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Dust - An Opera by Robert Ashley

Notes & Reviews:

Personnel: Robert Ashley (vocals); Joan La Barbara, Thomas Buckner , Sam Ashley, Jacqueline Humbert (vocals); "Blue" Gene Tyranny (synthesizer).

Recording information: the Kitchen.

Dust is a double-CD opera that features the voices Robert Ashley, Sam Ashley, Thomas Buckner, Tom Hamilton, Jacqueline Humbert, and Joan La Barbara, with subtle electronic backing provided by "Blue" Gene Tyranny and Tom Hamilton . This 1999 recording is a striking display of Ashley's stream of consciousness poetry, in which the banalities of everyday American life are animated into a sublime form of minimalist opera. Robert Ashley's groundbreaking '70s works "Private Parts and "Automatic Writing pioneered this technique of narrative repetition, and Dust similarly explores the concepts of memory and loss. Its cast apparently standing on a street corner in flippant conversation, Dust takes these pedestrian texts and enlightens them as powerful operatic poetry due to the composer's never less than eloquent sense of arrangement. This dreamy vocal work was a multimedia performance with video projections by Yukihiro Yoshihara, whose images grace the cover artwork. Highly recommended work from this leading American avant-garde composer. ~ S.J. Harrison


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