My September 2018 pick for Music of the Month is The Natural World by American composer, singer and musician Rinde Eckert. While for years he has been known for his ensemble work with some of the best musicians in the country, this album finds him in his own company, playing all the instruments, including guitars, ukulele, piano, accordion, South American wood flute, and percussion. But at the root of it all is his voice, and instrument of infinite variety and range. As he said in his interview in RootsWorld, “It does put us in a different kind of space... a wonderfully genderless space that frees us from all the attitudes that one can bring to the situation. I tend to use it when I want to jump us out of our expectations and into a liminal world.”
Rock and Roll Globe
September 7, 2018
Rinde Eckert has been a vital part of New York City’s performance art community since the mid-‘80s. He’s a Grammy-winning composer, musician, songwriter, performer, writer and director. He has written operas, plays, librettos for composer Paul Dresher, dance scores for Margaret Jenkins and performed several one-man shows. He’s been recording his original music, with the help of various collaborators since the late ‘80s, but he’s never made a solo album until earlier this year, when he cut The Natural World with producer Lee Townsend. Eckert spoke about his musical path from his New York City apartment.
Do you remember the first music that inspired you and made you want to become a performer?
My parents were both opera singers, so I was listening to music really early. I was going to operas when I was five and performed in my first opera when I was seven. I had a good voice, so I was a ringer, when they needed a kid to stand up and sing something. I learned music to understand the world my parents were in. I did study music, but I’ve been playing and singing since I was five, in one-way or another. I did have a rough patch, when I wasn’t singing very well, but after three months went by, my voice came back. I’ve continued on ever since.
Music News Desk
August 23, 2018
Grammy-award winning composer, musician, performer, writer and director Rinde Eckert's new single "Time is Our Own" premieres at Billboard with a feature interview. Read the interview/share the track HERE. The single appears on Eckert's most personal album to date, The Natural World, out August 24 via National Sawdust Tracks.
Having collaborated on numerous highly acclaimed recordings over the course of his varied and celebrated career, The Natural World marks Eckert's first completely solo album, in that all vocals and instruments (including guitars, piano, electronic keyboards/samples, accordion, South American wood flute, hand percussion, tenor banjo, dobro ukulele, banjo ukulele, shruti box and penny whistle) are provided by Eckert himself. Following a two-month, cross-country journey playing solo concerts, he entered the studio with longtime collaborator and producer Lee Townsend (Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Kelly Joe Phelps) and created a record that explores where the classical meets the vernacular and the earthly meets the spiritual-all with an eye toward offering empathy and vision in polarized times.
Written by admin
August 23, 2018
“…[Eckert] finds vivifying parallels between the theological quest of one man and the theatrical quest to capture and illuminate life.”—The New York Times
“Eckert is incomparable in making the mind matter in modern opera and performance art…”—Los Angeles Times
“His resonant, magnetic voice is even more flexible, soaring in a sweet tenor or angelic falsetto…”—San Francisco Chronicle
Grammy-award winning composer, musician, performer, writer and director Rinde Eckert’s new single “Time is Our Own” premieres at Billboard with a feature interview. Read the interview/share the track HERE. The single appears on Eckert’s most personal album to date, The Natural World, out August 24 via National Sawdust Tracks.
In support of The Natural World, Eckert will perform at National Sawdust in New York City on August 26. To purchase tickets click HERE.
By Gary Graff
August 23, 2018
Rinde Eckert has a long and distinguished career on the stage and in the studio, which has included a slew of awards, including a Grammy, and collaborations with the Kronos quartet, Brian Eno and opera soprano Renee Fleming. Now Eckert is stepping out on his own with his first ever truly solo album, The Natural World, whose "Time Is Our Own" premieres exclusively below.
"I just never felt like I was ready to do it -- and then I was," Eckert tells Billboard. His longtime collaborator and The Natural World producer Lee Townsend had been pushing him in this direction for a while, Eckert says, and winning the inaugural Doris Duke Artist Award, which included "a lot of money" earmarked for "audience development" helped provide an impetus for the project.