Grammy Winner 2011 | best small ensemble performance
Lonely Motel is the world premiere recording of songs from the startlingly innovative music and theater work Slide, written for new-music sextet eighth blackbird, an ensemble of wind, string, piano, and percussion virtuosos. The group, with composer-electric guitarist Steven Mackey and singer, actor, and librettist Rinde Eckert, premiered the concert-length work at the 2009 Ojai Music Festival in Southern California, a mecca for cutting-edge music enthusiasts. The same forces perform on the new CD, which takes its title from the final song in the cycle.
Eckert plays the central character, Renard, a fictional research psychologist whose fiancée has abandoned him. The heartbroken Renard reminisces about an experiment he conducted using projections of photographic slides to explore the fallibility of human perception.
Lonely Motel's 11 songs are about 'self-delusion and, ultimately, the isolation created by the attachments we develop to our own fuzzy, personal views of reality,' eighth blackbird says. Musically, the songs contain subtle homages to Dowland, Mozart, Stravinsky, Piazzola, and The Beatles.