Oboist and electronic musician Kyle Bruckmann tramples genre boundaries in widely ranging work as a composer/performer, educator, and New Music specialist. His creative output – extending from conservatory-trained foundations into gray areas encompassing free jazz, post-punk rock, and the noise underground – can be heard on more than 100 recordings from labels such as New World, Hat Art, Carrier, New Focus, Not Two, Clean Feed, and Another Timbre. This breadth has led to his recognition as “an excellent composer, striking the right balance between form and freedom” (Signal to Noise), “a modern day renaissance musician” (Dusted) and “a seasoned improviser with impressive extended technique and peculiar artistic flair” (All Music Guide).
Thanks to his uncommon distinction as an improvising oboist, he has performed and/or recorded with Creative Music progenitors Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton and George Lewis, and worked as a sideman for bandleaders such as Lisa Mezzacappa, Guillermo Gregorio, Andrew Raffo Dewar and Myra Melford. Current ensemble affiliations include Splinter Reeds, sfSound, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Eco Ensemble, Quinteto Latino, and the Stockton Symphony; the most significant projects he has led or collaboratively founded include Degradient, EKG, Lozenge, and Wrack.
Since moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2003, he has performed as a substitute with the SF Symphony and most of the area’s regional orchestras while remaining active within an international community of improvisers and sound artists. From 1996 until his Western relocation, he was a fixture in Chicago’s thriving experimental music scene, with frequent collaborators including Jim Baker, Jeb Bishop, Olivia Block, Tim Daisy, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Robbie Hunsinger, Bob Marsh, Weasel Walter, and Michael Zerang.
Bruckmann earned undergraduate degrees in music and psychology at Rice University in Houston, studying oboe with Robert Atherholt, serving as music director of campus radio station KTRU, and achieving academic distinction as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He completed his M.M. in 1996 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he studied oboe with Harry Sargous and contemporary improvisation with Ed Sarath. He has taught at at UC Santa Cruz, Davis and Berkeley as well as at Mills College, and is now Assistant Professor of Practice in Oboe and Contemporary Music at University of the Pacific.