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Klaus Lang: chanson lointain et douce (2021) for electric guitar solo

Klaus Lang und Yaron Deutsch: duet #1 (2023) for electric guitar and organ (WP)

Klaus Lang: bright star (2022) for electric guitar and organ (WP)

Yaron Deutsch (Electric Guitar)
Klaus Lang (Organ)

Klaus Lang and Yaron Deutsch had their first collaboration at the Darmstadt Summer Course in 2018 with the premiere of Lang’s bright darkness at the Orangerie garden, performed by ensemble Nikel. Since then the two have been in continuous musical dialogue circulating around their mutual interest in craft as a vital element in the artistic act. This manifested later in Lang’s solo work for electric guitar chanson lointaine et douce. And from there it was most natural for the two to enter the duo setting with their world premiere performance of bright star for electric guitar and organ. Although at first glance this combination of instruments seems to be quite far apart, Lang and Deutsch perceive the similarities to be greater than the differences with the two instruments possessing vast abilities of sonority, texture, polyphony, resonance and “reverberation”. These correspondences will firstly be heard in the improvised part (duet #1).


Sophie Emilie Beha interviews Klaus Lang and Yaron Deutsch

“Bright Star” may seem like a very slow piece, but actually there are many minimalistic movements happening all the time. Which role do they play?  

Klaus Lang: The central musical features of this piece are various different kinds of movements that are happening at the same time and that are overlapping each other. And it’s a movement in all musical parameters: So timbre is changing, pitch is changing. And of course, rhythm or speed is changing constantly. So overall, that’s a large space that doesn’t move, it’s filled with movement,internal movement of sound.

Is this constant moving heading towards something specific?

KL: There is no overall directionality in the romantic sense that leads to a climactic situation. But what I would say is that, at the end of the piece, the totality of the sound space has been wandered through. We have extreme high registers, extreme low registers, quite loud parts, quite soft parts, we are very fast, very slow … The process in this composition is like a travel guide that leads the audience through all the different aspects of the sound. At the end of the piece, we have made a full tour of the sound.

How do the two instruments – organ and electric guitar – relate to each other?

Yaron Deutsch: The organ is so rich of sound possibilities and the electric guitar, too. They are able to accommodate such a large space volume wise and body wise. If you can bring together these sound possibilities, these colors, this magnitude, it is great. We are limited on how soft we can be, mainly because of the organ, but there are many meeting points between these two instruments already sonically. They bring them together, even though organ and electric guitar seem very far apart, the many musical meeting points, that are within the score, allow to just to coexist very natural.

What are the structures for those musical meetingpoints?

KL: The main elements are very simple: chords and scales. I think that’s the necessity of the piece. If you have several layers on top of each other, you have to keep each layer quite simple in order to make it possible to hear all the different changes. So the musical content is extremely simple, the harmonic movements are almost in a diatonic space. There are no complex rhythmical structures. It’s just slow crescendo, accelerando and ritardando. It’s very, very simple.

© ️Kristof Lemp
© ️Kristof Lemp
© ️Kristof Lemp