Sweet Air

David Lang’s Sweet Air (1999) is like a musical mosaic. Small fragments, combined in interesting ways, sparkle and shimmer, playing tricks on the ear. The piece suggests an altered sense of reality and time. Here is Lang’s description: During a trip to the dentist my oldest son Isaac was given laughing gas. The dentist called it sweet air, a gentle name to take the fear out of having a cavity filled. It worked. …

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