Robert Ashley

Music Word Fire and I Would Do It Again: The Lessons

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Available both on videotape and vinyl LP, this work is a set of variations on the music for episode three "The Bank" from the opera Perfect Lives -- Buddy (The World's Greatest Piano Player, and eternal optimist) teaches his secrets to a select few through a set of videotapes currently in the hands of Baby, an all-round spiritual seeker and wife of Rodney (The Bartender, and eternal pessimist). These legendary tapes are documents of rare and impossible occasions at the piano. If you can't play boogie-woogie after this half hour, there's no hope. Includes portraits of Isolde, Raoul de Noget, Buddy and The Captain of the Football Teams (his parents call him Donnie). "This may be the first -- dazzling -- use of variation form in rock n' roll" (Gregory Sandow, The Village Voice). (See also Ashley's vocal solo "Love Is a Good Example" in the collection A Confederacy of Dances, Vol. 2.)