eighth blackbird: Slide with Rinde Eckert and Steve Mackey

Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 8:00 pm
McCullough Theatre

Texas Premiere by Rinde Eckert and Steve Mackey
Rinde Eckert, actor/singer
Steve Mackey, composer/performer

Directed by Mark DeChiazza

Presented in partnership with Fusebox Festival

eighth blackbird members:
Tim Munro, flutes
Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets
Matt Albert, violin & viola
Nicholas Photinos, cello
Matthew Duvall, percussion +
Lisa Kaplan, piano

You are invited to step out of the box and into an evening of unconventional musical theatre. Slide is a concert-length music/theater work featuring new-music ensemble eighth blackbird, librettist/actor/singer Rinde Eckert, and composer/performer Steve Mackey.

Eckert plays Renard, an enigmatic psychologist who struggles to describe an experiment examining reactions to in- and out-of-focus slides. The results reveal that our decisions are based on habits or conventions that make it difficult for us to see clearly. Mackey and eighth blackbird also take onstage roles, resulting in an unmediated exploration and expression of sound, text, movement, and image.

Slide is directed by Mark DeChiazza, who conceived and directed eighth blackbird’s centennial production of Pierrot Lunaire and previously worked with the ensemble and choreographer Susan Marshall on singing in the dead of night.

Grammy winning eighth blackbird is hailed for delivering provocative and engaging performances. Combining bracing virtuosity with an alluring sense of irreverence, the sextet debunks the myth that new music is only for a cerebral few. Since its founding in 1996, eighth blackbird has actively commissioned and recorded new works from such eminent composers as Steve Reich, George Perle, and Frederic Rzewski. The group has commissioned groundbreaking works from younger composers such as Jennifer Higdon and Stephen Hartke. Profiled in The New York Times and NPR’s All Things Considered, eighth blackbird has also been featured on CBS’ Sunday Morning. The group is in residence at the University of Richmond in Virginia and the University of Chicago.

Rinde Eckert, the 2009 recipient of The Alpert Award in the Arts for Theatre and finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, is a writer, composer, performer, and director. Celebrated for his remarkably flexible and inventive singing voice and electric physical presence, his opera/new-music theatre productions tour throughout America and appear at major festivals in Europe and Asia.

Steve Mackey composes for orchestras, chamber ensembles, dance performances, and opera companies. Carnegie Hall presented a portrait concert of his work on its Making Music series in 2006. In June 2008 the BBC Philharmonic presented a 3-day festival of Mackey’s work.

“…eighth blackbird’s performances are the picture of polish and precision” NEW YORK TIMES

“Steve Mackey and Rinde Eckert’s premiere of Slide (Mackey as composer and electric guitarist, Eckert as librettist, actor and singer) rocked the Bowl with an opera/ song-cycle blend that provided food for thought along with bursts of musical narrative.” VENTURA COUNTY STAR

Campus and Community Engagement Events

eighth blackbird Post-Performance Talkback

Reviews, Resources & More

The Tune-In Festival at the Park Avenue Armory – article from The New Yorker
Slip-Sliding Away – from the San Francisco Classical Voice
eighth blackbird’s website
eighth blackbird’s YouTube channel

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