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 fiancee has abandoned him. The heartbroken Renard reminisces about an experiment he conducted using projections of photographic slides to explore the fallibility of human perception.