David Lang: "Cheating, Lying, Stealing"
Cheating, Lying, Stealing
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