Men

If there was any danger that David Lang’s output is being overshadowed by his involvement with colleagues Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe as part of Bang on a Can, Elevated should help him…ehem…rise above that. This new two-CD set on BoaC house label Cantaloupe includes an audio-only disc and a DVD of the same works with film accompaniment. Lang’s 43-minute Men, included here with film by Matt Mullican, carries a dedication to Hans Werner Henze and is performed by the European Music Project, with Mike Svoboda playing solo trombone. A work of Buddhist-like temperament and pacing—moving forward with a sort of soulful ache yet never gaining, without seeming to have a beginning or end—the piece encourages the ear to sit back in its host’s head and listen through the thickness of the sound, mining it for every slight change, addition, or subtraction.


—MS