This site too slow? Try a mirror  --  Subscribe to the Guide  --  Find artist:
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

Robert Ashley


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Ethereal/Avant-Garde

Status:

Robert Astley died in 2014. Final release, Atalanta (Acts of God) Vol. II (2010)

See also:

Robert Ashley's site

Lovely Music's Robert Ashley biography

Comparisons:

Laurie Anderson, John Cage, Garrison Keilor, David Byrne's Knee Plays.

Covers/own material:

Own

Recommended first album:

Private Parts

Recordings include:

(See Robert Ashley's site for full discography)


Private Parts

Release info:

1977—Lovely Music, Ltd. 105 Hudson Street, New York, NY, 10013—LML 1001 (LP)

Availability:

Available now on CD.

Ecto priority:

Recommended for certain tastes. (jzitt@humansystems.com)

Backing musicians:

"Blue" Gene Tyranny

Comments:

The beginning and end sections of Perfect Lives. A good intro. (jzitt@humansystems.com)

Automatic Writing

Release info:

1979—Lovely Music, Ltd. 105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013—VR 1003 (LP)

Availability:

Possibly out of print.

Ecto priority:

Recommended for certain tastes.

Guest artist:

Mimi Johnson—voice

Comments:

Processed voices murmur in unintelligible French over ethereal, almost inaudible synth and bass backing. Beautiful once you get used to it. (jzitt@humansystems.com)

Private Lives (Perfect Parts): The Bar

Release info:

1980—Lovely Music, Ltd. 105 Hudson Street, New York, NY, 10013—VR 4904 (LP)

Availability:

Possibly out of print.

Ecto priority:

Recommended for certain tastes. (jzitt@humansystems.com)

Group members:

See Perfect Lives.

Comments:

A central section of Perfect Lives.

Perfect Lives

Release info:

1992—Lovely Music, Ltd. 105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

Availability:

Large chain stores carry it in the U.S.

Ecto priority:

Recommended for certain tastes. (jzitt@humansystems.com)

Group members:

Robert Ashley

Guest artists:

David van Tieghem
"Blue" Gene Tyranny
Jill Kroesen
Peter Gordon

Comments:

A three CD set containing the full score of his "Opera for Television" (also available on video and as a book). Ashley reads/chants texts (dealing with a vague Midwestern story) over mostly ethereal instrumental backing. One of the fathers of performance and a big influence on Laurie Anderson et al. (jzitt@humansystems.com)

Improvement

Release Info:

1992—Elektra/Nonesuch—79289-2

Availability:

Widely available.

Ecto priority:

Recommended for certain tastes. (jzitt@humansystems.com)

Backing musicians:

Jacqueline Humbert
Thomas Buckner
Joan LaBarbara
Sam Ashley
Amy X Neuburg (voices).

Comments:

A two CD set of a recent opera for television. Beautiful if you can take it—the singers sing text on a single note for the whole thing, with Ashley's occasional spoken vocals. (jzitt@humansystems.com)


Thanks to Neal Copperman for work on this entry.

Why the ads?
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2016-05-15 22:21:17.
Please request permission if you wish to
reproduce any of the comments in the
Ectophiles' Guide in any context.

The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music is copyright © 1996-2004 by the editors.
Individual comments are copyright © by their authors.
Web site design and programming copyright © 1998-2004 usrbin design + programming.
All rights reserved.