Buckner’s, the Only “inter-racial” New Music Audience

by danielgoode

March 11, 2011 9:57:52 PM EST

That’s because, since he came to NY from SF (Arch Records was his great new music label in SF), he started performing (baritone), commissioning and premiering Black artists from the AACM (George Lewis just did that big book on them, “A Power Greater Than Itself”—hope Musicworks reviewed it). They came and so did their audience. Unique in NY. Roscoe Mitchell, the talented wind player/composer was represented from that original AACM group at Buckner’s Interpretations Series, March 10th. Peter Garland, Michael Byron, and Fred Ho were the others on the program. Joseph Kubera pianoed. Sold out house in Soho. Tom Buckner is the “George Soros” of new music. He puts his money where his mouth is: into progressive causes. More power to them both. All the pieces were interesting, urgent vocal/instrumental essays. Peter Kotik’s Buckminster Fuller/Gertrude Stein setting was from 1971. Peter Garland’s “Smokey the Bear Sutra” setting of Gary Snyder was from 2007, clangorous, conch shells, bass drum, singer, marimba, smokin’ in a minimalist way of layering. Michael Byron’s Anne Tardos setting (“Pure of Heart”) was brand new.

Notice there were no women composers on the program. There were a couple in the audience. It’s still a mystery why that bulge of women composers that came in the ’70’s seems to have disappeared into business as usual. Something to explore. Maybe it’s less true in Canada then the U.S.—hot from NY