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BOMB Magazine

December 1, 2012

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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…

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European Premiere: ‘prisoner of the state’

After its acclaimed world premiere in June 2019 with the New York Philharmonic, David Lang’s fully-staged opera, prisoner of the state, directed by Elkhanah Pulitzer, begins a European premiere tour 11 January at the Barbican Centre in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Singers and conductor Ilan Volkov.

prisoner of the state was co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Rotterdam’s De Doelen, London’s Barbican Centre, Barcelona’s l’Auditori, Germany’s Bochum Symphony Orchestra, Belgium’s Concertgebouw Bruges and Sweden’s Malmö Opera…

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percussion concerto premieres

On October 11 on the Ether Festival at London’s Southbank Centre, international percussion super star, Colin Currie (with Keith Lockhart and the BBC Concert Orchestra) premieres Wolfe’s newest work for orchestra, riSE and fLY for percussion and orchestra, at the South Bank Centre’s Ether Festival in London.

Using street percussion (buckets and junk percussion) and Appalachian body percussion, Wolfe weaves the soloist into the quilted texture of the orchestra to create an introspective and breathtaking experience…

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riSE and fLY :: Colin Currie at Southbank Centre

On September 17, Colin Currie reprises his performance of riSE and fLY at London’s Southbank Centre, this time with conductor Ricardo Castro and the Youth Orchestra of Bahia.

Inspired by New York City street beats and the rhythms of American work song, Julia Wolfe’s riSE and fLY is a dazzling work commissioned by the BBC Concert Orchestra for Colin Currie.

Borrowing the title from a chain gang work song, Wolfe’s intention is to “take Colin to a new place and to bring something earthy and visceral to the orchestra – to break with formality and get down and dirty.”

The result is a thrilling evocation of street drummers, accordionists, singers, Chinese stringed erhus and the folk tradition of body percussion that fully encapsulates the festival’s title, Metal, Wood and Skin…