Lang Lang

Lang Lang: we need more dialogue between technologists and musicians

There needs to be more dialogue between computer scientists/technologists and musicians to create new software and apps, according to classical pianist Lang Lang, speaking at Midem 2013.
Lang Lang explained that technology can help bring classical music to a broader audience, who may want to interact with the genre in different ways. "The speed with which new technology is introduced is dazzling," he said. "It's humbling to think that our performances can be telecast to the world at the touch of a button. The power of technology is limitless like the power of music. Perhaps that's why they are such good partners?"
However, he said that "no software can replicate human feeling. Ultimately what counts in music is the humanity that will inspire and move the listener and that only comes through the depth of the performance."
Lang Lang told the Midem audience that he was inspired to play the piano at the age of two when he watched Tom & Jerry's The Cat Concerto in China. "It was a cartoon and not a CD or cassette tape that first inspired my great passion for the piano and classical music." This inspiration came even though the cartoons were in black and white and "often blurred". But it didn't matter, as Lang Lang "couldn't wait" for them to be played again every week.
He credits social media for allowing him to bring music to a new generation of listeners. "A fresh and embracing approach to technology is important. As we have witnessed in the past few years, social media has totally changed many parts of the world," he said, nodding to the social media riots and Arab Spring. However, he said that it was also useful for communications partnerships, networking and sharing his music and thoughts with his fans.
Lang Lang was keen to promote his foundation -- Lang Lang International Music Foundation -- which he has set up to raise funding for the arts in schools, which he says is getting "very low priority". "We must reach out and make a serious effort for the benefit of the next generation. We need to be using technology to connect people that are at every end of the economic spectrum."
Image: Economic Forum/CC BY SA 2.0