robert ashley

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got 'the wolfman' - http://www.ubu.com/sound/ashley.html
and 'automatic writing' but what about his operas etc?

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 12:48 (9 years ago) Permalink

My favorite stuff is still on vinyl only: the original version of Perfect Lives, Private Parts. If you search, there should be something about him around here, though maybe no thread devoted to him. I like "Automatic Writing."

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 12:51 (9 years ago) Permalink

There's a surprising amount about him toward the end of the Tortoise thread.

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 12:53 (9 years ago) Permalink

"Flying Saucer Dialogue" from Atlanta, Acts of God was the best track i heard last year and has gone into my all thime top ten - i havent heard the rest of the Opera though. "In Sarah, Menken, Christ and Beethoven there were Men and Women" is great also ( i have that too, julio - i can maybe yousendthat later?) and will mail you "Flying Saucer" if u have an inbox that can take 10mb? I don't like "Wolfman", too brutal for me, but i love "Automatic Writing".

jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 12:58 (9 years ago) Permalink

ha just looked at the tortoise thread and in it milton asked for an ashley thread so he's got it. hope he posts in here.

jed - I have a yahoo account so I'll send the addy to you (and not on the hotmail but yr other addy - is that ok?)

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 13:20 (9 years ago) Permalink

send it to me at hotmail - im not sure if the one i had is still active.

jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 13:26 (9 years ago) Permalink

scrub that - i got the email, ta.

jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 13:28 (9 years ago) Permalink

oh i sent it to both but anyway, thanks.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 13:29 (9 years ago) Permalink

listening...'flying saucer' would be an awesome soundtrack to a b-movie. I love the fact that he even writes operas.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 14:44 (9 years ago) Permalink

i love the fact he writes operas set on spaceships!

jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 14:48 (9 years ago) Permalink

that's a DVD I wanna see.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 14:55 (9 years ago) Permalink

uh-oh. going to have to post this in chapters.

(Jon L), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 19:32 (9 years ago) Permalink

drew, you go first

(Jon L), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 19:33 (9 years ago) Permalink

?

jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 20:50 (9 years ago) Permalink

"Purposeful Slow Lady Afternoon"...damn!

Ian Riese-Moraine (Eastern Mantra), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 22:11 (9 years ago) Permalink

The videos of Private Parts are definitely amusing.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 22:34 (9 years ago) Permalink

my favorites of the non-operatic works:

The Wolfman (1965) -- Ashley dresses in a lounge singer outfit, saunters onstage, places the microphone entirely inside his mouth, turns the gain until ear-clipping feedback begins and then begins shaping the pitches by lightly moaning and eventually howling. People who lived through these performances have good reason to find 80's noise music boring, this is louder, better, fiercer, more insane in every way. the CD contains several other cut-up collage pieces made from radio surfing, more contemplative, in the vein of Automatic Writing and is good.

In Sara, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven There Were Men and Women (1974) - Ashley recorded the poem to tape, then edited out all pauses; 40 minutes without taking a breath. then tracked four more layers of burbling circuit-bent & moog electronics on top. It is fantastic.

Both those are here: http://www.ubu.com/sound/ashley.html

Automatic Writing (1979) - classic

Yellow Man With Heart With Wings (1990) - the sleeper, ranks with the best works, one of his best texts: http://www.lovely.com/titles/cd1003.html

(Jon L), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 23:34 (9 years ago) Permalink

the early recordings of sections of his first tv opera Perfect Lives are entirely different than the versions in the 'complete' 3 CD set... I like both, but the earlier versions are much better.

Private Parts: The Record is the only one on CD. Very minimal, all about Ashley's voice though I'm into the tabla/moog accompanyment.

The Bar, 1981 - is more of the same but set to an insanely catchy lounge-piano drum machine riff which memorizes itself

Music Word Fire And I Would Do It Again (Coo Coo): The Lessons, 1981 - is the disco number. Reminds me in some ways of the Black Dice "Cone Toaster" 12" but much much stranger, a constant disco pulse with prepared piano solos and very strange moog sequencer patterns constantly turning left, and lots of elliptical vocal chanting & performance art narration... it is a crime that these aren't out on CD, every time I DJ these out, people do lose it. Couldn't live without this one either.

I also like the versions on the 3 CD set, but they work much better in the context of the 3.5 hour video version. Seeing Ashley recite these lines in the context of his baffling hand gestures and gold glitter strewn through his hair is the way to hear this music.

(Jon L), Tuesday, 1 February 2005 23:49 (9 years ago) Permalink

the later operas:

Atalanta (Acts of God), 1985: long stretches of this are among the most amazing things he's ever done: mainly, the last two 'Anecdote with Chorale' sections. Each singer keeps assuming madly different vocal personas, and they fade in and out of the mix at different times; you could imagine someone with 20 different arias from different centuries in different languages all being vaguely faded up and down in the mix over strange casiotone & organ soundbeds with an out-of-tune doowop chorus occasionally punctuating, but you'd still have no idea why this such an emotionally extreme piece of music.

The 30 minute video accompanyment, Atalanta Strategy, is my favorite video of his. Abstract image montage, always on the edge of making sense.

(Jon L), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 00:02 (9 years ago) Permalink

The Bar, 1981 - is more of the same but set to an insanely catchy lounge-piano drum machine riff which memorizes itself

That's a pretty good description. This was precisely the sound of electric organ/electric piano that I always made fun of, until I hear this, and somehow I just love the way it sounds. Music Word Fire is really good too, although I didn't like it at first.

I've never heard the Wolfman.

(Sorry to interrupt milton's more thorough annotated discography.)
"She Was a Visitor" is kind of a nice, what, Jackson MacLowesque composition, where the "chorus" takes different sounds from that sentence, and I forget exactly where it goes. Maybe nowhere. I don't know if that's available on CD. (Probably not.) It used to be a staple of the Relache Ensemble.

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 00:05 (9 years ago) Permalink

I didn't like Improvement. I'm just not that interested in his larger theatrical/narrative ideas (of course, I was judging by CD, which is unfair). I'm really mostly interested in hearing him talk and sometimes in his musical ideas, including the specific sounds he goes for sometimes, but also some of his disjointed sense of rhythm (well, in Music Word Fire, for instance).

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 00:08 (9 years ago) Permalink

"She Was a Visitor" is on the CD reissue of Automatic Writing, along with the truly fucked up "Purposeful Slow Lady Afternoon"

"She Was a Visitor" is very simple; one close miked person repeating the sentence every few seconds, while a large mixed chorus very slowly hold and stretch out the phonemes for five minutes, creating a shifting Ligeti-ish drone. I recommend timestretching the piece back down to 15 seconds, it sounds crazy.

Improvement has one great piece: the dialog between the doctor and the patient, track 4 on disc 2.

(Jon L), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 00:13 (9 years ago) Permalink

Oh that's right (now I remember how "She Was a Visitor" "goes").

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 00:15 (9 years ago) Permalink

"The videos of Private Parts are definitely amusing."

Maybe I meant Perfect Lives...are they the same opera? The one where he says "These are stories from the corn belt and the people who live in it (OR ON IT)" at the beginning of each segment!

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 00:16 (9 years ago) Permalink

That's Perfect Lives

The thing I like about his vocal delivery; all the accents on the words and sentences are in the wrong places. There are tons of emotional signifiers, but it's an obstacle course trying to unpack them because he's saying them in an almost impossible fashion.

Saying any word thirty times in a row reduces the word to a sound, and distances you from the reflex that associates it instantly with a 'meaning' without having to think too hard about the code: imagine listening to someone who makes every word sound as if you've just heard it thirty times in a row: you recognize every single word, but you can no longer tell what the hell the sentences mean anymore. After a few minutes, listening to Ashley talk sends you into the zone.

I must admit; recent operas are increasingly Earthbound. eL/Aficionado, Dust, Your Money My Life Goodbye... I could see how they'd make a terrible first impression.

If you like Automatic Writing and want to try the operas, the best place to start is probably Yellow Man With Heart With Wings.

(Jon L), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 00:29 (9 years ago) Permalink

The thing I like about his vocal delivery; all the accents on the words and sentences are in the wrong places.

I wish he had a talk show or something. I think I know what you mean. I probably mentioned before, but I overheard him talking during a music festival, and his ordinary speech didn't sound so different from his delivery as a performer. I just remember him saying to someone he was talking to: "That is. . . su-blime." (I wish I had been more of a creepy fan and hung around him just to overhear him talking.)

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 00:34 (9 years ago) Permalink

Robert Ashley talk show. The mind reels.

I've met him once, it doesn't seem to be an assumed persona...

(Jon L), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 00:41 (9 years ago) Permalink

i keep thinking this is about rick astley... Never gonna give, never gonna give, give you up!

john'n'chicago, Wednesday, 2 February 2005 02:31 (9 years ago) Permalink

Whoah there. Just noticed this thread. Milton is eloquent and informed as always, so I'd just second especially his rec. of "Yellow Man WIth Heart With Wings", the effect of this work is really gorgeous and deeply transporting, you do indeed enter "the zone" when it finally starts weaving in and out of english and spanish. So super good. "Automatic Writing" is a stunning piece, I had been listening to it for several years before I finally turned it up really loud (not the point of the piece at all, in fact the opposite) and cottoned on to the existence of this totally strange, bassy underlayer of pulses. It is a wickedly subtle piece of art, amazing. I have received many concerned and/or aroused phone calls over the years when playing "Purposeful Lady, Slow Afternoon" on the radio as mentioned already on the thread called "songs about rape". ummm, what else? My boyfriend has the printed libretto for Perfect lIves, Private Parts, it's very odd to just read his texts and not hear him recite them in That Voice.

