Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives

Today we just listen to two acts of Perfect Lives by Robert Ashley. A strange ‘opera’ for TV. This is one of my all-time favourites. It has old synths, drum machines, Blue Gene Tyranny’ piano playing, a chorus of vocalists, and of course Robert Ashley’s wonderful spoken word.

I just thought this feels like music for the beginning of spring. It’s relaxed, it’s intense, it’s comforting, it’s uncomfortable… it has everything.

psychedelic image robert ashley

The video part of this TV opera presents a range of visual narratives including trains and cars and landscapes, bars, hotel rooms, shops… It includes a cast of characters ranging from bar pianists to itinerant criminals. It’s cohesive but not entirely coherent, always mysterious. It’s poetry that feels like storytelling. The ordinary becomes extraordinary, exploring themes of identity, memory, and the elusive nature of perfection.