Bernhard Lang
A tribute to Martin Arnold 1

In this short piece for tape he tried to transfer the technics of Arnold to musical works of art, using overly- used pictures, speaking with Werner Herzog. In this case it was the g - minor Symphony by Mozart, 19 bars from the first movement, another few bars from the second.Langs fascination with Martin Arnold is supposed to derive from the latters use of wellknown scenes within a new scenario of excessive looping as the sole enhancer. This looping seems to be the key in this kind of repetitive frenzy, but it is a kind of new approach using loops: Arnold uses shifting, dynamic loops which differ greatly from the mechanical, static version. This modulated loop is beeing used by scratchers in hip - hop music, by the great Philip Jeck, by Helmut Kaplan and many others. Langs piece was intended to transfer those techniques to electro - acoustic media.Using therefore no sound processing but cutting and copying he tried to create a complex structure based on very short samples from the symphonie. As a Modulator he first used a text from the bible, some well - known verses from ecclesiastes, a time to get born,a time to die and so on; as you see, the text deals a lot with time , which seems to have exerted a certain additional fascination on Lang. He furthermore used a certain kind of coding also used by other cabbalistically inclined composers, assigning a number to each letter, which means 1 for "A" 2 for "B" and so on. The number of each letter determined the number of loops for each sample;the lenght of each sample was determined by the microcomponents of the Mozart - sample, Lang trying to avoid the occurence of motivic structures from the original.The usage of all those techniques and the reliance on non - musical structures seem to stem from the wish to bring some kind of order into the material, which consisted mostly in more or less interesting sounds but which made up no piece of music !On the other hand Lang came to the conclusion, that the lack of inherent structure could not be compensated by the reference to literature or other disciplines outside the music.But according to psychologists all this striving for order is supposed to be founded on some derangement of the mind boarding on paranoia, based on the inability to cope with the intrinsic kaos of reality, of sensual data in their kaotic flow . The composing of structures turns out as a strategy to build up the illusion of integrity and protectedness against the experience of chaos; it reassures the composers personality of it´s own existence as a substance. Having reached this point of consideration Lang found that he had no idea how to finish the piece.Unfortunately he made a further mistake trying to implement the piece on an Atari - Falcon Computer, which failed to work after the first three minutes of finished material. So there were only two samples of the piece left, one for each movement....In spite of that failure Lang continued to work on those Mozart -samples after having dropped all his former structural considerations, which leaves us with the question, why he still kept to those very bars of ancient music in a context of a new electro acoustic composition. The answer leads us back to an event in Langs life back in 1976 when he had a kind of vision of a blue landscape seen through a wide opening eyeshape while listening to the falling flute sequences of the second movement. This is of no importance however, neither for us bored listeners, nor for the piece in itself, as are all biographic data. Langs biography seems to become a kind of excuse or justification for the lacking coherence of his ideas. Perhaps he forgot, that the composers only goal should be the decomposition of himself, so it makes no sense creating a musical representation of one self leaving a trace of non - relevant data. It seems that any kind of substantiality in music, any kind of constitution, construction of context leaves us discontent in spite of the resulting consolidation offering us a point of identification. This might be founded on our disbelieve in a composition as a representative of the composer, may he mask and hide himself however he tries...So ideally there should be no one talking to you just now, as you are sitting there listening in the semi darkness of the concert hall. But perhaps that is just the case, because you dont exist inside of this dialogue, which is a fake anyway. Just try to interrupt me and you will see what I mean. We seem to be on the corresponding ends of a performance which pretends to be some sort of communication but definitely is not. I cannot even percieve you some way or the other and this is not due to my beeing a virtual entity as you might have already guessed....So with all the actors removed there remains only the music which turns out as something absolute because of its inability to take part in a rational discourse .It drones on from various channels in some kind of minimalistic oscillations, which appear to be neither new nor of great importance in spite of the growing complexity of Langs further attempts using the CDP system on Mozart. He never achieved more than all too familiar pattern - shifts which never reached the intensity of Arnolds visual loops. So what else is to be said ?Yes, there are those scratches from the beginning of an old ruby red Roy Eldridge record, which perhaps have mainly to fulfill the task of masking the crackings and glitches of my voice, which comes only in 8 bits. The small fluctuations of the turntable and the hops of the needle are supposed to be a further reference to Arnold.