Monday, November 03, 2008

Richard Buckner Speaks

To all of you (you know who you are):

There’s a web site,, with a ‘be-back-later’ note. Since there’s nothing going on right now, it sits as a future dig, waiting for a body. In the meantime, the iron chefs at Merge have been kind enough to set me up with a kitchen island to use as a rant-site until my cookies are baked. We’ll begin in grand O.C.D. style, with a syllabus:

I. What Happened

II. What’s Happening

III. What Might Happen

Thank you. Please turn off your cell phone and pour a drink. The following may or may not include images of punk-assed music critics (“fast-eating tongue swallowers”-Merck Manual 2008), the world outside of the music industry (from Know Where Your Head Is Stuck: A Guide), and audience/performer perimeters (“Really? I don’t remember doing that...”).


I. What Happened

I have no idea.

II. What’s Happening

In 2007, while touring on fumes, I finished a film score for a movie called “Dreamboy”, based on a book by Jim Grimsley and directed by James Bolton. The movie is currently club-hopping around the theater scene after being featured at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year.

“Awake, My Soul: The Story of the Sacred Harp” is a documentary that was featured on PBS. Sacred Harp singing is a form of a cappella, shape-note singing born in the churches of the rural deep south over 200 years ago. The soundtrack to this film has been released this year along with “Help Me To Sing”, a compilation of Sacred Harp songs reinterpreted by artists such as Danielson Famile and John Paul Jones. I was asked to contribute and recorded a song called “Windham”. Beginning with the lyrics “Broad is the road that leads to death...” , my version aurally lends itself to an apparition of the Osmond Brothers waking up hungover in a Nashville cathouse after finding Andy Williams’ Pall Mall stash.

I was also commissioned by Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern to write a poem for an upcoming theme issue called “Endangered Species”, focusing on archaic literary genres from various cultures and time periods. I was assigned the task of writing a piece based on the rules of what are referred to as troubadours’ songs. As the editors described, “In the high middle ages, the troubadours wrote songs of chivalry, political disputes, and the ubiquitous maidens fair. These songs took a narrative form; some told stories of noble adventure (cansos), while others focused on politically-charged satire (sirventes).” While a fist-clenching politico was tempting, I chose to write a canso and set it to music for an accompanying track that will be available on their web site at some point in the alleged future.

Currently, I’m trolling through ideas and accidents for another record or two and trying to settle internal arguments on presentation and format. I’m also attempting to construct a series of short stories based on views and visions from my various allotted Catskill detentions.

My first six recordings Bloomed, Devotion & Doubt, Since, The Hill, Richard Buckner (an untitled collection of acoustic recordings) and Impasse are out of print. They will all be legally available online very soon.

III. What Might Happen

I’m afraid to ask.

In the meantime...

Please check out my friend Willy Vlautin’s writings.

Thanks again for reading. I’ll write again when something happens, whether it happens or not.





Blogger VonRiesling said...

It was only a matter of time that your music make it's way into films.

--Flipper the Wonder Spank

November 3, 2008 at 1:58:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jean-Pierre said...

richard...kinda happy i found this blog. obviously, you can see you have a ton of fans who are absolutely dying to hear new music and see you live again.

i am a massive fan and still in utter amazement of your talent and body of work. best of luck going forward and hope i can see you often in nyc again.

November 7, 2008 at 12:49:00 AM EST  
Blogger Suzette said...

Richard, I do hope that things work out well for you. Though I miss coming to your shows as of late, I'm certain that a respite from touring will do a world of good for your health and well-being. Meanwhile, breathe deeply and know that your fans will still be around, always. ~Suzette

November 16, 2008 at 8:27:00 PM EST  

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