometimes annoying, but generally of interest. The title track, far from having any overt associations with the Hendrix classic, is a self-referential piece involving the plight of a new music listener who gets banged on the head and the hallucinatory scenes this accident creates. Musically, it tends toward the abrupt, harsh minimalism of Louis Andriessen, a Dutch composer and one of the patron saints of the Bang on a Can festival. Its stabs at humor and wackiness wear thin, however. More successful is a piano duo, "Orpheus Over and Under," here performed by Double Edge (Edmund Niemann and Nurit Tilles). A keening evocation of loss, its shimmering, unrelenting tremolos in the higher registers are striking and evocative.

David Lang, John Adams - Are You Experienced, Grand Pianola Music  (flac  266mb)

01 Short Ride In A Fast Machine (John Adams) 4:23
Are You Experienced ? (David Lang + Narrator) (22:49)
02 Introduction 0:26
03 On Being Hit On The Head 2:37
04 Dance 5:58
05 On Being Hit On The Head (Reprise) 1:03
06 On Hearing The Voice Of God 2:52
07 Drop 6:55
08 On Hearing The Siren's Song 2:58
Under Orpheus (David Lang) 16:23
09 Aria 9:57
10 Chorale 6:26
Grand Pianola Music (John Adams) 31:43
11 Part I 14:47
12 Slow 8:13
13 Part II: On The Dominant Divide 8:39

David Lang, John Adams - Are You Experienced, Grand Pianola Music   (ogg  147mb)

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According to the composer, the five works on David Lang's 2003 recording Child constitute an "attempt to examine certain experiences as I remember (and misremember) them from my childhood. Each individual movement is in some way a memory of how I learned to do something." For this recording, Lang gathered the separately commissioned but closely affined pieces into a suite for a varied ensemble of winds, strings, piano, and percussion, presented here by the Italian chamber ensemble Sentieri Selvaggi. Lang clearly draws on the repeated patterns and static harmonic fields of minimalism, but reduces the volume almost throughout to a restless murmur (save in the frenetic pianistic patter of Short Fall). The extramusical associations of the works range widely: a half-forgotten mnemonic memory device for the order of the planets lends its title -- as well as its gentle orbital feel and lack of closure -- to My Very Empty Mouth, the subtle intoxication of the dentist's laughing gas is invoked by the undulating woodwinds in Sweet Air, and the structural contours of Stick Figure are reduced to simple lines of sustained notes with sudden percussive strokes marking off its spare features. The streamlined yet lyrical nature of this music is complemented by the intimate, subtly articulated recording.

David Lang - Child  (flac  176mb)

01 My Very Empty Mouth 12:57
02 Sweet Air 8:49
03 Short Fall 4:05
04 Stick Figure 9:56
05 Little Eye 7:20

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David Lang is a prime mover in the experimental contemporary Classical. The five pieces on this collection effectively reflect his use of outsider sources and contrary strategies. The opener "Pierced" contrasts the avant chamber trio Real Quiet with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Each plays almost independantly of each other while adding into a contrapunctual whole. The trio's jaunty and jazzy tangents, almost like an abstracted and distracted Lionel Hampton, are surrounded by sheets of nervous strings more akin to Bernard Herrmann. The effect is both exuberant and trepiditious. Midway, a new movement brings in terse percussion underlining slower sad lyricism and skittish dissonance, a disconcerting beauty.

Lang transmutes the viola-ed danger of the Velvet Underground's "Heroin" into a startling new arrangement, with Theo Bleckmann's confessional choral ebbing and flowing over a modal and serpentine cello. It is like a throughline between Phillip Glass and Radiohead, something that Lou Reed and John Cale would wryly appreciate. "Cheating, Lying, Stealing" is a self-deprecating jibe about unreliability, riffing off of being a rip-off. Modes repeat but shift erratically in a formal dance that's gone tipsy and turnabout. The three movements sych to the title; the first like bold tiptoeing, the second secretive and dark, the third like partial melodies skipping grooves. But it all gells as exciting and engaging instead of being randomly frustrating.

"How To Pray" pairs elegaic cello flows with strong piano chords to synthesize classical swell with rock urgency. "Wed" evokes a bittersweet personal memory by balancing delicacy with decay, where Lang says "hope and despair were in some strange equilibrium". A good summary of the goods herein. Each piece on the disc is strong and nuanced, an excellent introduction to a musical outlaw.

David Lang - Pierced (flac 284mb)

01 Pierced (2007) 13:51
02 Heroin (2002) 10:57
03 Cheating, Lying, Stealing (1993/95) 10:42
04 How To Pray (2002) 9:55
05 Wed (1996) 5:18

David Lang - Pierced (ogg   110mb)

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 This Was Written By Hand, his most recent recording, is a collection of short solo piano works played by the British pianist Andrew Zolinsky.

The album holds the same, sustained melancholy mood: thoughtful, searching, elegiac, minimalist. Lang's way with repetitive phrasing doesn't feel like that of minimalists like Glass or Reich's, though. When his works linger over and repeat a figure, as on the title track, it feels uncannily like a puzzling notion being considered by an inquisitive, slightly neurotic mind. In that respect, Lang's music mimics the intellectual sensation of thinking and writing about music as much as it does the act of listening to music itself. To immerse yourself in this music is to hear a mind's churn. It can be perversely soothing.

David Lang - This was written by hand (flac 198mb)

01 This Was Written By Hand 10:13
Memory Pieces
02 I. Cage 5:53
03 II. Spartan Arcs 3:10
04 III. Wed 4:46
05 IV. Grind 1:50
06 V. Diet Coke 1:41
07 VI. Cello 4:53
08 VII. Wiggle 4:01
09 VIII. Beach 8:46

David Lang - This was written by hand   (ogg   107mb)

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