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David Lang

Publisher: G. Schirmer

man made (2013)
Work Notes
This work is available with restrictions on quartet soloists. Please contact Red Poppy Music for more information.
Red Poppy
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
20 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Percussion quartet
Programme Note
David Lang man made (2013)
Composer note:
I have worked with So Percussion for a very long time now and I know them really well. When I got the opportunity to write a concerto for them I wanted to make it specifically for them, for the things that they have been concentrating on for the past few years. The are frequently theatrical, they invite found objects into their performances, they build their own instruments, etc. I wondered if I could make the unusualness of their musicality the centerpiece of this concerto, but how could an orchestra of 'normal' instruments doing mostly 'normal' things find common ground with them? My solution was to set up a kind of ecology between the soloists and the orchestra, using the orchestral percussionists as 'translators.' An idea begins with the soloists on an invented instrument, the percussionists in the orchestra hear the solo music and translate it into something that can be approximated by more traditional orchestral percussion, the rest of the orchestra hears and understands the orchestral percussion, and they join in. The opening, for example begins with the soloists snapping twigs, which the orchestral percussionists translate into woodblocks, marimba and xylophone, which the orchestra takes up and embellishes, eventually overwhelming the soloists. This process of finding something intricate and unique, decoding it, regularizing it, and mass producing it reminded me of how a lot of ideas in our world get invented, built and overwhelmed, so I decided to call it 'man made.'

— David Lang

First performance:
May 10 2013
A Scream and an Outrage
So Percussion
BBC Symphony
Jayce Ogren, conductor
Barbican Center, London, UK


  • 04 NOV 2017
    man made Country Premiere
    Vilnius, Lithuania
    Lithuania National Symphony Orchestra
    So Percussion; Christopher Lyndon-Gee, conductor
  • 01 AUG 2017
    man made New York Premiere
    Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra
    David Geffen Hall, New York, NY
    So Percussion
    Louis Langrée, conductor

    Other Dates:
    2 August - David Geffen Hall, New York, NY
  • 15 OCT 2016
    Akron, OH
    Akron Symphony Orchestra
    BANG ON A CAN; Christopher Wilkins, conductor
  • 23 JAN 2016
    man made Country Premiere
    mountain Country Premiere
    Winnipeg New Music Festival
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
    SoPercussion; Alexander Mickelthwate, conductor
  • 23 OCT 2015
    Princeton, NJ
    SoPercussion; Michael Pratt, conductor

    Other Dates:
    24 October - Princeton, NJ
  • 14 MAR 2015
    Music Now 2015
    Cincinnati, OH
    Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
    So Percussion
  • 06 MAR 2015
    man made Country Premiere
    National Concert Hall Dublin, Ireland
    RTE National Symphony Orchestra
  • 30 NOV 2014
    De Doelen, Rotterdam
    Residentie Orkest
    S Percussion; André de Ridder, conductor
  • 14 NOV 2014
    Turku, Findland
    Editions Wilhelm Hansen
    SoPercussion; André de Ridder, conductor
  • 07 NOV 2014
    man made Country Premiere
    Tromp Percussion
    Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, The Netherlands
    Residentie Orkest
    SO Percussion; André de Ridder, conductor
  • 02 OCT 2014
    man made Country Premiere
    Los Angeles, CA
    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    So Percussion; Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

    Other Dates:
    3-5 October - Los Angeles, CA
  • 10 MAY 2013
    man made World Premiere
    An Outrage World Premiere
    A Scream and an Outrage
    Barbican Center, London, UK
    BBC Symphony
    So Percussion; Jayce Ogren, conductor

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