Drew Daniel (Drew Daniel), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 02:45 (9 years ago) Permalink

first time i listened to "automatic writing" i genuinely thought some dub reggae fans had moved in next door/ downstairs / three blocks away before i realised the pulse was coming from my own house, my own speakers. i've no idea how he managed to achieve the effect that the bassline is coming from so far away and i've never heard anything else like it.

jed_ (jed), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 02:55 (9 years ago) Permalink

(the people downstairs from me actually listen to happy hardcore by the way)

jed_ (jed), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 03:00 (9 years ago) Permalink

one more to get if you're serious:

String Quartet Describing the Notions of Large Real Bodies / How Can I Tell The Difference? -- two pieces from 1972-3 released on alga marghen a few years ago. String Quartet = one violin multitracked four times, played with the bow held down on bridge with as much pressure as possible and very long (5-10 minute) strokes. this sound fed through gates and doubled with short delays. Difference is two variations on the first piece, performed live in the tunnels on the coast of the Marin Headlands; subtle scrapes and drones join the violins, along with the echoey sounds of a motorcycle rider, far away in another part of the tunnels. A little patience goes a long way with this disc; it's maddening for five minutes, but fantastic after thirty. especially the last track; only one violin, in the tunnel, slowly overwhelmed by rumbling, scraping and eventually a timid electronic organ drone. Definitely the closest precursor to Automatic Writing.

(Jon L), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 07:59 (9 years ago) Permalink

haha john I doubt ashley is as a good a dancer as astley :-)

I think I'll go with 'yello man...' and 'atlanta...' for now.

(I might do a similar thread on alvin lucier soon - I own 'I am sitting...' and that's it)

'People who lived through these performances have good reason to find 80's noise music boring, this is louder, better, fiercer, more insane in every way.'

it would be awesome to see this live or to see other performers tackle it bcz its an awesome piece of music.

thanks for everyone's comments.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 08:25 (9 years ago) Permalink

I saw Ashley's Celestial Excursions at the kitchen last summer and was basically in tears it was so beautiful. I think he's one of the most important composers of the 20th century.

http://www.lovely.com/events/events-celestial-berlin.html

wordyrappington (wordyrappington), Wednesday, 2 February 2005 16:36 (9 years ago) Permalink

7 months pass...
Celestial Excursions is out

milton parker (Jon L), Wednesday, 7 September 2005 02:25 (9 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...
did anyone get 'celestial excursions'?

(guess I should do an update: after reading what drew said all those months ago I did turn up the volume on 'automatic writing', it is the kind of piece that wd make me think it best to hear it quietly to fully absorb its creepy undercurrent but its a lovely surprise to find those basslines underneath) (got hold of 'your money my life' on the cheap but didn't really care for it at the time otherwise i wd've revived, but will pull it out again)

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 4 November 2005 22:01 (8 years ago) Permalink

I really like Ashley's entrance about 15 minutes in on Your Money My Life and the relentless, lilting, odd-metered rhythm is interesting, but it's not a piece I reach for very often.

Celestial Excursions is even further in the direction of Dust. Less surrealism, more direct sentimentality, the speakers all take turn telling narratives about the eccentric & elderly. I'm sure this is incredible live, on record I'm even more easily distracted from it than I was with Dust. I'm glad I have it but I'd certainly recommend Atalanta or Yellow Man With Heart With Wings for later Ashley well before this.

And Lovely really needs to issue The Bar & Music Word Fire on a single CD, that's urgent.

milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 4 November 2005 22:44 (8 years ago) Permalink

Just read Drew Daniel's comment above about the bass tones deep in the background of "Automatic Writing"; has anybody else picked up on the fact that it's the bassline from "Let's Get Together" by Al Green? After being pretty positive of that, I remember doing some Google-trawling for confirmation, and found an interview where Ashley admits that that's what was getting blasted on the stereo by a neighbor while recording the piece! Also, I second the mindblowingness of that "Music Word Fire" disco piece of his; Jill Kroesen's deadpan destroys.

C.D., Saturday, 5 November 2005 07:22 (8 years ago) Permalink

I meant "Let's STAY Together."

C.D., Saturday, 5 November 2005 08:06 (8 years ago) Permalink

crikey first its rallizes borrowing a bassline from little peggy march and now its ashley and al green. will check this.

thx to all again -- goes without saying these operas must be performed, hopefully one or two of these are on a small enough scale so that we don't have to rely on the traditional opera houses to take this on.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Saturday, 5 November 2005 10:29 (8 years ago) Permalink

and this hasn't come up on this thread yet, but: http://www.ubu.com/sound/aether.html

the Lucier and Oliveros interviews are particualrly headsnapping if you're bandwidth-pinched, but these are best taken in sequence, there's a reason he calls the series an opera. I'm ordering the book from Lovely, I need the transcripts. I've watched each of them at least twice by now. If I'd seen them in time, I would have voted for these in the ILE 'favorite films of the 70's' poll.

The OHM: Pioneers of Electronic Music box set was just re-released with a 20 track DVD -- three of the tracks are excerpts from Ashley's series.

milton parker (Jon L), Sunday, 6 November 2005 23:25 (8 years ago) Permalink

and http://www.ubu.com/film/index.html
offers Robert Ashley's - Music With Roots in the Aether, for download with David Behrman, Philip Glass, Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley and Robert Ashley !

blunt (blunt), Monday, 7 November 2005 01:20 (8 years ago) Permalink

Oh, I love these informative threads. Thanks, Milton. I need to go dig up my copy of Music Word Fire now.

sleeve (sleeve), Monday, 7 November 2005 03:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

C.D. -- can you find that online Ashley interview again? when I search online all I can find is your post on this thread.

You're definitely right, though -- now that you've mentioned it, it's clear, though it sounds like it's coming from four rooms over. And it comes in and out of the mix at different volumes & moments independent of Ashley's speech, so it wasn't just printed on the tape of his vocal performance, it was obviously captured and strategically mixed in at various points of the piece.

Cool!

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 7 November 2005 04:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

it's not just the one song either, I suspect the neighbor was going through the entire album.

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 7 November 2005 04:54 (8 years ago) Permalink

or not the album: just one other song, besides "Let's Stay Together".

this is a great interview

http://www.newmusicbox.org/article.nmbx?id=1194

ROBERT ASHLEY: Well, the problem in discussing hip-hop with somebody who doesn't like hip-hop is that they don't hear the melodies. There's no difference in the quality of the melody in any good hip-hop record now. There are so many I can't even name them. But there's no difference in the quality of the melody between that song and something like Billie Holiday for instance. It's just that the world has changed, the street language has changed and now you have to tune our ears to be able to hear that the very best hip-hop singers are singing exactly in tune. It might be going a little too fast; the melody might be going a little too fast for you to perceive it as melody, but there's no doubt that there's melody..

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 7 November 2005 05:08 (8 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...
hey are you a dirt bike rider?

harley fordham, Monday, 1 May 2006 08:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

i've posted on ilm about five times, but i figured i'd chime in here--

got a promo for 'now eleanor's idea' this week and am enjoying it pretty well so far. as far as comparisons, it's not nearly as frightening as 'foreign experiences'; it's actually a lot like 'dust' in texture but more expansive, more desert-like (makes sense--the libretto is about a woman who finds her true calling in a low-rider community in new mexico). anyway, yeah, i've become near-obsessed with ashley in the past year and a half; this is pretty welcome right now.

mike powell, Saturday, 15 September 2007 13:08 (7 years ago) Permalink

the libretto is about a woman who finds her true calling in a low-rider community in new mexico

Haha, this sounds like it could be my soundtrack for 2008.

Rockist Scientist, Saturday, 15 September 2007 13:14 (7 years ago) Permalink

By coincidence, the first page of youtube hits for "Robert Ashley" turns up this story about a Robert Ashley in New Mexico, but it's not that one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAWl5ywT5ws

Rockist Scientist, Saturday, 15 September 2007 13:21 (7 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

Now Eleanor's Idea is fantastic. An opera about a community of Mexican Americans who practice their relilgion through the design of elaborately painted low riders. The Mexican monologues floating through the mix talking about their lives in the 2nd section is new territory, and Joan LaBarbara goes off in the final section.

Not entirely new territory actually -- now that Now Eleanor's Idea and Foreign Experiences are out, it makes Yellow Man With Heart With Wings seem more like the crucial departure point for all the 90's work -- bits of the text from it actually turn up verbatim towards the end of Foreign Experiences -- it's good to finally have access to the larger picture. YMWHWW is the key album for anyone who's a fan of his 70's records looking to get into the later operas, it unlocks the other ones

Foreign Experiences is finally catching up with me as well -- it's much more of a Sam Ashley showcase. It seems to be a re-performance / remix of the original 90's version of the piece, with Sam & Jacqueline Humbert are the only two clear voices, much spacier electronic music by Sam, and completely bizarre fragmented samples of the original chorus creeping around in the mix. And the libretto is basically about Ashley's experience at Mills College in the 70's, so there are tons of familiar little hints if you've been to the campus.

