Soloist Rinde Eckert in Steven Mackey’s oratorio “Slide” with Orchestra 2001
LOCATION: Venice Island Performing Arts Center (250 seats)
DATE: Thursday, November 16, 2017
TIME: 8:00 PM
Slide, full theatrical version with Rinde Eckert (tenor/actor), Steven Mackey (guitar/narrator), Jayce Ogren (conductor) and Orchestra 2001 (Executive Director Adam Lesnick).
“Slide began in 2003 when I was visited with a vision of a kaleidoscopic marriage of movement, image, text, and music that moves freely within a wide range of performance paradigms. The music is a dish by and for musical omnivores and while the ingredients have been diced quite finely (and there is no quotation), the songs are seasoned with homages to Dowland, Mozart, Stravinsky, Piazzola, and The Beatles.
I left it up to my long-time friend and collaborator – Rinde Eckert – to contextualize the performance, to imagine a scenario and personae from whom this music emanates. Slide is a character study of Renard – an odd solitary psychologist conducting an experiment – played by Rinde Eckert [librettist/actor/singer], as told by a narrator/ composer/guitarist played by Steven Mackey. The musicians in Orchestra 2001 are a chamber group that Renard looks forward to rehearsing with every Thursday evening. They also serve variously as Renard’s imagined subjects or other phantoms within the protagonist's curious world and psyche.
The work is more of a song cycle than a play with music or an opera. The text, images and movement all contribute to a musical logic, which by its nature opens more windows of possibility than it closes with answers. Rather than link events into a story, the eleven tableaux trace a poetic arc and sketch a suggestive portrait of Renard.
Except for the Overture, all the numbers have singing, but I hesitate to call them songs since they are interspersed with narration, movement, projected images, one-sided cell phone conversations, and enigmatic instrumental solos all serving to inflect the perception of the embedded song and lyric. Slide covers a lot of ground: art song, straight up rock song, ritualistic music, and renaissance flashbacks to name a few of the occupied territories.”
– Steven Mackey