Atalanta (Acts of God)
Label: Lovely Music
Format: 2CD Box
Genre: Sound Art
Originally released on Lovely Music in 1985. Robert Ashley makes use of the story of Atalanta
- a royal princess, discarded by her family, who was raised by the
animals to become the fastest-running human, and who was later reclaimed
by her father to marry her off for dynastic purposes - to present the
character aspects of the "successful suitor". These three aspects of
character are presented in the opera as anecdotes about three
extraordinary men of our times: Max Ernst (surrealist painter), Willard Reynolds (shaman storyteller), and Bud Powell
(composer pianist). The genius of these three men can be taken to
represent three aspects of the opera itself: image, narrative and music.
In the imaginary setting of Atalanta (Acts of God), one
companion (singer) reminds her of her excellence (the "Odalisque"
arias); another recommends to her the characteristics of excellence in
men (the "Character Reference" arias); and a third amuses her with
anecdotes, as if told to her by each of the three men (the "Anecdotes").
Personnel: Robert Ashley - solo voice; with Thomas Buckner, Carla Tato, Jacqueline Humbert - voices; "Blue" Gene Tyranny - keyboards; Paul Shorr - mixing, electronics. Recorded live at the Teatro Olimpico in Rome; Sung in English and Italian.
Cat. number: LCD 3301