BERNHARD LANG (b.1957): The Anatomy of Disaster (Monadologie IX).
Catalogue Number: 07Q089
Label: Winter & Winter
Reference: 910 217-2
Description: Lang's Monadologie series of pieces are 'meta-compositions' which may be regarded as a very free form of transcription of the work of others. Lang claims the metaphysical philosophy of Leibnitz, with its concept of non-interactive simple substances in a constant state of change as the basis for all of reality, and the films of Martin Arnold that use cut-in found footage, as inspiration. How much of this is explicitly audible in the music may be open to debate, but the analytical and deconstructive processes used in creating these works give rise to an unique vocabulary, and some remarkable and thought-provoking pieces. Monadologie IX is based on Haydn's Seven Last Words. As in For Arnold, (07N116), fragmentary cells taken from the source work are looped and repeated less in the manner of the well-oiled mechanisms of the minimalists than resembling a stuttering machine in the last stages of breaking down, or a skipping or stuck LP jumping forward or frozen in time, sometimes interrupted by catastrophic events that completely change the course of the music. Much of the ingenuity of Lang's approach is that despite the fractured atonality of the final results, microtones, extended techniques and all, the pieces end up disturbingly familiar; they 'sound like' the works they comment on, without sounding anything like them at all, forcing the listener to adopt a new perspective from which to examine them.