David Lang - Crowd Out

‘I want to write a piece for 1000 people shouting in the street’, exclaimed American composer David Lang with not a little passion when I saw him during BCMG’s visit to New York in March 2008 – and he then bemoaned the fact that nobody would commission it. This proved too irresistible, so here is BCMG commissioning a new work which will probably not have a single BCMG player in it! David’s marvellously crazy idea is for a major piece for outdoor performance, with a vast community of singers (or shouters?), perhaps involving movement in some way, and to a text of his own writing. This will be David’s third Sound Investment commission – BCMG premiered My Evil Twin in 1992 and The Passing Measures in 1998. The first was for 14 performers, the second for 43 performers… with David one always feels a gauntlet is being thrown down, and all one can do is pick it up.

Stephen Newbould, BCMG Artistic Director

Crowd Out was premiered on Sunday 8 June 2014 at Millennium Point, Birmingham by 1000 voices, conducted by Simon Halsey. It went on to receive home grown performances in Berlin and London throughout June 2014.

“It’s by turns stirring and touching, in the way so much of Lang’s best music is” – The Guardian

“…the sheer commitment and expertise of these amateurs drawn from all over the Midlands, and who had been brilliantly prepared and rehearsed top-down from the directorship of Simon Halsey” – Birmingham Post

“…thrilling moments kept sparking new life, from the arrival of the first sustained notes to those incandescent mass yells. There was also the joy of seeing community art so eloquently enthroned, involving all sorts and conditions, without need for trained voices.” – The Times