Lang's 'Crowd Out' - inspired by soccer, sung by anyone

Tue Jun 3, 2014 10:34am EDT
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By Michael Roddy

LONDON (Reuters) - Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang thinks classical music needs to get out more - so he's blowing the lid off on Sunday with the premiere of "Crowd Out", inspired by a soccer match and written for 1,000 non-professional voices.

The premiere will take place in the English city of Birmingham in the gigantic Millennium Point conference hall, the very kind of place where Lang thinks classical music must be heard if it is not to become completely irrelevant.

"I feel like there's something that's so powerful about this music and this legacy and this idea of people coming together and doing something important with sound," Lang, 57, told Reuters during a visit to London to plan for the premiere.

"But the world we've built for classical music is very narrow, we've built this place where you have to know a lot, you have to go to special places, you have to experience it with a certain kind of reverence."

"For my entire life, I've been involved in trying to figure out ways to open up new doorways to new audiences and new listeners, to bring different kinds of music together so they'll have a wider impact," said Lang, one of the founders in 1987 of the "Bang on a Can" ensemble that has become famous for its marathon concerts of new music.


As a Los Angeles native attending an Arsenal match more than 20 years ago in London, Lang said he felt lost in a crowd where he realized that everyone knew the sometimes rude songs the fans were singing, but he did not.   Continued...