Singer, keyboarder and producer Yogi Lang (RPWL) has summoned prominent supporters for his album: Manni Müller on drums (ex-RPWL, Claudia Koreck), Torsten Weber on guitar (Doors of Perception) and distinguished bass luminary Guy Pratt (Pink Floyd) underline and emphasize the singer’s expressive lyrics in their very own exceptional way. Special appearances by violinist Anne de Wolff (Rosenstolz among others) and Dominique Leonetti, singer for French progressive band Lazuli, add another artistic layer of color to the record. An album as complete and as personal as in any way possible: Yogi Lang defies of staffage and needless acoustic decoration – the songs float free within the emotions and leave certain topics to move drift spherically in time. With the stunning Artwork from Artist Judith Reichart the Digipack becomes a real collector’s piece.
Of the three Bang on a Can founder composers, David Lang’s music has always been the glassiest, the sparest, and for some listeners the most precious. In recent years, his aesthetic has become leaner still, paring down already simple material to gaunt extremes in something approaching neo-plainchant. The national anthems (note the lower case; nothing vainglorious here ) takes fragments of text from the anthems of all 193 United Nations member states and unfolds at speaking speed, with plenty of room for breaths between phrases and plenty of clarity to the words. It has the feel of sad and eerie intoning. The Los Angeles choir clinches the right sound for Lang – unflinching, spellbound – while the Calder Quartet gives sleek accompaniment. Also on the disc is a new choral version of Lang’s little match girl passion, the piece originally for four voices that won him the Pulitzer prize in 2008 and which, in the mouths of many, becomes a sort of collective prayer in the congregational tradition of Bach’s chorales.