Some time during the long summer, I bumped into Lang Lang in a radio studio and took a moment to congratulate him on his techno-comm skills. Lang Lang and his works can be found on every medium of electronic transmission invented up to and including last Thursday. He is tweeted, facebooked, i-Googled, B&N-ded and, in all likelihood, apped on an abacus. He has a brilliant website, updated 24/7.
There is one item, however, that he cannot touch. ‘I can talk about all the new ways of spreading music,’ he said, ‘but I can’t mention the i-Pad on air or in the press.’
‘Why ever not?’
‘Sony…’ he shrugged.
Stands to reason. The Japanese corporation paid $3 million earlier this year to detach the Chinese star from his long-standing connection to Universal Music and is now in a position to call the shots. Sony has developed its own handbook Reader, a rival to Apple’s triumphant i-Pad. If you’re a Sony artist, you don’t talk about a competitor’s products.
Lang Lang looked a bit uncomfortable about this and I was tempted momentarily to ask if he kept an i-Pad under plain covers. It seems a shame to restrict an artist from using whatever he needs and talking about it wherever he pleases. But then that’s what happens when you take the golden hello.
The corporation owns you body and soul.
And you jump when the men in suits say so.