Theo Bleckmann, Henry Hey, Chris Tarry, Caleb Burhans, Ben Wittman
Roulette | 509 Atlantic Ave
Curated by Meredith Monk
Theo Bleckmann – vocals
Henry Hey – keyboards
Chris Tarry – ebass
Caleb Burhans – strings, voice, guitar
Ben Wittman – drums, percussion, glocks
Vocalist Theo Bleckmann takes on the mysterious songbook of British pop recluse Kate Bush. This project goes beyond merely re-creating Kate Bush’s music but taking it into other realms of sound and interpretation. Bush’s œuvre is indeed mysterious and often enigmatic in nature: unusual song forms, oracular lyrics amd unpredictable meter- and harmony-changes are an anomaly in pop music, making it the perfect vehicle for Bleckmann‘s distinctive, interpretive spirit and interest in the unusual.
Even though Bush still remains a household name, it is fair to say that her music is not your usual run-of the mill boy-meets-girl/boy-loses-girl fare. Her use of British and Irish myths, her references to psychology, literature and film, her meticulously multi-layered productions and her unusually high voice make her idiosyncratic body of work challenging for other artists to interpret. Bleckmann first heard Bush as a young teenager and was immediately intrigued…”her music has this thing that I love in art: you’re instantly drawn into someone’s universe without really knowing why but somehow understanding everything in your heart.” A lot of teenage pop heroes came and went, but Kate Bush remained a constant in Bleckmann‘s life. “Her songs and records never became obsolete — I now realize that the way she layered sound, speech and music became a major influence for my live electronic looping aesthetic.” For “Hello Earth!,” Bleckmann chose songs that warranted a different interpretation.
A jazz singer and new music composer of eclectic tastes and prodigious gifts, GRAMMY® nominated Theo Bleckmann makes music that is accessible, sophisticated, unsentimentally emotional, and seriously playful. Bleckmann, who has been residing in New York City since 1989, has released a series of gorgeous and irreverent albums on Winter & Winter, including recordings of Las Vegas standards, of Weimar art songs, and of popular “bar songs” (all with pianist Fumio Yasuda); a recording of newly-arranged songs by Charles Ives (with jazz/rock collective Kneebody); his acoustic Solos for Voice “I dwell in possibility”, and his highly acclaimed “Hello Earth – the Music of Kate Bush.”
Bleckmann has additionally collaborated with musicians, artists, actors and composers, including Ambrose Akinmusire, Laurie Anderson, Uri Caine, Philip Glass, Ann Hamilton, John Hollenbeck, Sheila Jordan, Phil Kline, David Lang, Kirk Nurock, Frances MacDormand, Ben Monder, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kenny Wheeler, John Zorn, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and, most prominently, Meredith Monk, with whom Bleckmann worked as a core ensemble member for over fifteen years. He has been interview by Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air and appeared on the David Letterman show with Laurie Anderson.