Kyle Gann: Robert Ashley (2012)

23 November 2014, dusan

“This book explores the life and works of Robert Ashley, one of the leading American composers of the post-Cage generation. Ashley’s innovations began in the 1960s when he, along with Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma, and David Behrman, formed the Sonic Arts Union, a group that turned conceptualism toward electronics. He was also instrumental in the influential ONCE Group, a theatrical ensemble that toured extensively in the 1960s. During his tenure as its director, the ONCE Festival in Ann Arbor presented most of the decade’s pioneers of the performing arts. Particularly known for his development of television operas beginning with Perfect Lives, Ashley spun a long series of similar text/music works, sometimes termed “performance novels.” These massive pieces have been compared with Wagner’s Ring Cycle for the vastness of their vision, though the materials are completely different, often incorporating noise backgrounds, vernacular music, and highly structured, even serialized, musical configurations.

Drawing on extensive research into Ashley’s early years in Ann Arbor and interviews with Ashley and his collaborators, Kyle Gann chronicles the life and work of this musical innovator and provides an overview of the avant-garde milieu of the 1960s and 1970s to which he was so central. Gann examines all nine of Ashley’s major operas to date in detail, along with many minor works, revealing the fanatical structures that underlie Ashley’s music as well as private references hidden in his opera librettos.”

Publisher University of Illinois Press, 2012
American Composers series
ISBN 025207887X, 9780252078873
184 pages

Review (Devin King, Make, 2013)
Review (New Music Buff, 2013)

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF, PDF
Accompanying website

See also Perfect Lives and other works of Ashley on UbuWeb.

eContact! 15(4): Videomusic: Overview of an Emerging Art Form (2014) [English, French]

11 August 2014, dusan

Videomusic is a field of practice that could be seen as a subset of visual music, a term which can be considered today to be familiar enough to speak for itself. This broader area of artistic activity includes digital work, cinema, painting and visual “instruments”, and dates back at least to the 18th century.

Contributions by Maura McDonnell, Patrick Saint-Denis, Inés Wickmann, Joseph Hyde and Jean Piché, Laurie Radford, Nicolas Wiese, Claudia Robles-Angel, Diego Garro, Andrew Lewis, Jon Weinel and Stuart Cunningham, and David Candler. Interviews by Bob Gluck with Mario Davidovsky, Alfredo Del Mónaco and Sergio Cervetti, alcides lanza, and Edgar Valcárcel.

Editor jef chippewa
Publisher Canadian Electroacoustic Community, Montreal, April 2014

View online (English, HTML articles)
View online (French, HTML articles)

See This Sound: Versprechungen von Bild und Ton / Promises in Sound and Vision (2010) [German/English]

2 July 2014, dusan

“As the status of sound in art and music evolves and redefines itself, so too does sound art find new ways of describing its history. See This Sound compiles a large number of artists, filmmakers, composers and performers, reaching back into the early twentieth century and into the present to survey overlaps between not only sound and art, sound and film, and the metaphor of cinema as rhythm or symphony. Proceeding chronologically, the book takes the early cinematic “eye music” of Hans Richter as a starting point, noting parallel works by Walter Ruttmann and Oskar Fischinger; moving into the postwar period, the art/cinema/ music experiments of Peter Kubelka, Valie Export and Michael Snow are discussed, establishing precedents to similar work by Rodney Graham, Carsten Nicolai, Jeremy Deller and many others.”

With essays by Helmut Draxler, Diedrich Diederichsen, Gabriele Jutz, Liz Kotz, Heidi Grundmann, Christian Höller, Dieter Daniels, and Manuela Ammer.

Edited by Cosima Rainer, Stella Rollig, Dieter Daniels and Manuela Ammer
Publisher Walther König, Cologne, 2010
ISBN 3865606830, 9783865606839
320 pages

Exhibition website and archive

PDF (19 MB, updated on 2015-1-25)