Annea Lockwood and Thomas Buckner to tour New Zealand

Wednesday 17 February 2010, 8:46AM
By White Fungus


New Zealand composer Annea Lockwood and new music baritone Thomas Buckner are to visit New Zealand this May with concerts at Auckland University's School of Music (May 7, 8pm) and Wellington's Adam Art Gallery (May 9, 8pm), part of the gallery's Sound Check series of events.

The pair, whose musical partnership dates back to 1987, will be joined by New Zealand cellist Janet Holborow in presenting three electroacoustic pieces that engage with spirituality, injustice and cultural memory. None of the works have previously been performed in New Zealand.

The most recent piece, In Our Name (2009), focuses around poems written by three prisoners, Jumah Al Dossari, Emad Abdullah Hassan and Osama Abu Kabir, while they were incacerated in Guantanamo Bay. Al Dossari and Abu Kabir were released in 2007 but the fate of Hassan is unaccounted for.

Thirst (2007) counterpoints tension and serenity, swinging between New York's Grand Central Station at the 'high tide' of rush hour, and Lebanese sculptor Simone Fattal's memories of her family home's courtyard in Damascus - a place of sensory richness and peace. A Serbian song sung by Kristin Norderval, Jutros mi je ruza procvetala, threads through the piece.

Duende (1998) draws upon the remarkable and expressive array of sounds which Thomas Buckner has evolved over years of improvising, a form of personal vocabulary from which Lockwood has selected particular sounds reminding her of vocal transformations heard in recordings of shamanic singing.

Annea Lockwood was born in Christchurch in 1939 where she received early training as a composer, completing a B.Mus with honors at Canterbury University. In 1961 she moved to London where she studied composition at the Royal College of Music, while attending summer courses at Darmstadt. Lockwood completed her studies in Cologne and Holland, taking courses in electronic music with Gottfried Michael Koenig. In 1973, feeling a strong connection to such American composers as Pauline Oliveros, John Cage, the Sonic Arts Union (Ashley, Behrman, Mumma, Lucier) and invited by composer Ruth Anderson to teach at Hunter College, CUNY, she moved again to the US and settled in Compound, New York. She is an Emerita Professor of Vassar College.

Baritone Thomas Buckner has for more than forty years dedicated himself to the world of new and improvised music. Buckner 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, Alvin Lucier, Morton Subotnick, 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.

Annea Lockwood and Thomas Buckner will be guests at the Composers' Workshop at Auckland University at 3:45pm on May 7. Lockwood will also present a workshop for students of composition at Wellington's School of Music on May 10 from 2:00-3:30pm.