Saturday, September 26, 2009

Double Portrait: Lang/Andriessen

This was a concert by the Crash Ensemble, where they were playing music by David Lang (from the USA, and present) and Louis Andriessen (apparently the Netherlands' greatest living composer, too busy partying to make it over to us). My beloved and I were able to play Dublin avant-garde music scenesters bingo with the audience, easily worth the price of admission on its own. The music was great too. Looking back, the David Lang stuff was the more memorable, in that I remember it better (though I also remember liking the Andriessen pieces a lot).

Much of what Lang did was strikingly percussive, but the real highlight was the last piece, 'Forced March'. Stealing a life from those Warpy fellows Autechre, Lang composed this so that it would play through without repeating any of itself, even while sounding broadly like something that was going through cycles. Its instrumentation was almost like that of a rock band (or a rock band whose sound is heavily filled out by orchestral elements), with a lot of lead guitar action going on in it. It was pretty in your face, and I reckon it would have gone down well at a standing concert or to a festival crowd. I must look and see if a recording of it is available anywhere.

No comments: