Robert Ashley, Convergence Pioneer, 1930–2014

Composer Robert Ashley has died.

The (odd but delightful) excerpt above stars Mr. Ashley as "R" the narrator in Perfect Lives, an opera for television that The Kitchen commissioned from Mr. Ashley around the time I first arrived in NYC (many years ago - 1978). 

This version of Private Lives premiered on Great Britain’s Channel Four in 1984. The pianist is "Blue" Gene Tyranny. The voices of the chorus are Jill Kroesen and David Van Tieghem. The program was directed by John Sanborn.

If this isn't your thing or it seems much too dated and arch - OK. But you still might want to check out the piano part at around 12:10.

Private Lives contains the following description of a fictional character - but the words might apply to Mr. Ashley too... "It’s obvious when you’re with him that he’s in heaven. So he really only has one problem left: the transition between this heaven on Earth, to whatever the structure of the next one will be—the moment, in other words. And if I could presume to describe the largeness of his spirit in the contemplation of that moment, I always imagine him saying, “Well, can’t hurt.”"

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