Tuesday, March 4, 2014

R.I.P. Robert Ashley

I have a vivid memory of Dec. 26, 2000. It was a slow day at the record store so I decided to dig through a bin of $3 used cd's. The three I ended up taking home were life altering: Jim O'rourke's 'Bad Timing', Morton Feldman's 'Rothko Chapel' and Robert Ashley's 'Superior Seven/Tract'. The latter two I picked simply with a gut feeling due to the covers. I didn't expect that I would go home and listen to new favorite composers.

Robert Ashley was an American experimental composer. He reinvented opera and theatre by fusing electronics into the work. He was also a pioneer in audio synthesizer technology itself. He leaves behind quite a legacy with eleven operas and numerous films. Fans of modern minimal composition take note, especially you youngins' who dig Oneohtrix Point Never. You'll find that Daniel Lopatin is a big fan.

I urge you to investigate this vast and wonderful body of work. My favorites are below: