Tempo: A Quarterly Review of Modern Music vol:69 issue:271 pages:36-47
The oeuvre of Austrian composer Bernhard Lang (°1957) is based upon extreme musical repetition. In his Monadologie series (2007-present), short samples of pre-existing music form the starting point for a variety of automatically generated looping- and transformation processes. The overwriting of pre-existing music results in the creation of meta-compositions which radically alter the listeners’ understanding of the original piece.
While sketching a general overview of the composer’s aesthetic beliefs and the compositional strategies originating from them, this article focusses on Lang’s Monadologie series. It aims to clarify the relationships between the individual pieces of the series, to analyse the musical techniques which are used to reinterpret pre-existing scores within a contemporary setting and finally, to interpret the implications that arise from that procedure. The 2009 Monadologie VII: …for Arnold… thereby functions as a historico-analytical case-study, from which a deeper insight into the series’ hermeneutics is gained.