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Private Parts - The Record

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Private Parts - The Record album cover
01
Private Parts: The Park
21:43
 
02
Private Parts: The Backyard
23:56
 
Album Information
ALBUM ONLY // EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 2   Total Length: 45:39

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early version of Perfect Lives

mcwittmann

This is an early version of what would turn into two parts of Perfect Lives, the TV opera that set Ashley on the way of spoken-word operas. It's good, but not as good as the final version. The instrumentation is occasionally so very 70s, sounding like Pink Floyd is his back up band. It's in the production values and choice of instruments; I like the 80s synth version better, basically. Still, this is a fabulous complement to Perfect Lives, and it's fun to make comparison between the early and later versions of these pieces.

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Ashley's talk-opera "breakthrough"

bklynd

I believe this is Robert Ashley's first work in what would become his signature style, the "talk opera." (Think Laurie Anderson, but more focused. And of course Ashley came first!) Here he raps out a very detached narrative about hotel rooms and park benches over some tabla, electronic drones, and tinkly piano. It is pleasant and interesting, as you wonder what he was thinking (and ingesting) at the time that could possibly lead him to this. Don't expect the salacious material implied by the title.

eMusic Features

2

Robert Ashley, RIP

By Winston Cook-Wilson, Contributor

[album-card name="Perfect Lives" artist="Robert Ashley" label="Lovely Music" released="1991" image="http://wp-images.emusic.com/assets/2014/03/Robert_Ashley_Perfect_Lives.jpg" link="http://www.emusic.com/album/robert-ashley/perfect-lives/10953003/" class="left"] The first time I heard Robert Ashley's name, I was walking out of a music theory seminar. A slightly irritating student was asking my professor if he could do his final presentation and paper on Ashley's opera Perfect Lives. The professor seemed apprehensive. Looking back, it might have been because there had been scant scholarship on Ashley at the time. (I also like to think… more »

2

Robert Ashley, RIP

By Winston Cook-Wilson, Contributor

[album-card name="Perfect Lives" artist="Robert Ashley" label="Lovely Music" released="1991" image="http://wp-images.emusic.com/assets/2014/03/Robert_Ashley_Perfect_Lives.jpg" link="http://www.emusic.com/album/robert-ashley/perfect-lives/10953003/" class="left"] The first time I heard Robert Ashley's name, I was walking out of a music theory seminar. A slightly irritating student was asking my professor if he could do his final presentation and paper on Ashley's opera Perfect Lives. The professor seemed apprehensive. Looking back, it might have been because there had been scant scholarship on Ashley at the time. (I also like to think… more »

They Say All Music Guide

This CD reissues Lovely Music’s debut release, originally issued on LP in 1977. Along with Robert Ashley’s Automatic Writing, this is one of most engaging works he created in avant-garde opera. With simple accompaniment from “Blue” Gene Tyranny on keyboards and an elusive Kris playing subtle tabla, Asheley’s voice is as penetrating and haunting as ever, delivering in the most expressive deadpan voice this side of the recorded William S. Burrows. As a cultural commentator, Ashley is equally as important as the late writer; in this economical opera he distills his unique approach to text and minimalist musical form, extending on the theme of his Perfect Lives television opera. Private Parts is simply one of the most poetic compositions of American minimalist art, and a vital document in the history of an artist whose mastery of aural-historic storytelling will leave the prepared listener speechless. A work only challenged in its exquisite realization by Ashley’s other sublime work Automatic Writing. Listeners with interests from verbal/text-sound recording, minimalist composition and contemporary opera, owe it to yourselves to hear this masterwork. – Dean McFarlane

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