David Lang “Bangs on a Can” at OSU

Composer David Lang, recipient of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Music, will be visiting OSU this week for a concert of his music.(Photo: Peter Serling)
Composer David Lang, recipient of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Music, will be visiting OSU this week for a concert of his music.(Photo: Peter Serling)

UPDATE (5/19): IT WAS A GREAT CONCERT!!!!!

Okay, that’s a confusing title. Composer David Lang is the co-founder of Bang on a Can, an organization that commissions, publishes and performs contemporary music. Lang won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2008 for The Little Matchgirl Passion.

A concert of David Lang’s music will be performed by the OSU New Music Collective and the OSU Percussion Ensemble on Wednesday, May 18 at 8 p.m. in OSU’s Weigel Hall. The evening is sponsored by the Johnstone Fund for New Music and I’ll be hosting a post concert discussion with David Lang, with plenty of time for audience questions.

David Lang has a  gift of blending his own music into pre-existing work. He makes old music new and creates his own new music. Tomorrow night’s program features a work called Heroin based on Lou Reed:

Intriguing, even if you missed the Velvet Underground.

Lang won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2008 for The Little Matchgirl Passion, and I understand why. In the work, he blends Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Hans Christian Andersen!

Match Girl is scored for chorus and percussion. Such an original ‘mix’ signals a composer fascinated by combination of sounds, all types of sounds.

Another work on the program is Lang’s Cheating, Lying, Stealing for percussion, piano and bass clarinet:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c6NgVKcC0Qogram

I was going to say that this music does without the lush carpet of sound (Rachmaninoff! Wagner! Puccini!) loved by many of us, but on further listening I realize the carpet is very much there, and again, you just need to listen for it.

Tomorrow night at OSU’s Weigel Hall will be a great opportunity to hear new music, and hear from an important composer.  See you there!

P.S. – Here’s Lang himself explaining the Bach connection in The Little Match Girl Passion:

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