Stephen Mackey: Lonely Motel: Music from Slide
Rinde Eckert, vocalist
If you're a fan of eighth blackbird, you wont' be disappointed with this new release. If you're not familiar with this outstanding contemporary music ensemble, Lonely Motel can serve as a good introduction to the group
Stephen Mackey based his work on a
series of slides used for psychological testing. Subjects are shown
various images and are asked to react to them. Mackey does the same
thing musically, and just as with the test subjects, the answers are
often deeply significant and often confused.
Sonically the work lands somewhere between modern Broadway (think: Rent)
and contemporary classical music. Perhaps it’s the addition of the
composer on the electric guitar. Vocalist Rinde Eckert (who's also the
librettist for the work) delivers his performance with more a Broadway
belt than belle canto.
But that’s fine, because in this composition, it all works. Lonely Motel
is a series of 11 short vignettes, sometimes connected, sometimes not.
They range from the sparse and mordant musical accents of “Slide of Dog”
to the amazingly beautiful falsetto of “She Walks.” My favorite
movement is “Addiction” which effortlessly slides from a pointallistic
arrhythmic opening to a wild renaissance dance.
This is the kind of composition that can appeal to both adventurous
classical and rock music fans. If you like music with an edge, check
into the “Lonely Motel.” I think you’ll enjoy your stay.