Lost Highway Suite by Olga Neuwirth
Performed by International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)
Composer Olga Neuwirth’s Lost Highway Suite—derived from her opera of the same name, itself inspired by David Lynch’s cult classic film—evokes a mysterious tone and structure in a concert performance featuring immersive surround sound. Using a 64-speaker Ambisonic dome, built around the audience in the EMPAC Concert Hall, the suite distills Neuwirth’s 2003 opera to its instrumental core. Mixing live performance with electronic sounds that swirl around the listening space, Lost Highway Suite creates a hallucinatory experience not unlike the warped plotline and surreal characters of the Lynch epic.
Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth (born 1968) gained international recognition at the age of 22 for two mini-operas based on works of Nobel Prize-winner Elfriede Jelinek. Since then, she’s written several music theater pieces including her first dramatic work, Bählamms Fest (also based on one of Jelinek’s works), The Outcast, American Lulu, and Hommage á Klaus Nomi.
International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is a 35-member artist collective that explores how new music intersects with communities across the world. Works by emerging composers have anchored ICE’s programming since its founding in 2001, and the group’s recordings and digital platforms highlight the many voices that weave music’s present.