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The Stars of Hunger, was composed in 2007. It is based on three poems by the Austrian poet Christine Lavant: “Im rueckgrat aufwaerts glimmt ein licht,” “So also geht erleuchtung vor,” “Zeig an mir die kräuter welche bestärken” and “Lösch aus mein gesicht und führe mich blind.” Rather than set the poems themselves to music, Lang used the text generation program Abulafia to produce from them a cut-up in the tradition of William S. Burroughs. The composition contains only fragments of the poems, but both the invocational gestures and the characteristic language of these lyrical works -“Ginsterlicht,” “Schlüsselblick,” “mondversippt,” “der Schlaf steht duftend und gesalbt”- remain recognizable. Lang augments the four movements devoted to the Lavant poems by an instrumental introduction and two variations on Guillaume de Machaut’s rondo Ma fin est mon commencement. The identification of beginning and an end, as indicated in the text’s title line, shows that repetition was an issue even as long ago as Machaut’s day. But while this line is enough to conjure up an era during which the belief in life after death was still unquestioned (Machaut died in 1377), Lavant’s poems articulate this belief solely via their rebellion against the suffering of living creatures.
Monadologie VII shows us a familiar and yet strange landscape, a musical topography bereft of a dramaturgy; again and again, the musical events grind to a halt, get stuck. In these brief moments of empty repetition, it is as if one could abandon every plan and every objective without the slightest loss. It is such moments that give rise to dimensions within which the difference between present and past transforms itself into a musical experience. (Sabine Sanio)