ARTEFAKT 107: "Music With Roots in the Aether"

ARTEFAKT 107: "Music With Roots in the Aether"

24. 11. 2014 - 23.00

V tokratnem Artefaktu se spominjamo v tem letu preminulega ameriškega avantgardnega skladatelja Roberta Ashleya


This fact, the surfacing of structure in an undeliberate action, is too big to take on here, but it was enough to convince me that the structuralists—the advocates of planning music before you hear or care what the plan gives you—were right: do not rely on unplanned music; it comes out as though it were planned, but planned by someone you cross the street to avoid.

liner notes to Automatic Writing (1996), referring to both automatic writing and the piece Automatic Writing.

It's not what you've been taught - in the conservative sectors - that you have a poverty of materials. You're all healthy, you're all strong enough to make sounds until the end of time. The only problem you have is deciding whether your sound is any good. What I'm encouraging you to do is not to think about that too much, not to reevaluate the sounds, but just to examine them, and see what the structure is. See what's actually there, before you start this process of trying to ask yourself whether Nancy Reagan would like it, or Mrs. Bush. Just take the whole big first chunk, and then break it down. Follow what you know about it to where it goes... The music's there. I'm not trying to be weird, but it's there. I was taught that I didn't have anything, and it was my job to work hard and get something, and that's just not true.

from talks at Mills College, 1989. Published with libretto of Perfect Lives, pages 151-2, Burning Books Press


1. Robert Ashley's 'Yes, But Is It Edible?,' a composition for piano and voice dedicated to Thomas Buckner who performs it with the composer. This 27:30 min long piece is a true masterpiece, with Robert Ashley introducing us to creation and coincidence, space and time, private parts and characters, with direct references to the ONCE group and his friends David Behrman, Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, 'Blue' Gene Tyranny, George Manupelli, as well as Maria Callas and Patsy Cline, Elvis and Lennon, Monteverdi, pop music, Irish and Jewish new-comer's Broadway musical parody of America, Lloyd-Weber, Saturday Night Life, Chinese opera, mariachi bands, country music and much more. Side D includes 'Practical Anarchism,' a touching homage that Robert Ashley dedicated to Walter Marchetti. Previously published as a text by Alga Marghen in the booklet of the Antibarbarus CD, this is actually the first time ever that this piece for solo voice, performed by the same Robert Ashley, is made available on record. 

2. In Sara Mencken, Christ and Beethoveen there were men and women (1972) 
Text: John Barton Wolgamot (written 1944) 
Music: Robert Ashley + Paul DeMarinis
Voice: Robert Ashley


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