wrote “a huge amount of music” (including
one piece requiring the audience to pop
bubble wrap). He helped found a performance group dedicated to the conceptual
works of New York’s Fluxus group, which
staged “happenings” like the one that got
Lang booted from Dinkelspiel Auditorium.
“I looked at my rebellion from the music
department as being a sign that I should
throw myself in with everything that was
rebellious,” Lang recalls. “If it was some-
how alternative to what I was supposed to
know, then I was interested in it.”
smart people there who went on to have a
huge effect on me.” Carey Perloff, ’ 80, now
artistic director at San Francisco’s Ameri-
can Conservatory Theater, staged several
earlier productions in New York to which
Lang contributed music. “He was this funny
combination of nerdy and hip, unbeliev-
ably together and at the same time a bad
boy, but always a great friend,” she recalls.
“He was always exhausted and carrying a
coffee cup because he was a total insomniac.”
Lang’s spirit of artistic adventure formed
in his freshman year when he studied with
the maverick composer Lou Harrison, a
visiting professor. “He was connected with
this glorious tradition of American experi-
mental music,” Lang explains, “and he
inspired me to realize that being a composer
allowed you the opportunity to think about
everything in the world.”
The University’s science orientation
provided a useful crucible for Lang’s ambi-
tions. “Having to figure out how to justify
being someone in the arts in that environ-
ment made me smarter, tougher and a bet-
ter collaborator with other people from
other disciplines,” he says. “That’s what I
got out of Stanford: long lasting, powerful
and meaningful friendships that became
deep artistic and intellectual relationships.”
Athena HVDly ad:STF 3/18/11 2:49 PM Page 1
Lang found another source of inspiration:
his fellow students. “I met a lot of incredibly
Lang followed another temporary Stan-
ford faculty member, composer Donald
Martin Jenni, to Iowa for a master’s degree.
BIOLOGIST’S PHEROMONES INCREASE AFFECTION
“Jenni’s deep knowledge of the music and the
history behind the music was mindblowingly
persuasive,” Lang wrote in a tribute.
Ph. D. in biology
from U. of Penn,
In 1981 Lang commenced doctoral studies at Yale, where his mentor, composer
Jacob Druckman, taught him a valuable
lesson. “I don’t want to talk about music,”
Druckman said in their first meeting, after
seeing Lang behaving in a “snotty” way during an audition. “I want to tell you what an
asshole you are.” Lang learned that however aggressive his sounds might be, if he
wanted others to play his music, he needed
to behave in a more community-minded way.
For Women $98.50, For Men $99.50
FOR MEN AND WOMEN.
Vial of 1/6 oz. added to 2-4 oz. of
your fragrance, worn daily lasts
4-6 months, or use it straight.
Today, when Lang works with musicians and students, he’s affable, frequently
joking at his own expense while gently
encouraging them to reach higher. Married
to a visual artist (and a father of three), he
collaborates with other artists—Perloff’s
AC T, a Montreal ballet company and filmmakers—as often as possible.
Effective for 74% in two 8 week double blind
studies published in peer review journals.
“You really do notice a difference when
the 10X is used. Actually, it is amazing. I
notice my wife responds differently."
Not sold in stores, Call 610-827-2200
or view the science and order online at
When Lang moved to New York in the
early 1980s, he and composers Michael
Gordon and Julia Wolfe often lamented the
marginalization of composers in contem-
porary culture. Dissatisfied with conserva-
tive orchestral and academic institutions,
and drawing on DI Y predecessors like Har-
rison and his partner John Cage (who
together formed the first composer-led
percussion ensembles in 1930s San Fran-
cisco), they created a festival that would
provide a performing, and later recording,
outlet for contemporary composers.
BRETT CAMPBELL, based in Portland,
Ore., writes about performance arts for The
Wall Street Journal and other publications.