RIP Robert Ashley: Long Live the Avant-Garde
4 Mar 2014
Highlights from the premiere of Vidas Perfectas, a Spanish-language version of Robert Ashley’s opera Perfect Lives
It’s a testament to the timelessness Robert Ashley’s work that so many artists and musicians from across a broad range of disciplines are marking his passing by pointing out his profound impact on an entire universe of challenging and inspirational work. Remembrances are pouring in from NPR, Frieze, Bomb, Fader, Pitchfork and Hyperallergic plus a new generation of sound composers — C. Spencer Yeh, Daniel Lopatin, M. Geddes Gengras, Sun Araw, Amen Dunes et al — all citing Ashley’s influence.
For those not yet familiar with Ashley, we point you to Ubu Web’s Twitter feed, which has become a steady flow of links to his magnificent works.
Ballroom Marfa is also grateful to join Ashley’s friend and collaborator Alex Waterman in continuing work on Vidas Perfectas, a Spanish-language adaptation of Ashley’s Perfect Lives, to debut at the 2014 Whitney Biennial.
Long live the avant-garde, indeed …
We're deeply saddened by Robert Ashley's passing but we are going to celebrate his life and his genius at the Biennial! We love you Bob.
— Alex Waterman (@AlexWaterman) March 4, 2014
"You’re working on my music, but it’s always you." Robert Ashley + @AlexWaterman in @BOMBmagazine http://t.co/hLActzVo3C
— Ballroom Marfa (@BallroomMarfa) March 4, 2014
If not for Robert Ashley, there would've never been an UbuWeb. #backstory
— UbuWeb (@ubuweb) March 4, 2014
My idea of my music is to jump in bed with drinks; the music is coming out of the TV, and you watch it for six hours. — Robert Ashley
— Kenneth Goldsmith (@kg_ubu) March 4, 2014
Robert Ashley made talking to oneself into opera and I won't stop thanking him. Singing alone in a room was never cooler.
— Brendt Rioux (@BrendtRioux) March 4, 2014
Experimental Musician Robert Ashley Dead at 83 – http://t.co/HDeBPmoIg7
— hyperallergic (@hyperallergic) March 4, 2014
Sad news: Robert Ashley, RIP. frieze archive: 'Perfect Lives' a talkative exploration of sociability and storytelling http://t.co/2Vs1b5zRsF
— frieze (@frieze_magazine) March 4, 2014
Watch our FADER TV interview with the late NYC composer, Robert Ashley. http://t.co/S6LWJ9Geoh
— The FADER (@thefader) March 4, 2014
robert ashley taught me about economy of sound & made me think about it's organization in an entirely new way. the work is eternal.
— m. geddes gengras (@mgeddesgengras) March 4, 2014
RIP my hero Robert Ashley. PT. 1 of Perfect Lives: http://t.co/sLFSXPdIaT
— Daniel Lopatin (@0PN) March 4, 2014
It's hard to articulate how much Robert Ashley's work means to me- he was a real artist and will be truly missed.