Rinde Eckert began making work in 1980...

with The New Performance Group (Seattle), an ensemble of musicians, interested in exploring the border of music and theater.  For over twenty-five years he has been writing, composing, performing and directing his own work. The work varies widely in character from opera to chamber music, plays, dance and performance art.


Featured Projects


…an enigmatic detente….potent, soulful.
— Steve Smith, NY Times

AGING MAGICIAN is an epic new opera-theater work that tells the story of Harold, an aging clockmaker near the end of his unusual life. A string quartet and Brooklyn Youth Chorus help Harold uncover his legacy as the stage is transformed into a living, breathing instrument. 

Co-created by composer PAOLA PRESTINI, writer and performer RINDE ECKERT, director and designer JULIAN CROUCH, instrument designer MARK STEWART, co-scenic design by AMY C. RUBIN and video and lighting design by JOSH HIGGASON. Written for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus conducted by DIANNE BERKUN-MENAKER and American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME). Residency & development support from Mass MoCA, The Park Avenue Armory, PROTOTYPE, and The Watermill Center’s Artist Residency Program.

Click here for Paola Prestini's Aging Magician Project Webpage.

The Aging Magician is grandly, even venerably, operatic…[from the composer] who wrote the acclaimed Oceanic Verses.
Aging Magician is brilliant.
— Robert Wilson

Promo video from Five Beasts premiere at Les Subsistances in March 2015.
Film by Mark DeChiazza.

Rinde Eckert and Ned Rothenberg with Adam Matta
Composed by Ned Rothenberg and Rinde Eckert
Music direction by Ned Rothenberg
Directed by Rinde Eckert and Mark DeChiazza
Production design by Mark DeChiazza
Costume design by Christina Bullard

Five Beasts

Rinde Eckert and the composer-performer Ned Rothenberg, both honored veterans of the avant-garde, team up to create a piece that imagines how animals might perceive human beings, an illusion brought to life with an array of unconventional sounds and gestures. Collaborating with beatbox artist Adam Matta, and designer/co-director Mark DeChiazza, the team took the project to Lyon, France in March 2015 to workshop and perform the work, now a full length piece. 


Sandhills Reunion


An album released November 1, 2004, Sandhills Reunion includes music by Jerry Granelli and text written and performed by Rinde Eckert. It is a multi-layered interweaving of words and music that Granelli calls an audio movie or play.  The video featured at right was shot by Mark DeChiazza and Mark Andrews during a three day excursion to Nebraska. The text by Eckert  is a glancingly linked sequence of reflections, imaginings, internal monologues and one historically accurate dialogue (“Twenty Questions for an Outlaw”) using the persona of Billy the Kid as a thematic touchstone and the Sandhills region of northwestern Nebraska as the landscape of memory and desire.

Click here for more information / to purchase the album

“...Granelli and the band really shine behind Eckert’s words, leaving perfect space for story…[but] Eckert really steals the show…His stories are some of the most vivid and amazing tales put to record recently.”

— Ryan McDermott, One Final Note