Celestial Excursions had a great libretto but the music threw me a bit, the last two are definitely back on track (though I'd still go through the 70's stuff before going to them)

Milton Parker, Monday, 22 October 2007 22:32 (7 years ago) Permalink

relilgion-ay

Milton Parker, Monday, 22 October 2007 22:33 (7 years ago) Permalink

An opera about a community of Mexican Americans who practice their relilgion through the design of elaborately painted low riders.

oh i love that man.

jed_, Monday, 22 October 2007 22:55 (7 years ago) Permalink

fwiw my favourite of the operas is definitely "Improvement (Don Leaves Linda)" but that could be because the 2-10 minute sections allow for me to spread the listening experience out and to access it more easily, somehow. "eL/Aficionado" is another big favourite from the more recent stuff. i haven't yet been able to penetrate "Celestial Experiences" or "Dust".

jed_, Monday, 22 October 2007 23:00 (7 years ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

In Sarah Mencken, Christ and Beethoven, there were men and women is so unbelievably beautiful.

I know, right?, Friday, 16 November 2007 19:21 (6 years ago) Permalink

I know, right?

I've yet to be disappointed by anything I've heard of his.

ian, Friday, 16 November 2007 20:37 (6 years ago) Permalink

Very really grand men and women.

Very Titanically.

I know, right?, Saturday, 17 November 2007 16:31 (6 years ago) Permalink

I listened to the 2nd half of Automatic Writing before bed last night, and brought Private Parts to listen to today. Those two are probably my favorites. SMC&B definitely comes close too--i was so happy the day i found that LP.

ian, Saturday, 17 November 2007 16:46 (6 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

Three men have loved her. One a decade, on the average.

ian, Saturday, 23 February 2008 21:04 (6 years ago) Permalink

I really need to dig up a copy of YMWHWW. I also want to dig up the VHS tapes for Private Parts; I think some distributors still have 'em but I don't exactly have $75 to shell out right now.

ian, Saturday, 23 February 2008 21:05 (6 years ago) Permalink

they put out 'Private Parts' as a 2 DVD $50 set. if you're looking to spend, my favorite of his videos is 'Atalanta Strategy' though

Matmos is covering 'The Backyard' tonight at the Stone

Milton Parker, Saturday, 23 February 2008 21:41 (6 years ago) Permalink

seriously? damn, i should go to that.

ian, Saturday, 23 February 2008 22:39 (6 years ago) Permalink

wait, milton p, did you play at the stone LAST night??

ian, Saturday, 23 February 2008 22:40 (6 years ago) Permalink

nope, didn't play the stone last night

went to see Ashley's solo performance at Issue Project Room on feb 26th. it was an hour long reading of a paper he wrote in the late 70's about his work with involuntary speech that led to the creation of Automatic Writiing, implications, self-doubt, what it taught him about history. His voice was treated with heavy reverb that emphasized two resonant tones in the room, but it always stayed under the point of actual feedback. I hope he publishes that paper, as usual it was filled with incredible one-liners and epiphanies that you often miss while listening because his voice is so hypnotic and disarming, it can be difficult to hold your attention on the meaning, you're too busy listening to the sound

that was my reaction to Matmos' cover of 'The Backyard' as well -- Martin read the text in his own voice instead of attempting any simulation of Ashley's tone, and drew built more of an insistent but mellow rhythm out of that Tabla drum machine (same one they used on the title track of their new album, they're getting their mileage). their version isn't going for the same feeling of layered mystery, but the straightforward delivery of the text shows just how coherent & beautiful the story is, it clarifies things.

new Ashley album performed by another group: http://www.unsounds.com/releases/15uframe.html

& more evidence that Ashley's various lectures collected in one volume -- http://www.zsearch.org/text/ashley/ashley.html

Milton Parker, Friday, 7 March 2008 21:58 (6 years ago) Permalink

milton, how is that jaqueline humbert record? I think I want to get that.

Drew Daniel, Friday, 7 March 2008 22:33 (6 years ago) Permalink

hey man

I love her voice so much & the idea of Tenney / Lucier / LaBarbara / Ashley all writing cabaret songs for her always sounded great but I still haven't heard it

Milton Parker, Friday, 7 March 2008 22:45 (6 years ago) Permalink

i finally snagged the vinyl of "Private Parts" in near mint condition for $25 off ebay. postage was pricey (from the US) but it's great to have and i consider it a bargain. The recent remaster does seem to turn down the vocal and turn up the tabla and piano and i prefer the way that one sounds. much as i love Ashley's voice i think it's too loud on the vinyl i just got.

i also got "In Sarah, Mencken..." on vinyl from discogs.

jed_, Thursday, 20 March 2008 19:17 (6 years ago) Permalink

the reading of the first act of the new opera "quicksand" at roulette a couple weeks back was phenomenal. one of the best stories yet. murder, private investigators, hotels.

matinee, Thursday, 20 March 2008 20:40 (6 years ago) Permalink

Can we do a top 5 Ashley LPs survery?

1. Automatic Writing
2. Private Parts
3. In Sarah, Mencken...
4. Yellow Man...
5. Private Parts/Perfect Lives: The Bar ("We can have kids... and they will speak a seamless merger.. of poetry and sound...")

ian, Friday, 21 March 2008 17:07 (6 years ago) Permalink

can't do top 5

1. The Wolfman (LP)
2. Automatic Writing
3. In Sara, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven there were men and women
4. Private Parts (The Record)
5. Perfect Lives (Private Parts): The Bar
6. Perfect Lives (Private Parts): Music Word Fire And I Would Do It Again (Coo Coo)
7. Yellow Man With Heart With Wings

& if sides 4 & 6 of Atalanta were one LP instead of a 3 LP set, that one would have to go on as well

Milton Parker, Friday, 21 March 2008 17:38 (6 years ago) Permalink

1. Private Parts (The Record)
2. Music Word Fire And I Would Do It Again (Coo Coo)
3. Improvement
4. Automatic Writing
5. El/Aficionado

jed_, Friday, 21 March 2008 17:47 (6 years ago) Permalink

<I>6. Perfect Lives (Private Parts): Music Word Fire And I Would Do It Again (Coo Coo) </I>

^^ the Ashley LP for post-punkers.

Also, I still haven't heard Atalanta!

ian, Friday, 21 March 2008 18:26 (6 years ago) Permalink

1. Perfect Lives
2. Improvement
3. Automatic Writing/Yellow Man With Heart With Wings
4. Wolfman/String Quartets
5. Tap Dancing in the Sand (!)

matinee, Friday, 21 March 2008 20:42 (6 years ago) Permalink

top 5 album titles:

1. Your Money My Life Goodbye
2. Yellow Man With Heart With Wings
3. Perfect Lives
4. String Quartets Describing the Motions of Large Real Bodies
5. In Sara, Mencken, Christ, and Beethoven There Were Men and Women (also probably the real #5 in my list above)

matinee, Friday, 21 March 2008 21:26 (6 years ago) Permalink

How essential is the Perect Lives DVD set?
I have never seen it.

ian, Friday, 21 March 2008 21:29 (6 years ago) Permalink

I've watched it all the way through once, & seen episode 3 & 7 a few times. episode 3 probably the most action packed. it's slow paced & tranced out, very funny. low low low budget, early 80's computer animation & cable access video wipes & effects. bits try your patience and then suddenly completely pay off. relentlessly animated hand gestures that seem to express the exact opposite of what he's actually saying. gold glitter in his hair & smiles at weirdest times. you just kind of have to surrender. they charge a lot for those DVDs so I haven't upgraded from my old VHS dubs, but I hear they did a great job on remastering them.

my favorite 80's video is 'Atalanta Strategy'. that one is the one that really stands up. there's a 'Music Word Fire' video I haven't seen.

ubuweb has all of 'Music With Roots in The Aether' and I watched all 14 hours on Youtube over 7 nights. I can't wait for that to come out (though I shudder to think how much Lovely would charge). The interviews with Lucier & Oliveros are good ones to start with if you're nervous about giving over that much time but I loved all of it.

Milton Parker, Friday, 21 March 2008 21:50 (6 years ago) Permalink

The DVDs are really nice quality in terms of sound. Nearly identical to a clean VHS image quality though. My only frustration is that I'm not sure this really had to be on two DVDs. It probably all could've fit on one, with Atalanta and Music Word Fire on the other... Sigh.

matinee, Sunday, 23 March 2008 18:43 (6 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...

I think his voice is some secret trigger to my tear ducts. Even buried in effects on Automatic Writing I feel myself welling up inside. This is something I can't help.

I know, right?, Saturday, 23 August 2008 20:54 (6 years ago) Permalink

it is unreal.

strgn, Saturday, 23 August 2008 21:38 (6 years ago) Permalink

"More like home, etc. etc. very Abstract" just the way his voice tugs at the last syllable of abstract like "abstr-act", just that little hiccough in intonation, kills me everytime.

I know, right?, Saturday, 23 August 2008 22:11 (6 years ago) Permalink

"More like home, etc. etc. very Abstract"

are you talking about private parts (the record) or perfect lives (the opera) ik,r?

i much prefer (the record) which is my favourite record ever when i'm listening to it.

jed_, Saturday, 23 August 2008 22:38 (6 years ago) Permalink

the record, I've never heard the opera version except snippets of it, and based on them I'm inclined to agree with you. That whole section, though, where he's talking about the room ("a softer bed") is my favourite. I nearly nearly spent about two hundred dollars (I doubt I woulda felt better even after the euro conversion ) on stuff off the Lovely website about an hour ago, but luckily the website freaked out.

