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David Lang: "Cheating, Lying, Stealing"

Cheating, Lying, Stealing

David Lang

Born: January 8, 1957, Los Angeles, California

Instrumentation: Bass Clarinet, Cello, Piano, Percussion, Antiphonal Brake Drums

Composed: 1993, revised 1995, transcribed 2011

Duration: 11 minutes

University of Maryland Wind Orchestra

Friday, March 3, 2017, 8 pm

Elsie & Marvin Dekelboum Concert Hall

Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

The University of Maryland at College Park

A couple of years ago, I started thinking about how so often when classical composers write a piece of music, they are trying to tell you something that they are proud of and like about themselves. Here's this big gushing melody, see how emotional I am. Or, here's this abstract hard-to-figure-out piece, see how complicated I am, see my really big brain. I am more noble, more sensitive, I am so happy. The composer really believes he or she is exemplary in this or that area. It's interesting, but it's not very humble. So I thought, What would it be like if composers based pieces on what they thought was wrong with them? Like, here's a piece that shows you how miserable I am. Or, here's a piece that shows you what a liar I am, what a cheater I am. I wanted to make a piece that was about something disreputable. It's a hard line to cross. You have to work against all your training. You are not taught to find the dirty seams in music. You are not taught to be low-down, clumsy, sly and underhanded. In ''cheating, lying, stealing,'' although phrased in a comic way, I am trying to look at something dark. There is a swagger, but it is not trustworthy. In fact, the instruction in the score for how to play it says: Ominous funk.

- David Lang

Lang transcribed Cheating, Lying, Stealing for Bowling Green State University in 2011; the transcription was premiered on October 15 of that year, at Bowling Green's New Music Festival.

For a recording of the band version, please visit David Lang's Website.

David Lang, Cheating, Lying, Stealing

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