Interpretations continues its twentieth season of provocative programming in New York City. Founded and curated by baritone Thomas Buckner in 1989, Interpretations focuses on the relationship between contemporary composers from both jazz and classical backgrounds and their interpreters, whether the composers themselves or performers who specialize in new music. To celebrate, Jerry Bowles has invited the artists involved in this season’s concerts to blog about their Interpretations experiences. Produced in tandem with La Mama ETC and Performing Artservices, the centerpiece of the series this year is a two-week, three opera, 10 performance, mini-retrospective of the recent works of Robert Ashley: Dust, Celestial Excursions, and Made out of Concrete.
Mr. Ashley has been kind enough to take some time from his busy rehearsing schedule to write about the ensemble he’s gathered over the past thirty years or so, as a sort of self-interview:
WHO ARE THE ENSEMBLE MEMBERS?
The ensemble now is (alphabetical order in singers / in slight order of importance in technical)
ROBERT ASHLEY: voice
SAM ASHLEY: voice
THOMAS BUCKNER: voice
JACQUELINE HUMBERT: voice
JOAN LA BARBARA: voice
TOM HAMILTON does audio engineering in all stages of the opera, assists me in realizing the composition in the electronic studio prior to performance; he’s the mixing engineer and advisor in rehearsals; he does performance sound processing and mixing of the performance; he’s in charge of recording of the performance and mixing the sounds from the performance for the CD recording.
CAS BOUMANS is the performance sound designer (audience loudspeaker placement and sound monitor arrangements for the performers. Microphone placement.)
DAVID MOODEY does stage and light design.
MELANIE LIPKA is the production stage manager (off-stage timing of what goes into the performance.)
“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY is the synthesizer performer in Dust and Celestial Excursions
JOAN JONAS is the dancer/performance artist in Celestial Excursions
WHEN DID YOU START WORKING WITH THEM?
It’s various, but compared to the life of most ensembles I’ve been working with all of them for a long time, not only in their jobs now with the ensemble, but as musicians and designers.