I know, right?, Saturday, 23 August 2008 22:43 (6 years ago) Permalink

i got (the record) on vinyl on ebay for about £12, i think. a bargain!

there was something like the feeling of the idea of silk scarves in the air.
there was a kind of madness to it.

jed_, Saturday, 23 August 2008 22:48 (6 years ago) Permalink

the kind we read about in magazines

I know, right?, Saturday, 23 August 2008 22:49 (6 years ago) Permalink

ik,r? i sent you a message on facebook

jed_, Saturday, 23 August 2008 23:04 (6 years ago) Permalink

sorry didn't see it, i've replied!

I know, right?, Saturday, 23 August 2008 23:08 (6 years ago) Permalink

This thread is not as in love with Sarah Mencken Christ and Beethoven as it should be, y'know, very titanically.

I know, right?, Sunday, 24 August 2008 19:22 (6 years ago) Permalink

I can still (over-)hear him saying "This is. . . sublime. . ."

_Rockist__Scientist_, Thursday, 28 August 2008 21:21 (6 years ago) Permalink

fourteen dollars and twenty-eight cents is more attractive than fourteen dollars because of the twenty-eight.

ian, Friday, 29 August 2008 01:35 (6 years ago) Permalink

ROBERT ASHLEY: Well, the problem in discussing hip-hop with somebody who doesn't like hip-hop is that they don't hear the melodies. There's no difference in the quality of the melody in any good hip-hop record now. There are so many I can't even name them. But there's no difference in the quality of the melody between that song and something like Billie Holiday for instance. It's just that the world has changed, the street language has changed and now you have to tune our ears to be able to hear that the very best hip-hop singers are singing exactly in tune. It might be going a little too fast; the melody might be going a little too fast for you to perceive it as melody, but there's no doubt that there's melody

LOL where's Geir when you need him most?

ian, Friday, 29 August 2008 01:40 (6 years ago) Permalink

wow

I know, right?, Friday, 29 August 2008 03:06 (6 years ago) Permalink

a tendency toward, MOTION PICTURES

I know, right?, Friday, 29 August 2008 03:19 (6 years ago) Permalink

4 months pass...

Recent developments: I bought myself the "Perfect Lives" DVD set as a birthday present, loving it. I think I do prefer the LP versions of both The Bar & The Backyard/The Park, but the DVD really is something to see. I think some parts of it make my roommates feel weird or strange. S. is pre-occupied with the hands playing piano, hates the glitter.

Also, I just got Atalanta in the mail today. It's going to take me months to digest.

ian, Saturday, 3 January 2009 05:14 (5 years ago) Permalink

Great way to treat yrself - well done!

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 3 January 2009 11:04 (5 years ago) Permalink

ian, you going? I wish I were.

http://www.theatermania.com/new-york/shows/robert-ashley-three-operas_149438/

January 15-25, 2009

Milton Parker, Sunday, 4 January 2009 02:03 (5 years ago) Permalink

holy jeeze, it looks like i have to, huh?

ian, Sunday, 4 January 2009 02:06 (5 years ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

Three men have loved her. One a decade, on the average.

― ian, Saturday, February 23, 2008 9:04 PM (11 months ago) Bookmark

ian, Monday, 26 January 2009 23:21 (5 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

CALLING ALL LONDONERS

http://www.ica.org.uk/Robert%20Ashley%3A%20Foreign%20Experiences+19567.twl

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 2 May 2009 21:52 (5 years ago) Permalink

this is on in glasgow on friday too but i've already bought tickets to see le ballets c de la b. infuriating overlap!

jed_, Saturday, 2 May 2009 21:55 (5 years ago) Permalink

Yeah there was another improv gig on the same day, too - you can't win 'em all

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 2 May 2009 21:57 (5 years ago) Permalink

Wow, that first link (from 4 yrs ago) still works. And is awesome.

SQUIRREL WITH A PEOPLE FACE (╓abies), Sunday, 3 May 2009 12:49 (5 years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah its UBU web, its gonna work

Here is an Ashley interview ahead of next Wednesday's concert.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/opera/article6180594.ece

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 3 May 2009 13:00 (5 years ago) Permalink

thanks for the link.
i can't wait 'til the next Ashley performance in NYC--god knows when it will be, but the last three were amazing (despite some fuck-ups on Buckner's part, but whatev.)

ian, Sunday, 3 May 2009 19:57 (5 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

I'll read as many sneak preview quotes from his upcoming book on Ashley as Gann decides to post - http://www.artsjournal.com/postclassic/2009/06/drawing_the_connections.html#comments

"The only thing that's interesting to me right now is that, up to me and a couple of other guys, music had always been about the eventfulness: like, when things happened, and if they happened, whether they would be a surprise, or an enjoyment, or something like that... It's about eventfulness. And I was never interested in eventfulness. I was only interested in sound. I mean, just literally, sound in the Morton Feldman sense.... There's a quality in music that is outside of time, that is not related to time. And that has always fascinated me... That's sort of what I'm all about, from the first until the most recent. A lot of people are back into eventfulness. But it's very boring. Eventfulness is really boring."

Milton Parker, Thursday, 18 June 2009 19:08 (5 years ago) Permalink

cool, looking forward to this!

❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉Plaxico❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉ (I know, right?), Thursday, 18 June 2009 19:19 (5 years ago) Permalink

Ooooh, had no idea this was in the works. Looks awesome.

ian, Thursday, 18 June 2009 19:41 (5 years ago) Permalink

4 weeks pass...

three men have loved here--one a decade on the average.

ian, Thursday, 16 July 2009 02:23 (5 years ago) Permalink

d'oh, her.

ian, Thursday, 16 July 2009 02:23 (5 years ago) Permalink

Busted out Automatic Writing recently, man what piece. How rarely do you come across that "What's going on here?" sort of feeling.

Love this bit from Steven Stapleton:

"A Missing Sense was originally conceived as a private tape to accompany my taking of LSD. When in that particular state, Robert Ashley's Automatic Writing was the only music I could actually experience without feeling claustrophobic and paranoid. We played it endlessly; it seemed to become part of the room, perfectly blending with the late night city ambience and the 'breathing' of the building."

Taking acid and listening to Automatic Writing is not my idea of a good time, but to each his own.

Mark, Thursday, 16 July 2009 02:37 (5 years ago) Permalink

A Missing Sense is a great record! Or, I guess i have it on tape. whatever.

Three men have loved her. One a decade, on the average.

― ian, Saturday, February 23, 2008 9:04 PM (11 months ago) Bookmark

― ian, Monday, January 26, 2009 11:21 PM (5 months ago) Bookmark

ian, Thursday, 16 July 2009 02:38 (5 years ago) Permalink

looking forward to Kyle Gann's book on Ashley

matinee, Friday, 17 July 2009 00:02 (5 years ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

http://www.artsjournal.com/postclassic/2009/08/iliad_of_the_midwest.html#comments

hope he's writing this as fast as he's blogging about it, I can't wait to read it

one of his earlier blog posts mentions the first complete performance of 'Perfect Lives' at Northwestern University, the tape lost somewhere in their archives:

It was my favorite version of Perfect Lives ever, just Bob and "Blue" with a drone on a background tape, before Jill Kroesen and David Van Tieghem and a dozen other elements were added in for a kind of information overload. It was still like his "Yellow Album" that came out that year.

idea of all seven parts played live in the manner of that first LP makes me want to buy a plane ticket & offer to help them look for that tape

Milton Parker, Friday, 7 August 2009 22:53 (5 years ago) Permalink

really looking forward to kyle's book on ashley.

this may seem weird but this article changed my life:

http://www.kylegann.com/JIreasons.html

stumbled across it as a clueless 17 year old not really wanting to pursue classical music any further. i read this and it opened up a whole new world for me.

Crackle Box, Friday, 7 August 2009 23:22 (5 years ago) Permalink

Gann's book "American Music" is hands-down the best book on new music ever written-- very expensive, as I remember it, but one hell of a book. funnily enough, i leant it out to a professor of mine and am having dinner with her tonight, so i can finally have it with me again.

nice! he have the balls to say the truth! (the table is the table), Friday, 7 August 2009 23:50 (5 years ago) Permalink

"The only thing that's interesting to me right now is that, up to me and a couple of other guys, music had always been about the eventfulness: like, when things happened, and if they happened, whether they would be a surprise, or an enjoyment, or something like that... It's about eventfulness. And I was never interested in eventfulness. I was only interested in sound. I mean, just literally, sound in the Morton Feldman sense.... There's a quality in music that is outside of time, that is not related to time. And that has always fascinated me... That's sort of what I'm all about, from the first until the most recent. A lot of people are back into eventfulness. But it's very boring. Eventfulness is really boring."

But isn't Morton Feldman's sense of sound filtered through his erm 'elastic' feel for time's passage?!?

