Lost Objects 2004 by Bang on a Can

Lost Objects
By Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe
Directed by François Girard
Danced performance: Lindsay Ashmun, Elizabeth Haselwood, Michael Helland, Sam Johnson, Candice Schnurr, and Wil Swanson
Music performance: Elizabeth Keusch, Andrew Watts, Daniel Bubeck, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, Gregg August, David Cossin, James Woodrow, Andrew Zolinsky, Concerto Köln, New York Virtuoso Singers
Conductor: Daniel Reuss
Set design: François Seguin
Sound design: Jody Elff
Lighiting design: Jane Cox
Production design: Peter Flaherty
Produced by Bang on a Can

Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival at Howard Gilman Opera House, November 30 to December 4, 2004 (Brooklyn)

Lost Objects is a musical exploration of the meaning of memory. With the spine of a baroque oratorio layered with the muscle of modern times, it is a powerful monument to the loss of people, things, rituals, ideas. In their second major collaborative performance project, genre-defying composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe team up with polyphonic writer Deborah Artman to work a strange and beautiful alchemy of text and sound. The baroque virtuosity of the legendary Concerto Köln is challenged and stretched by the hard-edged electric Bang on a Can Lost Objects Ensemble and the avant-turntables of DJ Spooky. In the same way that oratorios such as Handel’s Messiah were intended to be staged, the 3 vocal soloists and 30 voice chorus of Lost Objects inhabit a mythic and beautiful stage world, under the direction of the acclaimed, award-winning director François Girard. The result is Lost Objects, a haunting, hallucinatory and humane musictheater piece for baroque orchestra, rock ensemble, live DJ remix, solo voices and choir. The unique weave of sounds combines the resonance of animal gut and wood with the ethereal blend of soprano and countertenor voices mixed with the edgy force of amplified rock instruments and drums.

Lost Objects is a prayer hall, a hymn but also an invention,” writes Ms. Artman. “There is a narrative, somewhat sacred, but it is a fractured meditation. In the tenuous and hurried climate of the times we live in now, Lost Objects asks us to pause and consider the grace bestowed upon each thing, person, animal and idea, the ordinary and the not-so-ordinary lost objects of our shared and vanishing culture.”

Photo by Stephanie Berger