Story and Libretto: Mikael Karlsson and Elle Kunnos de Voss
Music: Mikael Karlsson
Set Design, Art Direction, Animation: Elle Kunnos de Voss
Soprano: Amy Shoremount-Obra
THE ECHO DRIFT
The Echo Drift is an opera about Walker Loats, a convicted felon, serving her seventh consecutive life sentence out of a total of fourteen at the Hersh Correctional Facility. We follow her during the course of five days as she awaits a verdict on her pending appeal to the Governor to have her sentence reduced. During this time Walker is befriended by a moth who disrupts her outlook on her verdict, time and the order of events that constitute her life.
At The Hersh Correctional Facility the staff had taken away all signifiers of time. There were no windows, no schedules, no “lights out”. When Walker arrived the idea of time had been reduced to "now" and "not now" setting the inmates adrift in a paralyzing haze of unknowing and guesswork. Walker quickly saw a business opportunity in this setup and started selling measurements of time as contraband to her fellow inmates.
The moth challenges Walker's provincial understanding of time and free will as well as her fraudulent little business. The moth offers Walker a temporal perspective unlimited by the confines of her spatial predicament, along with a way to slip through the rips in the fabric that has restricted her for what, at this point, must be ages.
The Echo Drift is the first creative collaboration between designer Elle Kunnos de Voss and composer Mikael Karlsson (both Swedes living in New York City).
The role of Walker Loats is performed by Metropolitan Opera soprano Amy Shoremount-Obra backed up by violin, piano and live electronics in a 6 channel surround system as well as a multitude of media, including animated sequences and characters.
The December 2, 2014 performance was a world premiere staged preview of the work presented in collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC, Rough State Sound and Metrics Design Group.