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 8 August 2009 17:20 (5 years ago) Permalink

Can't wait for Gann's book.

ian, Saturday, 8 August 2009 22:03 (5 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

Carl's still president over at the bank, ain't he?

ian, Friday, 11 September 2009 01:39 (5 years ago) Permalink

What's that Ashley opera set at the airport, with the couple who've had the fight in Mexico or wherever and they're both leaving, and the voices are all treated? I sort of regret not buying that when I saw it used, now.

bamcquern, Friday, 11 September 2009 01:41 (5 years ago) Permalink

I think that one is "Improvement (Don Leaves Linda)" maybe? I'm not super familiar with it tbh.

ian, Friday, 11 September 2009 01:43 (5 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Don Leaves Linda. Not sure what the hang up at the listening station was. It's weird when art hooks you long after you've rejected it. I remember doing that with this early-ish Kundera story, recently. You don't even realize how fundamental something is until you go away and it comes back to you under your hypnagogic state.

bamcquern, Friday, 11 September 2009 01:48 (5 years ago) Permalink

disc 2 of Improvement is where it catches fire. disc 2 track 4/5, 'The Doctor' / 'The Offering Of Images', that's one of my all time favorite Ashley pieces. and 'Tarzan', that's a truly strange song.

Milton Parker, Friday, 11 September 2009 01:57 (5 years ago) Permalink

'in that pwermanent state of wapture you are mentally OK'

Milton Parker, Friday, 11 September 2009 02:01 (5 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

has this been posted before?

plaxico (I know, right?), Sunday, 22 November 2009 00:27 (4 years ago) Permalink

new Ashley book out 12/15/09: "Outside of Time"
http://www.lovely.com/books/bookslist.html#anchor1307922

Q'est-ce que c'est?????

My Parents Named Me Zbigniew, Sunday, 22 November 2009 05:03 (4 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...
6 months pass...

http://lovely.com/titles/cd3303.html

plax (ico), Friday, 13 August 2010 10:07 (4 years ago) Permalink

god the new one is really something

definitely the most straightforward one in a little while as far as the narratives are concerned, and hamilton's music really fits with it this time around

I saw Ashley & Humbert perform the last two of these live at Mills about ten years ago. but the first piece is so disjointed and crazy it might even be my favorite, his voice has gotten so strange, the sound of someone drifting off to sleep at the end of every single sentence he speaks

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 18 August 2010 22:22 (4 years ago) Permalink

what's the new one?

jed_, Wednesday, 18 August 2010 22:27 (4 years ago) Permalink

its a sequel (?) to atalanta, i havent heard it.

plax (ico), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 22:34 (4 years ago) Permalink

plax linked it -- evidently Atalanta is staged with modular stories which are faded up and down at different moments, making every performance slightly different, and the new album is 3 of the complete stories presented all the way through.

before this one, I liked 'Foreign Experiences' the most of all the ones he's put out in the last 10 years -- it's really paranoid, has a high density of memorable lines -- though that one's more a Sam Ashley showcase than a Robert one. and 'Now Eleanor's Idea' takes a bit of work, but by the end of the last 20 minute piece, it really pays off. 'Dust', 'Celestial Experiences' & 'Concrete' are all kind of samey ensemble operas with good moments but some of the musical settings just kind of snap me out of the mood

the new one though, played it four times in the last week already

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 18 August 2010 22:37 (4 years ago) Permalink

ok, i wasn't sure if you were talking about the same release.

but atalanta 2 seems to be parts of the original opera that didn't make it on to disc first time around so are they new recordings or old?

i haven't loved any of them after Improvement, and i really loved that, although i liked bits and pieces.

jed_, Wednesday, 18 August 2010 22:42 (4 years ago) Permalink

bits and pieces of the stuff that came after that, i mean.

jed_, Wednesday, 18 August 2010 22:42 (4 years ago) Permalink

the stories date from the original opera but these are new recordings

though they're very very similiar to the versions I remember from the Mills concert 10 years ago -- might be exactly the same backing music. but you can tell these are recent recordings, ashley has never sounded this diffuse. or... old, basically

it's odd how my favorite two of the recent deluge of Ashley sets have been the ones that showcase other performers, Sam Ashley & Joan LaBarbara, so even on those, you kind of feel like something's missing (i.e. Bob). but the first disc on the new one is ALL about his voice. the second disc of the new one is mostly a Jacqueline Humbert showcase, even most of the stories clearly come from her, but Ashley's punchlines every few seconds are the glue

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 18 August 2010 23:10 (4 years ago) Permalink

Somehow I thought "Improvement" was much later than it was. Scratch my previous point about not loving anything that came after it.

jed_, Thursday, 19 August 2010 19:36 (4 years ago) Permalink

Milton, does the section known as "flying Saucer Dialogue" (which was on the "Music from Mills"compilation) turn up on this new release? i absolutely love that. who is the woman on that?

-Particles of what?
-Paticles of the subject, Sir
-Coming up through the monitors?
...
-Where is it now?
-Who knows?
-That tone is not allowed, Lieutenant
-I'm sorry, Sir
-The answer then?
-It comes and goes...
-Intermittent?
-Precisely, Sir

jed_, Saturday, 21 August 2010 17:10 (4 years ago) Permalink

no, that's just another bizarre satellite track. the woman is a very young jacqueline humbert, and the keyboards / sound design is paul shorr so that track is kind of like a trial run for the original recording of atalanta in 1985

Flying Saucer has come to Earth for important information concerning humans: The Marriage of Atalanta. Problem: Apples.

Milton Parker, Saturday, 21 August 2010 20:48 (4 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

d'oh, her.

― ian, Thursday, 16 July 2009 02:23 (1 year ago)

peacocks, Wednesday, 1 December 2010 19:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah, i've become near-obsessed with ashley in the past year and a half; this is pretty welcome right now.

― mike powell, Saturday, September 15, 2007 6:08 AM (3 years ago)

world = small

sarahel, Friday, 3 December 2010 10:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

very titantically.

not everything is a campfire (ian), Saturday, 4 December 2010 04:14 (3 years ago) Permalink

i mean... titanically.

not everything is a campfire (ian), Saturday, 4 December 2010 04:14 (3 years ago) Permalink

you know you've got to hold me tighter yeah

not everything is a campfire (ian), Saturday, 4 December 2010 04:14 (3 years ago) Permalink

closer?

not everything is a campfire (ian), Saturday, 4 December 2010 04:15 (3 years ago) Permalink

In Sara, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven There Were Men and Women

this totally kicked my ass at work this morning around 8 A.M.

sleeve, Saturday, 4 December 2010 07:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

i always think it would be fun to rerecord sarah mencken replacing the names w/ my friends names

plax (ico), Saturday, 4 December 2010 22:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

o_O where do you work?

jed_, Saturday, 4 December 2010 22:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

haha it was on my iPod, just playing shuffle in the AM - I work by myself for most of my shift.

sleeve, Sunday, 5 December 2010 03:28 (3 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...

I found Private Parts, Perfect Lives (Private Parts): The Bar, Automatic Writing, and Perfect Lives (Private Parts): Music Word Fire And I Would Do It Again (Coo Coo) at the community radio station I volunteer at. Kind of overwhelmed with Ashley at the moment. I listened to all of them (in the order above) last night. Automatic Writing was my least favorite, but I was listening to it pretty quietly cuz I didn't want to bug my neighbors upstairs. Maybe if I cranked it up I would like it more. The other three pretty much floored me. The increasing complexity from record to record really engaged me, I was expecting them to all sound like Private Parts. But The Bar immediately destroyed that impression. It's really psychedelic. I felt altered just listening to it. And then Music Word Fire sounded like some lost Arthur Russell underground dance jam.

It's all pretty much brand new to me. I've just looked up his discography and see that I've only been exposed to a small portion of it. I've heard Tyranny's Out of the Blue and The Intermediary, but it is pretty clear that there is a whole lot more music to discover out of this "scene" for lack of a better word.

Trip Maker, Friday, 27 May 2011 13:51 (3 years ago) Permalink

love the bar!

I know my thing is to complain about shit I didn't go to but I missed him when he came to providence this year, I think elmo went tho?

here's a tv series ashley produced on the "scene" back in the 70s, see you in 14 hours

http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Ashley.php

bandcamper van beethoven (Edward III), Friday, 27 May 2011 13:59 (3 years ago) Permalink

Thanks!

Trip Maker, Friday, 27 May 2011 14:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

Truly love Robert Ashley; one of my all-time heroes. Saw him a few years back performing with his ensemble three nights in a row.

Trips, do you know Atalanta? That is the one that for me really kind of blows my mind. It's incredibly dense and the narrative qualities are harder to follow than ever, but it's mindblowing and gorgeous and just sounds really cool..

The Perfect Lives DVD set is highly recommended as well.

one dis leads to another (ian), Friday, 27 May 2011 14:55 (3 years ago) Permalink

All I've heard are the four I've listed, I'll look out for Atalanta. And I definitely want to see the DVDs, the records themselves are so cinematic.
I am going to watch some of those videos from the link that Ed posted, too, but my home computer is on the fritz and I probably shouldn't watch them at work.
Though it is Friday...

Trip Maker, Friday, 27 May 2011 15:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

atalanta is really amazing, and the whole LOVELY MUSIC scene is pretty high-qual. there's a few duds ive heard, but like david behrman, pauline oliveros, blue gene tyranny, eliane radigue, gordon mumma, etc etc etc, all so good.

69, Tuesday, 31 May 2011 20:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

saw FOREIGN EXPERIENCES (from 86 or something?) a few weeks ago at mills with RA in attendance. that one is super-intense, and the whole experience of seeing it performed live was amazing. kind of like i felt when i watched INLAND EMPIRE, i was physically drained upon leaving, in a really good way.

69, Tuesday, 31 May 2011 20:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

Can't wait to play some of it on the air. This is the kind of thing that would stop me in my tracks if I heard it on the radio first.
It's also nice to have a cache of "really long tracks that are awesome" for when you need a break.

