Thomas Buckner (Baritone)

Sunday, March 18, 2018 · 7:30PM

Bread & Salt

1955 Julian Avenue

San Diego, CA 92113

Tickets at the door: $20/$10 for students


For more than 40 years, baritone Thomas Buckner has dedicated himself to the world of new and improvised music. He has collaborated with a host of new music composers including Robert Ashley, Noah Creshevsky, Tom Hamilton, Earl Howard, Matthias Kaul, Leroy Jenkins, Bun Ching Lam, Annea Lockwood, Roscoe Mitchell, Phill Niblock, Wadada Leo Smith, Chinary Ung, Christian Wolff and many others.


He has made appearances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Herbst Theatre, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Ostrava Days Festival, the Prague Spring Festival, and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Buckner is featured on over 40 recordings, including six of his own solo albums. His most recent solo recording New Music for Baritone and Chamber Ensemble includes  works by Annea Lockwood, Tania Leon, and Petr Kotik. He also appears in the newly released CD/DVD Kirili et le Nymphéas (Hommage à Monet. This recording documents the latest in his ongoing series of collaborations between the sculptor Alain Kirili and improvising musicians and dancers. For the past twenty years, Buckner has co-produced the Interpretations series in New York City. He also created the Mutable Music record label to produce new recordings and reissue some important historic recordings, previously unavailable in CD format.


Buckner was a member of Robert Ashley’s opera company for over thirty years, beginning in 1983 with the opera Atalanta, Acts of God and continuing until the composer’s death. He worked closely with Ashley to develop the style of singing in a manner of speaking which is unique to the operas. Over the years, Robert Ashley created a number of concert versions of arias from operas for Thomas Buckner, as well as free standing solo works. This concert will begin with a concert version, of the aria “The Producer Speaks,” (from Atalanta), and include “Tract,” a wordless piece that treats the voice as an instrument; excerpts from the opera El Aficionado; and a realization by Tom Hamilton, (Ashley’s long time collaborator on making the electronic orchestras for the operas as well as live processing and mixing), of the aria “The Mystery of the River” (also from Atalanta). The concert will also include a performance of a work by Sam Ashley, (Robert’s son) called “Ear of the Beholder, Eye of the Storm, Benefit of the Doubt,” with improvised text by Buckner.