Genre: Vocal, Ambient
Genre -bending, -skipping and -skirting vocalist and composer, Theo Bleckmann has been a steady force in the music scene in New York for over 15 years, forging his own sound in jazz and contemporary music today incorporating jazz, ambient and electronic music as well as performance art. He has performed worldwide on some of the great stages including Carnegie Hall?s Zankel Hall, the Sydney Opera House, L.A.?s Disney Hall, The Whitney Museum and the new Library in Alexandria, Egypt with artists like Laurie Anderson, Anthony Braxton, Steve Coleman, Dave Douglas, John Hollenbeck, Sheila Jordan, Ben Monder, Meredith Monk, Michael Tilson Thomas, Bang On A Can All-stars and John Zorn. The New Yorker called him a "local cult favorite", Downbeat a " "mad" genius", The New York Times "excellent" and according to OUT Magazine, Bleckmann is "a singer who has only recently fallen to earth". His voice can be heard on over 40 recordings found on ECM, CRI, Label Bleu, Polygram, Songlines, Traumton and Winter&Winter.
Genre -bending, -skipping and -skirting, vocalist/composer Theo Bleckmann has
been a steady force in the New York downtown music scene for over a decade.
Recognized as both a performer and composer, his work spans concerts, installations,
theater, cabaret and performance art. He has sung worldwide on some of the
great stages including Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and the Sydney Opera
House. The New Yorker called him a “local cult favorite”, the New
York Times “excellent” and according to OUT Magazine Bleckmann
is “a singer who's only recently fallen to earth” and indeed Bleckmann’s
style has something otherworldly and ethereal.
Bleckmann’s most recent CD “Origami” (Songlines) received four and a half stars (out of five) from Downbeat Magazine making it one of 2001 best releases, as well as declaring him a "rising star" in their 51 critic's poll. His unique vocal and movement capabilities (Bleckmann was once a junior ice dancing champion in his native Germany) inspire some of today's great composers such as Mark Dresser, Moritz Eggert, John Hollenbeck, Phil Kline, Ben Monder, Denman Maroney, Meredith Monk, Ikue Mori, Kirk Nurock, Bob Ostertag, Eric Salzman, Randall Wong and Bang on a Can’s David Lang, Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe, to create pieces especially for, and with him. Bleckmann has a long-standing track record of collaborating with composer and performance artist Meredith Monk and her Vocal Ensemble since 1994, which can be heard on ECM (mercy).
Bleckmann particularly enjoys working in duo. He and percussionist/composer John Hollenbeck forge an ethereal bond born of a long track record of working together including their duo, which is captured on "static still" (gpe records) and Hollenbeck's "quartet Lucy" (CRI). His continued collaborations with guitar iconoclast Ben Monder can be heard on Monder's "Excavation" (Arabesque) and their duo release, “No Boat" (Songlines), “…a disc of improv pieces marked by an imperturbable cool, worthy of the Bill Evans Trio “(Village Voice). Bleckmann has also collaborated extensively with composer/pianist Kirk Nurock; “Theo & Kirk” and “Looking Glass River” (both Traumton)Bleckmann's multidisciplinary works include a commission by the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris to compose and create a music performance piece out of Kenneth Goldsmith's text “Fidget.” Together with performance artist Lynn Book, he developed and performed “Mercuria” (produced by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago). Playing the gangster Dutch Schultz, Bleckmann co-created “The True Last Words of Dutch Schultz,” a new music opera in collaboration with director Valeria Vasilevski and composer Eric Salzman. As a sound improviser, he has performed, created and developed movie, television and theater scores, among them space Alien language for “Men in Black” by Steven Spielberg, “Star Trek: Envoy” (Meredith Monk), "Kundun" (Philip Glass). Theo Bleckmann sang in John Moran’s “Book of the Dead” at the Public Theater in NY, performed a lead in Band on a Can’s Obie Award-winning opera “Carbon Copy Building,” and frequently appears as a soloist with the Bang on a Can All-stars.
Theo Bleckmann’s work has been recognized with several awards including a Bessie Award, Presser Award for Outstanding Talent and the ASCAP/Gershwin Award for his composition “Chorale #1 for Eight Voices” as well as grants from Arts International, the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, New York Foundation for the Arts, Meet The Composer and the Council on Humanities, PA.
Bleckmann’s latest project includes his evening of widly diverse German
songs by composers ranging as far as Eisler, Ives, Strauss, Weill and Kraftwerk
which has been performed at New York’s Neue Galerie to repeatedly sold