Trip Maker, Tuesday, 31 May 2011 20:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

i play the park/the backyard to close my show at least a few times per year... such beautiful music. it blows my mind that more people are not totally in love with the work of Robert Ashley.

one dis leads to another (ian), Wednesday, 1 June 2011 01:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

First time I heard Robert Ashley was on the radio when the DJ played "Mila's Journey Inspired By a Dream" and it blew my mind

badg, Wednesday, 1 June 2011 05:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

I played side one of The Bar last night. Sounded great. Haven't gotten any listener comments, though. I found a compilation record with the piece "She Was a Visitor" on it at the station. I just now found a copy of the Sonic Arts Union comp lp with the Ashley piece "Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon" as well as pieces by Alvin Lucier and Gordon Mumma at the academic library where I am employed. I also found some Leonardo Music Journal cd's (WTF had no idea that was an actual thing) as well as the Robert Ashley cd "Superior Seven."
Can't wait to clock out, go home, and crank these up.

Trip Maker, Thursday, 2 June 2011 20:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

"purposeful lady slow afternoon" is so unpleasant..

one dis leads to another (ian), Friday, 3 June 2011 13:04 (3 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, horrible, really. I mean, I like the way it sounds, but the text is just....bad sex is not something I need more insight into.
I feel like his background in Hollywood must have influenced that (and everything else, I suppose).

Trip Maker, Friday, 3 June 2011 13:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

Alvin Lucier's piece on that record, though, sounded GREAT when I turned it up REAL LOUD.
It's cicada season in Missouri and they are really droning up a storm this year. The piece worked well in conjunction with that.

Trip Maker, Friday, 3 June 2011 13:09 (3 years ago) Permalink

Superior Seven is also not so great, it's instrumental :(

Trip Maker, Friday, 3 June 2011 13:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

also: dalkey archive is publishing the 'perfect lives' libretto later this year

creme de cassie (donna rouge), Monday, 6 June 2011 21:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

Superior Seven is also not so great, it's instrumental :(

that's a weird one - the liner notes are a long & funny essay about how the expenses involved make it almost completely impossible for composers to write for orchestra. then the CD has two half-hour pieces 'for orchestra' realized with MIDI realizations using cheap orchestral preset sounds. I remember the second piece had potential, if it were to actually be played, but with those liners, the entire release seemed a little closer to an apology than a working prank

Milton Parker, Monday, 6 June 2011 21:56 (3 years ago) Permalink

but I still keep it, because it's an interesting example of Ashley's traditionally musical composition. as he frequently (notoriously) leaves musical chords / arrangements up to his collaborators like Blue "Gene" Tyranny, Superior Seven is a good way to get a grip on what his sense of musical composition when he limits himself to notes. the other really effective piece where Ashley's writing the notes as well as the words is 'Tap Dancing In The Sand'.

Milton Parker, Monday, 6 June 2011 22:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

Thanks for the context, Milton. It left me scratching my head. I'll have to read the liner notes!

Trip Maker, Tuesday, 7 June 2011 12:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

"purposeful lady slow afternoon" is so unpleasant..

― one dis leads to another (ian), Friday, June 3, 2011 1:04 PM (3 weeks ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

Yeah, horrible, really. I mean, I like the way it sounds, but the text is just....bad sex is not something I need more insight into.
I feel like his background in Hollywood must have influenced that (and everything else, I suppose).

― Trip Maker, Friday, June 3, 2011 1:07 PM (3 weeks ago) Bookmark

i actually passed on a pretty nice copy of this for this reason!

69, Tuesday, 28 June 2011 18:17 (3 years ago) Permalink

9 months pass...

Has anyone else read his novel? "Quicksand" Came out last year but I just got it last week, finished today. It was really great. But I sorta just love Robert Ashley and reading it in his voice (internally) may help you feel the rhythm of teh prose. also I like mystery stories. there is a lot of interesting stuff in here. like any of his texts. but it's rlly just fantasstic. i cld write pages abt it and my reaction to it and its specific evocative qualities or points of reference or narrative style or or. read it. shirley yer local arty bookstore will have it..

one dis leads to another (ian), Sunday, 8 April 2012 05:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

i bought a robert b parker novel today cuz Ashley notes him as one of his favorites (or, the narrator's favorites.)

one dis leads to another (ian), Sunday, 8 April 2012 05:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

so bummed i missed his performances last year

sarahell, Sunday, 8 April 2012 08:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

http://vimeo.com/38729104

three operas performed at la mama in 2009 on vimeo now, complete. free arts!!!!!

one dis leads to another (ian), Sunday, 8 April 2012 18:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

Robert Ashley’s opera “The Old Man Lives in Concrete”

opens tonight

http://roulette.org/

jed_, Thursday, 26 April 2012 18:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think it actually opened yesterday?
but i am going tonight.

one dis leads to another (ian), Thursday, 26 April 2012 19:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

nice one ian. enjoy.

jed_, Thursday, 26 April 2012 21:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

best part is that it's just a 15 minute walk from my house.

one dis leads to another (ian), Thursday, 26 April 2012 23:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

is the song at about 12 mins till 20 mins in this, a robert ashley song? my googling the lyrics suggests it is.

http://soundcloud.com/pluie-noir/pluie-noir-podcast-002-sleeper

ooooiiiioooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaoooooh un - bi - leevable! (LocalGarda), Thursday, 7 June 2012 12:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah that one's a classic
"sans ice"

Ò (Ówen P.), Thursday, 7 June 2012 12:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

ah cool... what record is it from?

ooooiiiioooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaoooooh un - bi - leevable! (LocalGarda), Thursday, 7 June 2012 13:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

(thanks)

ooooiiiioooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaoooooh un - bi - leevable! (LocalGarda), Thursday, 7 June 2012 13:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

private parts.

one dis leads to another (ian), Thursday, 7 June 2012 14:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

I listened to that mix. There's a lot of Robert Ashley in there! Reminds me of a mixtape where someone used pretty much the whole of E2E4.

mmmm, Thursday, 7 June 2012 14:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

that explains why it was so good maybe

ooooiiiioooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaoooooh un - bi - leevable! (LocalGarda), Thursday, 7 June 2012 15:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

he took himself seriously
motel rooms had lost their punch for him

he opened all his bags
there were two and inside those two there were two more
it's not an easy situation
but there was something like abandon in the air
there was something like the feeling of the idea of silk scarves in the air
there was a kind of madness to it
the kind we read about in magazines
one of the bags contained a bottle of liquor
a surer sign of thoughtfulness if at all there might have been
he poured himself a small drink in a fluted plastic glass sans ice
he thought to himself if i were from the big town i would be called debonaire
the big town doesnt send its riffraff out

he sat on the bed both feet on the floor
he studied the ashtray and tried to rule out preference
preferring over not preferring
but he preferred
gravity over what other state
preferring in that case
earth
the earth as they say
preferring some state over non state

now he grips himself with determination even knowing that it causes sadness
he is determined to be what?
he is determined to be serious
he had determined once to be serious
later he knew that he had made a mistake but too late he had arrived and there were rooms and all rooms were not the same
some better than others he thought
better view
better layout
better shower
softer bed
not so far from noise
more like home etc etc
very abstract

he lifted the telephone from its cradle
his determination got stronger
if not clearer even as he had faded in its force
were it not for our momentum, the inertia of our actions, the constant inspiration of our habits, we could not continue
the will is almost nothing he thought to himself

at the sound of the first ring he hung up
he pushed down the button and listened to the silence of the object in his hand and then he hung up
very dramatic
the phone rang immediately
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
he brings this cloud of conditions with him
he is at the center of a ball of hot stuff that we haven't put our minds to yet
and sitting on the bed in the motel room is no different
somewhere in another room in range
somebody got it and phoned him
it happens all the time
really.

a kind of restlessness at that range
he sat and thought about obedience
he had resolved, that of the two kinds, the kind that takes every message of order, rule, law
has error
that everybody who passes along these messages
that loathes the buildings
that contradicts the inner voice
that resists, in short, was his
the other kind,
how could it be.

