The music of Austrian composer Bernhard Lang (b. 1957) is one of in-betweens. Stylistically, Lang’s oeuvre occupies the space between a multitude of genres, ranging from contem porary composition and free improvisation to the wider realms of hip hop and DJ-culture. By virtue of Lang’s radical openness to creative conversation and collaboration, and to ideas and influences from other areas of artistic and scientific exploration, his oeuvre finds connections to the worlds of film, dance, theatre, philosophy, and mathematics. Lang’s world is also one of musical borrowing and appropriation.
In his ongoing Monadologie series (2007–), for instance, the composer comfortably wanders through musical history, finding inspiration in the repertoires of musical celeb rities such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Bob Dylan, and Miles Davis. The best metaphor with which to describe Lang’s oeuvre is perhaps that of the “rhizome”– a philosophical term coined by post- struc-turalist thinker Gilles Deleuze and psycho-analyst Félix Guattari in the 1980s. In their definition, the rhizome describes an organic and dynamic network of unexpected and non-hierarchical interconnections; of root-lessness; of continuous becoming. Just like Deleuze and Guattari’s rhizome, Lang’s body of work has no singular point of origin or well-defined direction. Instead, his musical world is one of continuous rumination, of a never-ending re-thinking, re-focusing, and re-interpreting.
Paradoxically, this is where Lang’s oeuvre seems to find its focus; in its chaotic ambiguity, its open-endedness and its tentative flux, its gentle yearning for diffraction.The three piano solo works grouped to- geth er as 3 Intermezzi were all composed between 2015 and early 2016. They mark a period of contem plation and transition for the com poser, as they were written in the space between finishing one major operatic project (Der Golem, 2014) and beginning another (ParZeFool, 2016). They are, in fact, just that: an “intermezzo” (the Italian word for a brief pause or interlude; an “in-between”).