this was written by hand
Passionate, prolific, and complicated, composer David Lang embodies the restless spirit of invention. Lang is at the same time deeply versed in the classical tradition and committed to music that resists categorization, constantly creating new forms.
this was written by hand was written for pianist Andrew Zolinsky and was premiered June 23, 2003 at Wigmore Hall in London. It is dedicated to Peter Helm, in honor of his 50th birthday.
David Lang on this was written by hand:
“I was taught to write music with a pencil. I remember those days so well – I would sit patiently at my desk, singing the music to myself and then writing it down. If I was tense about a project or a deadline I would hold the pencil so tight that I would get blisters on my fingers, and my arm would cramp up, and take weeks to recover. Writing music was an intensely physical activity. I got my first computer in 1993 and I have not written music with a pencil ever since, but I often wonder how – or if – the means of my writing had any effect on the writing itself. I wrote this piano piece to find out.”
David Lang on memory pieces:
“One of the horrifying things about growing older is that your friends don’t all grow older with you. People get sick and then they die. You watch, you try to comfort them, and then you try to comfort yourself. The true horror is that after a while your memories begin to fade. How long can you hold on to the sound of a voice, the memory of a strange event, a bittersweet feeling, a silly story? I was friends with all the dedicatees of the enclosed set of pieces – some were closer friends than others – and I have very personal memories of my dealings with them that I don?t want to fade. Each of these little pieces highlights some aspect of my relationship with each friend. I hope this will help me hold on to these memories just a little while longer.”