he wasn't happy with the world
he worked with the forwardness and the backwardness
he worked with what things are ahead of us and with what things are behind us
i guess the other kind would be to work with things that are alongside,
the attachments.
obedience was impossible for him
at the same time he was cooperative and indeed solicitous
no one in the world would have mistaken him for a real person
(obedience, et cetera)
the other kind works with the things that are the alongside us
the attachments
at the same time he was cooperative
the numbers on the telephone
the parts of the book
the notes of the scale
they are the same, are they not
they come from the sameness of the idea of the outsideness
not the alongside the outsideness
the differentness
it was a problem, being cooperative and refusing obedience, and carrying the load of the idea of differentness

he wants
he handles himself in the morning
it's just like for every other man
the fantasy is the distance, the reluctance, the reticence, the otherness
the fantasy is the uncleanness
so getting up gets to be a problem for a sensitive person like him
the problem is to run that gauntlet again
remove problem
remove gauntlet
remove run
remove is to
remove the
remove that
leave this
make this whatever

he lights the motelroom with the slightly blue body light
when he is along he forgets sometimes to walk
he just moves
sometimes they touch, sometimes they don't
and everything in between
yes, sometimes he forgets to combine talk with thinking
and just thinks
or just talks
especially i think it happens in those rooms, who knows why
the way it disconnects from what's just outside is predictable
is it not so
it never stops being a mystery
we have talked about it

when he says hello you hear a long whining sound which is his voice and the hello
it is as different from whatever
the way one might remember
as the sound a cat might make
he is not unusual in this i think
he is absolutely uninhabitable
a thankless star
remove star
remove thankless
remove a
replace with he has a special way of speaking
but it seems only to make him more like other men
this is one place and here every kid is armed
so where you going
huh
probably sometimes we don't see the guns
sometimes yes
sometimes no
the town and always references to down and out
down from des moines
up from somewhere
missed by chance
didn't even see it
thought it was a threat to house and home
why didn't you come up to the big town
no thanks
looking back
didnt get the up and down part
how could i have missed it

get a grip on yourself he said
working against time was another thing he said
here i am working against time

the pencil fairly flew as he made out his simple requests for breakfast
room service courtesy of the company
this is a record
i am sitting on a bench next to myself
inside of me the words form
come down out of the tree and fight like a man
two cheese and eggs
this is not a record
this is a story
i want to say something about myself
i am not sitting on a bench next to myself
whatever that means
i am a city of habits
i am completely knowable in every way
i recognize superstition in every form
an anger of the words makes me in the vein of myself
i imagine there are two men on the bench
the exchange between them will not be seen
they will not put it forth to be seen
and if i make something of the situation
to show a difference between the two men
the difference will distract the true onlooker
but the film fogs you know
one scene fogs
and add a dish of prunes if they are in season

i met her in the park in the small midwestern town
that is, the bench is in the park
we know from what is past that the men are on the bench
they are old by doctor's standards
the park graces the courthouse of the county
the courthouse has about it the simple air of failure
an abandoned outpost
the park has sidewalks, fences, trees, grass, and a statue of a man and horse at war
or ready for war
they are alone with their intentions
the sculptor has made the horse look stupid
the man's jaw is firm
the time is late morning in early summer
the sun shines

in this scene there are two shots
the park in all its details
frozen
broken on the right edge
sometimes up to two thirds across the framce
by the body of a person
very close
blurred, moving almost rhythmically
we have just begun and already we are stuck
working against time as they say
the camera is obsessed with what it sees
the park
the ragged edge
nothing moves
except the edge
the edge moves
it's as if there is no other place
his mind races
one gee in fogs
two gees in eggs

when the two men spoke
they spoke about permanence and impermanence
they noted that there were certain things that were impermanent, and other things to which impermanence did not apply
thus they came to make a great division between that which is impermanent and that which is permanent
everything in this transitory category turned out to be the particulars of our existence
and these were divided into physical, mental, and others which were neither physical nor mental
among those particulars which were neither physical nor mental
they listed attainment, aging, and coincidence
on the permanent side of this great division of reality was a notion they referred to as space
and by that term they meant neither conceptual space
nor space as given by our senses
they meant connections
they decided that such space is irreduceable and not transitory
and that it exists as long as one is alive.
they wondered
naturally
what becomes of it.
this impasse is no help at all
consider his situation:
for instance
he is expected to be positive and helpful about breakfast
in the order of things, it is more important that she know about the prunes then that the shot should change
and what about the problems we have seen
he is still seated on the bed both feet on the floor
the small drink in the fluted plastic glass sans ice is hardly touched
the phone has just stopped ringing
in his mind the two men are frozen on the bench
the horse looks stupid
the warrior's jaw is firm
incredibly slowly our view begins to slide
his idea is that death always takes one by surprise
always.
there is no way to prepare
he imagines absolute awareness on the other side
he wonders as we all do how it comes to you that you are dead
we were distracted by the fluid right edge
there is an absoluteness to surprise, he thinks
he applies this simple thought to the problem of how to move the shot
incredibly slowly our view begins to slide
begins is a problem
we are enchanted by the park and all its details
frozen, broken on the right edge by the body of the person, very close
the blur, moving rhythmically
how can it begin to change
how can the beginning go unnoticed
how can we pass from one state to another
is it possible, if one already has a certain experience of life, to start directly on the path
or is there danger involved in trying to do advanced practices without having the proper foundation
they came to believe that, unless one has actually gone through the preliminary experiences, conclusions may be drawn on the basis of insufficient information
and that these conclusions may produce effects just the opposite of the one which is intended
in other words, one never knows
and so the view begins to slide, anyway as they say
slide eastward
turning eastward
the particulars moving left or right across the frame
a parade of sorts
and it comes to rest, finally,
on the road
the street that holds the park
we are still obsessed
we are not relieved

this view is no different
how could it be
except that we have moved off the body of the person very close and blurred
and every edge is raw
and there is some machine approaching
wider than it is high
as they say
a pack of motorcycles
a herd of elephants
a tribe of bedouins
something from the east
barely moving in a cloud of haze and heat and dust
in utmost telephoto
gold and green and flat
the idea of the slit
the eye of the needle

--The Park, Robert Ashley

jed_, Friday, 24 August 2012 21:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

there are some mistakes there, but still.
good to see it written down.
i didn't write it.

jed_, Friday, 24 August 2012 22:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

there are quite a lot of mistakes.
the pencil fairly flew as he made his corrections.
(which maybe i will do at some point)

jed_, Friday, 24 August 2012 22:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

He's in London next month.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 24 August 2012 22:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

i did a transcription of 'the backyard' one night

half-worm inchworm tapeworm (donna rouge), Friday, 24 August 2012 22:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

he is? so am xyzzzz_, what are the dates?

donna, post it!

jed_, Friday, 24 August 2012 22:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

http://www.cafeoto.co.uk/robert-ashley-alex-waterman-vidas-perfectas.shtm

28/29/30. i am so there if teaching doesn't ruin it for me. i only listened to 'private parts' from ian's poll a short while back and it killed me, and has spiralled out into obsession.

emo mcgee vs ricky hitler (Merdeyeux), Friday, 24 August 2012 22:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

it does that!!!!

it makes for an incredibly strange running soundtrack. i use it for that probably far too often.

jed_, Friday, 24 August 2012 22:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

ok!

-------

she makes a double life
she makes two from one and one
she makes a perfect system every day
she makes it work
she stands there in the doorway of her mother's house
looking at the grass and sky and at where they meet
never thinking thoughts like
"that's so like a line"
or
"the difference is so powerful"
or
"which way shall i take to leave?"

my mind turns to my breath
one
my mind watches my breath
two
my mind turns and watches my breath
three
my mind turns and faces my breath
four
my mind faces my breath
five
my mind studies my breath
six
my mind sees every aspect of the beauty of my breath
seven
my mind watches my breath soothing itself
eight
my mind sees every part of my breath
nine
my breath is not indifferent to itself
ten

she never thinks of possibility
or of how probably it is that they have come together
those thoughts never enter her mind
nor do thoughts of sports
she has no desire to improve her muscles
for her piano playing is the only mystery
it's so beautiful and how they do it no one knows

she gets catalogs of every sort in the mail
everything imaginable is pictured
she finds her way among the pictures without hesitation
she is not afraid of happiness
she is entirely without shame
the numbers are made of rubber or something like that
they stretch
they never lose their shape
they are ageless
they don't need repair
they need attention and respect

she thinks about two things that i know of
one is elevation and that comes clothed in light so to speak
she loathes the dark
she sleeps in light
she likes highness
four thousand one hundred twenty-eight feet here
four thousand two hundred eighteen feet there
and the body of the house itself
fourteen dollars and twenty-eight cents here
forty-eight dollars and twelve cents there

the other is proportions
coincidence isn't a mystery to her
the margin is always wide enough
forty-two or forty with twenty is always sixty-two or sixty
and i mean forty-two with twenty can be sixty as well as sixty-two
and the other way around
just as ten and twenty can be twenty-two or thirty
or twelve and twenty can be thirty

she stands there in the doorway of her mother's house and thinks these thoughts
that fourteen dollars and twenty-eight cents is more attractive than fourteen dollars
because of the twenty-eight
no one likes or dislikes zeroes
and that forty-two or forty is fixed in some way

she thinks about her father's age
she does the calculations one more time
she remembers sixty-two
thirty and some number is sixty-two
and that number with ten is forty-two
she remembers forty-two
remembers is the wrong word
she dwells on forty-two
she turns and faces it
she watches it
she studies it
it is the key
the mystery of the balances is there
the masonic secret lies there
the church forbids its angels entry there
the gypsies camp there
blood is exchanged there
mothers weep there
it is night there

thirty and some number is sixty-two
and that number with ten is forty-two
that number translates now to then
that number is the answer
in the way that numbers answer
that simple notion
a coincidence among coincidences
is all one needs to know

my mind turns to my breath
my mind watches my breath
my mind turns and watches my breath
my mind turns and faces my breath
my mind faces my breath
my mind studies my breath
my mind sees every aspect of the beauty of my breath
my mind watches my breath soothing itself
my mind sees every part of my breath
my breath is not indifferent to itself

she waked at ten
she remembers ten
she left the dark at ten
she waked in light
so forty-two or forty or forty-four is fixed
fourteen dollars and twenty-eight cents is more attractive than fourteen dollars
it's just that way
the firmness of it is a consolation

three men have loved her
one a decade on the average
uncertainties are wrong
in this scene there is one shot
giordano bruno comes to mind
whoever he is

she is in the doorway of her mother's house
she faces south
we see it two ways
first is the house behind her
and the great northern constellations
she looks away from difference and discrepancy
magnetic north
true north
the north star path
it's too like the calculations
except that ten and forty-two are fixed together
we are looking west
she is on the right edge of the shot
she is earth
we are the sun

