On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the horrific 1968 massacre of more than 500 Vietnamese villagers by American soldiers in My Lai, Vietnam, comes a commemorative music performance. My Lai reminds us all of the horrors of the battlefield and the blight of the Vietnam War on the American soul.
Part of the 2017 Next Wave Festival
Kronos Quartet, Rinde Eckert & Vân-Ánh Võ
Music by Jonathan Berger
Libretto by Harriet Scott Chessman
"On March 16, 1968, in South Vietnam, US Army pilot Hugh Thompson, Jr. nosed his helicopter down three times into the carnage at My Lai in an attempt to stop the civilian massacre. In this fevered character study of the once-vilified, now-lionized soldier, composer Jonathan Berger enlists South Asian zithers and xylophones and an amplified Kronos Quartet to consider the line between duty and conscience. Tenor Rinde Eckert portrays the latter-day Thompson, who—in a manic barrage of soldier speak, gritty poetry, and hallucinatory recollection—reflects on a decisive moment when breaking rank in the name of human decency forever changed the public perception of a war."
It was nearly 50 years ago that American soldiers massacred hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese villagers at My Lai. Kronos Quartet's fully staged collaboration with composer Jonathan Berger and novelist Harriet Scott Chessman revisits the horrors of that day and its aftermath, from the perspective of the heroic helicopter pilot who tried to intervene. Berger's "richly evocative" and "hauntingly beautiful" (San Francisco Chronicle) score blends Rinde Eckert's expressive voice with string quartet augmented by traditional Vietnamese instruments played by Vân Anh Võ, and an electronic soundscape of helicopters, voices, and snippets of American blues.
For more than 40 years, the Kronos Quartet has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually reimagining the string quartet experience. Kronos’ adventurous approach dates back to the ensemble’s origins. In 1973, David Harrington was inspired to form Kronos after hearing George Crumb’s Black Angels, a highly unorthodox, Vietnam War-inspired work featuring bowed water glasses, spoken word passages and electronic effects. Kronos revisits the inspiration for the founding of the group with My Lai...
Hancher has enjoyed a long and creatively fruitful relationship with both the Kronos Quartet and UI alum Rinde Eckert. For My Lai, the string quartet and the vocalist come together with Vietnamese multi-instrumentalist Vân Ánh Vanessa Võ to lay bare the tragedy of the 1968 massacre at My Lai. The story of the destruction of the village at the hands of American soldiers is told from the perspective of Hugh Thompson, a helicopter pilot who tried to intervene and who was vilified for reporting what he had witnessed.
This Summer, Rinde will be a featured artist at Creative Music Workshop, a nine-day intensive that places non-stylistic improvisation at the center of musical learning. Learn from a host of award-winning music artists on the Nalanda Campus in Boulder, CO
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 New Victory stage is transformed into a living, breathing instrument.
ABOUT MR. WAU WA
The Mr. Wau Wa Band was formed in 1998 as part of a project at P.S 122, which was celebrating Bertolt Brecht’s centenary. The band was inspired by a photo of Brecht from the ‘20s, performing with some clowns including the famed Karl Valentin and his partner Liesl Karlstadt. Brecht is standing in a cart playing the flageolette, behind a roll-down cartoon drawing of a strong-man being run over by a car full of revellers, with the inscription “Mr. Wau Wa”.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Artistic Advisor at Large Renée Fleming today announced the artists for the inaugural season of Renée Fleming VOICES, a new concert series that heralds the power of the voice across a wide range of genres. The series includes Broadway favorites such as Hamilton Tony Award® winner Leslie Odom Jr., Tony® winnerAlan Cumming (Cabaret), and Tony® favoriteMegan Hilty, plus acclaimed jazz vocalist Jane Monheit, opera sensationLawrence Brownlee, multidisciplinary performance artist Rinde Eckert, and composer and jazz pianist Billy Childs, who will bring to life his Grammy Award® Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro.
AGING MAGICIAN is a new music-theatre work, a composite of sonic and visual elements that paints an allegory on time, youth, and the peculiar magic of ordinary life, and, perhaps, the ordinary magic of a peculiar life. Accompanied by a string quartet and a choir of young people, AGING MAGICIAN moves us along with Harold, from the surgical repair of a timepiece to the magic show of time itself, lives and deaths, appearances and disappearances. The man’s vibrant last adventure is brought to life by a team of multidisciplinary artists who combine music, theatre, puppetry, instrument making and scenic design to create an enduring work for the stage. This work features vocalist Rinde Eckert, a musical set by Mark Stewart and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and string quartet.
PART OF JERRY GRANELLI'S RESIDENCY
Jerry Granelli celebrates 76 years of life and 60 years of music performance in a residency at The Stone in NYC. Rinde will be joining him and fellow musicians for a live show of Sandhills Reunion on January 8th.
SCHICK MACHINE returns to San Francisco
See virtuoso percussionist Steven Schick explore a visually stunning theatrical stage filled with huge invented instruments and sound sculptures by Paul Dresher, Daniel Schmidt & Matt Heckert and with text and direction by Rinde Eckert.
