Bill Morrison's breathtaking new film unveils a world premiere from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang
Lang's new song "let me come in" showcases the exquisite voice of soprano Angel Blue, one of today's brightest opera stars. In this utterly compelling Digital Short, Lang's latest musical jewel is given gorgeous visual expression by the extraordinary filmmaker Bill Morrison, who breathes new life into rediscovered fragments of a long-forgotten silent film to astonishing effect.
Lang's music is hypnotic and his lyrics—drawn from the Song of Songs—are sensual and yearningly persistent. As the listener is drawn into an intimate world of desire, a compelling meeting of lovers plays out before our eyes. Reclaimed old nitrate footage explodes onto the screen, both nostalgic and hallucinatory in equal parts—the gorgeous disintegration of the rotting film stock giving contemporary viewers a fascinating glimpse of the not-so-distant past.
A Note from Filmmaker Bill Morrison
A Note from Composer David Lang
"David Lang's music is beautifully accessible, thought provoking and evocative."
"Bill Morrison—a man whose ability to conduct archival footage like Toscanini could a symphony orchestra was never in doubt—has emerged as one of our premier screen historians... One descries all manner of patterns and textures in the riot of rot: fingerprint whorls, swirls of smoke, coral reefs, baked desert plains, networks of cracks like those on an Albert Pinkham Ryder canvas."
"Lang's music always comes out sounding luminous, gorgeous"
Co-commissioned by LA Opera and the Fisher Center at Bard College.
Dedicated to Sophie Claudel, in memory of Frédéric Bonnemaison.
This project is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and from a consortium of donors to LA Opera's Contemporary Opera Initiative, chaired by Barry and Nancy Sanders.