people are gathered in the backyard
this is the celebration of the changing of the light
they do it as often as they can in summer
they come to talk
they pass the time
they soothe their thoughts with lemonade
they say things like
she never had a stitch that she could call her own, poor thing
and
harold's still president over at the bank, ain't he?
and
now if i was doing it
and
she didn't cook much, never really had the time, you know
and
i wouldn't say that, not at all
they are the planets in the scheme of things
giordano bruno shot

the problem is the arc
the changing angle of the shot
it defies geometry
drawings of geocentric solar systems
when you meet them in the books
make us avert our eyes
heresy is heresy
we make one great weird curve
from the east edge of the backyard
looking west
she is on the right edge of the shot
across
following the equator of the backyard
to the west edge
looking east

now she is on the left edge
at some point midway we face
both looking at the center
the center is between us
except that for the purpose of the shot
or the interests of economy
she doesn't move

she is standing in the doorway of her mother's house
the doorway to the back porch
the backyard is the south
behind her the great northern constellation
rises in the majesty of its architecture
well, maybe that's a little too much
let's just say that
contradictions are behind her
and in the backyard
god
this set of circumstances
that is indescribable
with our geometry

a picnic of sorts
a celebration of the changing of the light
and we glide through that chaos facing her
watching her
studying her
not circling her, remember
circling, but not circling her
she is circling
we are circling

now she is on the left edge
caught still in her accounting of those three decades silently
she is so beautiful
a "pre-industrial" equation

god, this is sentimental

this is the hour of the mystery of the barnswallows
one
where do they go in daytime?
two
do they never rest?
three
when you buy them in the store, made in china
on the end of strings
they do exactly what they do alive
four
how is that possible?

the idea of the changing center is not in anything we make
our toy is run down
on the other end of course
the chinese are said to not take pictures
at least not of the outside

six of one
two times three of one
five plus one of one
nine minus three of one
half a dozen of another

it would be perfect if
as we made the great curve
through the heavens of the backyard
providentially or accidentally
depending on your point of view
each of the planets would move exactly in the path
and at the speed
and with the purpose of the expression
of the other idea

maybe that's too much to wish

giordano bruno
i think they burned him
he was too positive
fight fire with fire
in this shot he is wrong about the larger order
whatever that means
there is just the sun and earth
and some center that they share
all other facts in this heaven:
one has climbed the tree
two are eating watermelon
one always says it's getting late
one succeeded at the plant
one works at the bank
the specialists
they are just (dirt lines?) seen wrong

sundown, one
the time it disappears
gloaming, two
the twilight dusk
crepuscule, the twilight, three
the half-light
twilight, four
pale purplish blue to pale violet
lighter than dusk blue
civil twilight
until the sun is up to six degrees below horizon
enough light on clear days for ordinary occupations
nautical twilight
until the sun is up to twelve degrees below horizon
astronomical twilight
until the sun is eighteen degrees down more or less
clair de lune, five
greener and paler than dusk
dusk, six
redder and darker than clair de lune

dear george
what's going on?
i'm not the same person that i used to be.

half-worm inchworm tapeworm (donna rouge), Friday, 24 August 2012 22:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

those closing lines!

thanks!

jed_, Friday, 24 August 2012 22:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

nb: it is not perfect, there's a few lines i'm not sure of. the above is based on the 'private parts' version, though i consulted both the 'private parts' and 'perfect lives' versions - there's a couple of minor differences between the two.

half-worm inchworm tapeworm (donna rouge), Friday, 24 August 2012 22:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

fucking love this piece of music so fucking much i just can't express it in words. it should be expressed in hugs & smiles and nodding sagely at twilight.

one dis leads to another (ian), Friday, 24 August 2012 22:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

who's this "george"?

i feel the same way ian. i want to share it with everyone i know and don't know.

jed_, Friday, 24 August 2012 22:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

i once read the entirety of 'the park' aloud to my bf. i was a choked-up mess by the end.

half-worm inchworm tapeworm (donna rouge), Friday, 24 August 2012 22:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

i would totally take that as a marriage proposal.

jed_, Friday, 24 August 2012 22:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

I put The Backyard on a mix for gf just a few hours ago.

Trip Maker, Saturday, 25 August 2012 00:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Park vs The Backyard POLL

(and thanks v much for the lyrics - have looked for them on internet before but to no avail)

bidfurd, Saturday, 25 August 2012 09:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

Bob Ashley, David Behrman, Chris Mann and Alvin Lucier give a FREE concert in honor of John Cage at The New School on September 7 at 7 pm. 66 West 12th Street.

one dis leads to another (ian), Friday, 7 September 2012 19:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

if only i knew before now i could have taken time off work :(

one dis leads to another (ian), Friday, 7 September 2012 19:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

7 months pass...

So, has anyone read the Kyle Gann book on Ashley? Came out in November apparently... wanting to order it from Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Robert-Ashley-American-Composers-Kyle/dp/025207887X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367108789&sr=8-1&keywords=kyle+gann+robert+ashley

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Sunday, 28 April 2013 00:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

9 months pass...

The design looks Chinese.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 4 February 2014 19:13 (8 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

:(

scott seward, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 03:19 (7 months ago) Permalink

;__;

It would be a thrill to make work at least half as good as he did

continually topping myself (flamboyant goon tie included), Tuesday, 4 March 2014 03:33 (7 months ago) Permalink

so so so so sad. I feel like some of the deepest connections I have made on this website have been over The Record. This record. THE Record! All of his records! Ian, Joe, Plax, others - all in my thoughts now. Robert Ashley, I Love you.

i lost my shoes on acid (jed_), Tuesday, 4 March 2014 04:01 (7 months ago) Permalink

:/

Michael F Gill, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 04:24 (7 months ago) Permalink

oh man :-/

(⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Tuesday, 4 March 2014 04:26 (7 months ago) Permalink

yah sad faces

Lamp, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 04:31 (7 months ago) Permalink

Pretty much speechless.

Oblique Strategies, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 04:36 (7 months ago) Permalink

salute!

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 05:09 (7 months ago) Permalink

in the beginning there were rocks and on those rocks with harder rocks we learned to make a million bruises to spell out things like 'we were here' and 'watch your water' -- they only moved it, the idea of bruises adding up to something, from rocks to skin

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 05:12 (7 months ago) Permalink

pale purplish blue to pale violet
lighter than dusk blue
civil twilight

the tune was space, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 05:32 (7 months ago) Permalink

:(

bamcquern, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 05:50 (7 months ago) Permalink

Sad news to wake up to. RIP

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 07:25 (7 months ago) Permalink

:(

the ghosts of dead pom-bears (a passing spacecadet), Tuesday, 4 March 2014 09:14 (7 months ago) Permalink

:-(

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 09:47 (7 months ago) Permalink

RIP Mr Ashley, you made some amazing music.

emil.y, Tuesday, 4 March 2014 12:55 (7 months ago) Permalink

didn't wanna open this thread

RIP

sleeve, Wednesday, 5 March 2014 15:33 (7 months ago) Permalink

I'm glad someone's finally put this version of 'The Backyard' on youtube so I can share it with everybody and maybe someone can explain to me why it kills me every time.

Merdeyeux, Thursday, 6 March 2014 00:48 (7 months ago) Permalink

I know the NYT can take its time for an obit on occasion but this is getting embarrassing for them

Milton Parker, Thursday, 6 March 2014 19:12 (7 months ago) Permalink

You are slain because of the tabla playing, which is virtuosic and passionate and threatens to explode out of the not-that-simple repetitive pattern but doesn't explode so much as slide around it and through it and into simpler and simultaneously more complicated patterns and because that combined with that text and Ashley's reading of it is just too fucking much.

Three Word Username, Friday, 7 March 2014 09:41 (7 months ago) Permalink

Very titanically

plax (ico), Friday, 7 March 2014 20:38 (7 months ago) Permalink

My perfect introduction to Robert Ashley-- though I didn't know it was him til years later-- was in a car in San Francisco when I was 20. My older brother (then a San Franciscan) had driven me up to Muir Woods and we were stuck in traffic on the way back, all the way over the Golden Gate bridge. We channel surfing and we suddenly hit upon a station playing "Private Parts" and were too transfixed to change channels. My brother was dismissive, he said it was typical San Francisco listening. I asked him what genre it was and he said "acid jazz, I think?" (Later, when I heard real acid jazz: "if this is acid jazz, what was that talking guy?") It was so moving on first listen how such emotional highs and lows were created in such a static sonic environment. I wish I had kids so I could play this music for them

continually topping myself (flamboyant goon tie included), Friday, 7 March 2014 21:03 (7 months ago) Permalink

I asked him what genre it was and he said "acid jazz, I think?"

People say the funniest things part x6382462691

xyzzzz__, Friday, 7 March 2014 21:56 (7 months ago) Permalink

http://blog.frieze.com/robert-ashley-1930-2014/

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 12 March 2014 23:20 (7 months ago) Permalink

Live perf of Automatic writing on the 30th at Cafe Oto (where else?).

Wanna go but it does clash with another recital :-(

xyzzzz__, Friday, 14 March 2014 16:39 (7 months ago) Permalink

I should go to that. I missed the Ashley weekend they had there in 2012 and I've been annoyed at myself since.

a peace sign that sent numerous young children into tears of joy (Merdeyeux), Friday, 14 March 2014 16:54 (7 months ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

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