1. El Parque (The Park)
6. La Iglesia (The Church)
7. El Patio De Atras (The Backyard)
Robert Ashley: “The music has outgrown the architecture”
On Oct. 23, 2011, Issue Project Room held a screening of Robert Ashley’s “Perfect Lives,” in support of our ongoing fundraising campaign for “Vidas Perfectas.”
Following the screening, Robert Ashley (composer), Alex Waterman (director), and Ned Sublette (who will play the narrator, “R,” in “Vidas Perfectas”) stuck around for a Q&A about television, the development of “Vidas Perfectas,” and methods of collaboration.
Here’s an excerpt, just to whet your appetite (listen while reading):
"Why is it for television? As I was growing into music, I was more and more disappointed by the musical experience that I saw on stage. One, because it was so old—the instruments are old, the ideas are so old, everything’s so old it’s so boring, you know? Because the music that we’re all thinking of had outgrown the architecture.
In the best of circumstances, the architecture and the music—for the people—match. But what’s happened in the last 50–100 years is that the music has outgrown the architecture. There is no architecture to deal with what we’re talking about right here [bong] … and I thought, there’s got to be one, or we wouldn’t be thinking these thoughts. And it occurred to me … that our architecture might be the imaginary space behind the surface of the television screen.
In other words, you look at the television screen, you see whatever you see—red, green, blue—behind that there’s an imaginary space and maybe that’s the place for the music of our time. So I started thinking in that way and I haven’t changed my mind a bit. I think Alex is the first to see … if you want your music to feel at home, I would suggest you start knocking on the doors of television and saying “let me in.” Because that’s the space for my music. It has everything in terms of the speed of the music, it can handle any situation, and it can go from not much money to a whole lot of money—and you want to be on both ends [bong]."
Peter Greenaway: Four Composers, Robert Ashley
Robert Ashley's Perfect Lives
Robert Ashley: Music with Roots in the Aether