Ringmasters: David Lang

I first fell in love with the music of David Lang while reviewing his Little Match Girl Passion, and have been a fan ever since. David has a way of instantly depositing you into a space both enigmatic and at the same time uncannily familiar. Those lucky enough to have caught his Whisper Opera at MCA last year will remember how transportive was the multi-dimensional treatment of sound...while the traveling proximity of vocalist Tony Arnold created an intimacy usually reserved for secretive exchanges between confidants.
I'll be honest, we figured David for a long shot when we approached him about Mobile Miniatures, so it was thrilling to get a "yes" in response. He is one of the busiest composers in the biz, and yet this project seems particularly suited to his borderless approach to music. My favorite example, and one that literally sends chills down my spine every time I think of it, is his Départs project for a hospital morgue in Garches, France. David developed this piece to sonically accompany grieving families about to view their departed loved one. Imagine the artistic responsibility involved in taking on such a delicate moment...perhaps the most difficult of anyone's life. If you'd like to know more, RadioLab covered the project.