Interview with Pianist Mike Lang (Part 1)
Pianist Mike Lang is a professional recording musician who has played with virtually everyone in virtually every genre of music. In this first part of my interview listen to the way his life in music began. Mike’s parents say that he asked to take piano lessons when he was four and a half. Serendipitously his early teachers taught him about a wide variety of music. His first teacher’s favorite pianists were Jose Iturbi and Liberace, so she had him playing written (classical) pieces and also popular music, and she taught him to play chords and begin to improvise. Mike says it was “a magical way to start because it set the tone for me being able to be about more than one thing in music.” Then he studied with the brilliantly eclectic George Tremblay who not only introduced him to a wide variety of musical styles but subjects as diverse as Shakespeare. Mike calls these “auspicious experiences” because they prepared him for a career which would include playing incredibly diverse music. Listen to this charming, thoughtful man talk about his philosophy of being in the present and the impact that philosophy has on his playing, also hear cuts from his only solo album, Days of Wine and Roses – the classic songs of Henry Mancini.