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Theo Bleckmann: Hello Earth! The Music of Kate Bush
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 03/11/2011 at Symphony Space.

Grammy-nominated vocalist Theo Bleckmann taking on the mysterious songbook of British pop recluse Kate Bush.

In 1979 British pop sensation Kate Bush toured for the first and last time in her life. This tour, called ‘The Tour of Life’ became her swan song. She has since recorded a handful of CDs while hiding from the public eye.

Except for the occasional covers, Kate Bush’s music is rarely heard in versions other than her own original recordings, let alone performed live.

‘Hello Earth’ is my love song to a wealth of compositions and lyrics by a composer that significantly changed my path and trajectory at the age of 13 when I first encountered her music.”

Theo Bleckmann




Running Up That Hill

Watching You Without Me

Hello Earth

Suspended in Gaffa

Wuthering Heights

Army Dreamers



All The Love


This Woman's Work

The Man With The Child in His Eyes

+ About the Artists

A jazz singer and new music composer of eclectic tastes and prodigious gifts, GRAMMY nominated Theo Bleckmann makes music that is accessibly sophisticated, unsentimentally emotional, and seriously playful. His work provokes the mind to wonder, but connects immediately with the heart.

Bleckmann has released a series of gorgeous and irreverent albums on Winter & Winter, including recordings of Las Vegas standards, of Berlin Kabarett, and of popular “bar songs” (all with pianist Fumio Yasuda), a recording of newly-arranged songs by Charles Ives (with the improvisational jazz/funk collective Kneebody), and most recently, acoustic solos for voice and toys, entitiled I dwell in Possibility. Hello Earth! the compositions of Kate Bush will be released on Winter and Winter this fall. He maintains an ongoing creative relationship with guitar phenomenon Ben Monder, makes up Refuge Trio with John Hollenbeck and Gary Versace, and forms Moss, a vocal All-Star collective, with singers Peter Eldridge, Kate McGarry, Lauren Kinhan, and Luciana Souza. Additionally, Bleckmann has collaborated with musicians and composers, including Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Sheila Jordan, Phil Kline, Michale Lang, Kirk Nurock Michael Tilson Thomas, Julia Wolfe, John Zorn, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and, most prominently, Meredith Monk, with whom Bleckmann worked as a core ensemble member for 15 years. He is also the voice in John Hollenbeck’s GRAMMY nominated Large Ensemble.

Bleckmann’s joyous, mischievous sensibility is also manifest in his compositional work, settings of by Rumi, Emily Dickenson, and Kurt Schwitters as well as building ineffable soundscapes with just his voice and loop pedals, including a recent string quartet for JACK String Quartet, commissioned by the Slought Foundation.

Bleckmann’s adventurous and extravagantly beautiful choices have led his work to be described as “from another planet” (New York Times), “magical, futuristic” (AllAboutJazz), “limitless” (Citypaper, Philadelphia), “transcendent” (Village Voice), and “brilliant” (New York Magazine), and left one critic wondering, “does he eat people food?” (AllAboutJazz). He has a gift for creating sounds listeners have never heard before, but pine to hear again.

In 2010, Bleckmann received the prestigious JAZZ ECHO award from the Deutsche Phono-Akademie in his native Germany and also appeared on the David Letterman Show with Laurie Anderson

He can be heard on the upcoming soundtrack of Hoodwinked, Too.

Henry Hey has enjoyed a widely diversified musical career in New York. He has toured and recorded with drummers Jeff Watts and Bill Bruford, trumpeters Alex Sipiagin and Kenny Wheeler, saxophonists Bill Evans and Seamus Blake, vibraphonist Joe Locke, bassist Victor Bailey, and singers Monday Michiru and Harry Belafonte. Henry’s touring has taken him to 27 countries around the world. In addition to appearing on countless albums—both jazz and pop, Henry’s piano and keyboard work has been heard on soundtracks including Ocean’s Twelve, Two Weeks Notice, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, The Last Mimsey, and Alvin and the Chipmunks. In recent years Henry has been the pianist for Rod Stewart, performing in arenas worldwide.

Skúli Sverrisson is a bassist and composer from Iceland. He is known for his work with a diverse group of composers and improvisers ranging from Laurie Anderson and Ryuichi Sakamoto to Wadada Leo Smith and Blonde Redhead. His own records include Serimonie, Seria, Eftir Thogn, Kjar, and A Thousand Incidents Arise with Australian composer/clarinetist Anthony Burr. Skúli has received 5 Icelandic Music Awards, including Record of the Year for Seria in 2006. Recent projects include music for Voluspa for the Icelandic National Theatre, artistic direction for Olof Arnalds’ new record Innundir Skinni, and the March 2011 release of his own Seria II.

Genre-crossing composer/percussionist John Hollenbeck, renowned in both the jazz and new-music worlds, has gained widespread recognition as the driving force behind the unclassifiable Claudia Quintet and the ambitious John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, both groups with roots in jazz, world music, and contemporary composition. His Large Ensemble’s albums A Blessing (Omnitone) and eternal interlude (Sunnyside Records) both received GRAMMY nominations, and in 2007, John was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. He is well known in new-music circles for his longtime collaboration with Meredith Monk, and has been commissioned recently by Bang on a Can All-Stars, Gotham Wind Symphony, Ethos Percussion Group, Painted Bride Art Center, hr-BigBand of Frankfurt, Orchestre National de Jazz funded by the Chamber Music America French-American Jazz Exchange; and the University of Arts (Philadelphia).

Caleb Burhans is a composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist at the forefront of New York’s new music scene. He is a member of Alarm Will Sound, ACME, itsnotyouitsme, Newspeak, and the Wordless Music Orchestra. He holds a degree from the Eastman School of Music where he studied violin, viola, voice, and composition. His composition teachers include David Liptak, Bob Morris, Joseph Schwantner, and Augusta Read Thomas. Caleb has worked closely with La Monte Young, Lou Harrison, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Adams, Meredith Monk, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Jacob Ter Veldhuis, Poul Ruders, Per Norgard, Roger Reynolds, George Crumb, Brian Ferneyhough, Martin Bresnik, David Liptak, Brad Lubman, Augusta Read Thomas, and Bernard Rands. His work has been commissioned by the Albany Symphony, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, JACK Quartet, Janus, and the Tarab Cello Ensemble. His music has won awards such as the Music Educators National Conference Composition Competition and Eastman’s Bernard and Rose Sernoffsky Prize. Caleb has received grants from the Howard Hanson Institute and the Annenberg Fellowship. As an arranger he has worked with John Adams, Aphex Twin, and Venetian Snares.

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