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Robert Ashley$
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Kyle Gann

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252035494

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252035494.001.0001

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When Slow Starts to Mean Something, We Crave Fast

When Slow Starts to Mean Something, We Crave Fast

The ONCE Years

Chapter:
(p.23) 3 When Slow Starts to Mean Something, We Crave Fast
Source:
Robert Ashley
Author(s):

Kyle Gann

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252035494.003.0003

This chapter describes what Ashley refers to as “the glorious chaos of the 1960's,” tracing the rise and fall of the ONCE festivals as well as the various compositions he had worked on at the time, particularly his 1967 piece, That Morning Thing. Not only is it Ashley's most ambitious piece for the ONCE festival and the direct predecessor of Perfect Lives (1979), it is the source of two of his best-known early works after The Wolfman (1964) and of two of his first works to be commercially recorded. In addition, the chapter illustrates how the ONCE festival represented a kind of crunching together of serialism and conceptualism with a characteristically Midwestern disregard for consistency or ideology. Pieces based on intricate systems were common, as were pieces based on verbal instructions, the two techniques cross-fading into each other.

Keywords:   ONCE festivals, That Morning Thing, serialism, conceptualism, 1960s, international avant-garde

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