Rinde makes his way to Rangely, CO to perform at THE TANK as a part of Rinde's Odyssey. Forty years ago, when its unique acoustic potential was first recognized by Bruce Odland, The TANK — an empty steel water tank in Rangely, Colorado — began its secret life as a recording destination for a dedicated group of musicians.
9000 miles. East coast. West coast. Heartland in Between. At each stop he is evolving his performance of My Fools: A Life in Song, performing in friends' living rooms, theaters, museums and universities.
Follow his travels on Facebook and Twitter
Rinde Eckert and fellow musicians from the 2004 album Sandhills Reunion perform the work on Wednesday, May 29 at 7:00 pm at National Sawdust as part of Rinde's curated series at the new venue. U.S. Premiere.
On Saturday, April 9th at 6:00 pm hear Rinde Eckert speak on "The Power of the Blank Page" along with other TEDxNavesink speakers, selected to share their insight on the concept of making, and being a maker. Taking place at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ (photo by Eva Mueller)
“…an enigmatic detente….potent, soulful.” Steve Smith, NY Times
“Aging Magician is brilliant” Robert Wilson
“The Aging Magician is grandly, even venerably, operatic…[from the composer] who wrote the acclaimed Oceanic Verses.” WQXR
March 5 and 6 at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN Aging Magician Co-created by Paola Prestini, Rinde Eckert, and Julian Crouch; featuring the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, conducted by Dianne Berkun-Menaker, Walker Commission/World Premiere. Tickets: $28 ($24 Walker members)
After a week in residence at Mass MoCA working on the finishes touches of Aging Magician in preparation for the world premiere at Walker Arts Center, the team at Aging Magician presents an exclusive performance for the community in North Adams, MA.
Photo by Jill Steinberg
Rinde Eckert curates his third music event at National Sawdust on February 10 at 7:00 pm. See and hear this music work in seven parts based on seven different texts for five musicians: Rinde Eckert, Will Bernard, Kenny Wollesen, Don Falzone and Jeffrey Zeigler.
This World Premiere of My Lai, a new operatic work composed by San Francisco Bay Area composer and Stanford University Professor of Music Jonathan Berger will be performed by Rinde Eckert, Kronos Quartet and Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ, traditional Vietnamese musician at Harris Theater Millenium Park in Chicao, IL in January 2016.
On November 8, 2015 at 7:00 pm see curator Rinde Eckert's presentation of Big Farm at National Sawdust.
The band explains: “Big Farm is a place where serious counterpoint can meet burlesque, earnestness meet abandon; a place where they can kick it or take it to tea, reflect, attack, mourn, dance, pray, or mock with ease or determination, joy or fervor, using any and all means necessary. This world is a big farm – lots of different crops, changing weather, livestock, and a duck pond for good measure.”
The band Mr. Wau-Wa returns to Barbés on Wednesday, October 14 at 8:00 pm | $10.00
The band is dedicated to performing the songs of Bertolt Brecht as set by his collaborators Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, and Paul Dessau, as well as some contemporary settings by David Hidalgo (from Los Lobos). Formed with four members of Kamikaze Ground Crew, plus the internationally renowned performance artist Rinde Eckert With Gina Leishman, vox, accordion, pump organ; Rinde Eckert, vox, accordion, pump organ; Doug Wieselman, clarinet, sax, guitar Marcus Rojas, tuba and Kenny Wollesen, drums. $10
On October 10 at Stanford University see a performance of this new work written by Jonathan Berger, to be performed by the Kronos Quartet with tenor Rinde Eckert, and Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ, with a libretto by Harriet Scott Chessman and lighting design by Brian H. Scott.
The centerpiece of this year’s Family Day at OZ Arts in Nashville, TN is Paul Dresher Ensemble’s Sound Maze, an interactive experience of sound and mechanics, consisting of fifteen newly invented musical instruments and sound sculptures that audience members are invited to interact with and improvise upon. 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and Obie Award-winner Rinde Eckert will perform on the myriad of instruments at 1pm.
Rinde joins eighth blackbird to sing selections from their Grammy-Award winning album, Lonely Motel, at Celebrate Brooklyn, a free performance of music in Prospect Park featuring acclaimed Bill Frisell, Sam Amidon, and Rudy Royston and Tony Scherr.
Hear Rinde Eckert perform along with other acclaimed musicians at Sound Bites, Roulette's annual concert to benefit their New + Adventurous Art. Click here to buy tickets.
On May 5 at 6:30 pm, Rinde leads a workshop on Interpreting Myth and Drama, with a focus on the Orpheus Myth. Presented by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and hosted at the Mark Morris Dance Center. Click here for more information and to purchase admission.
Performer/vocalist Rinde Eckert and composer/performer Ned Rothenberg collaborate with beatbox artist Adam Matta and designer/co-director Mark DeChiazza to workshop and perform a piece that imagines how animals might perceive human beings. Now an evening length work, Five Beasts will premiere in Lyon, France at Les Subsistances March 26 - March 29, 2015 and is available for touring in the 2015-16 season.
January 11 - 13 Aging Magician at the Park Avenue Armory's Under Construction Series.