Drama. Music. Opera. Literary Nonfiction. As Ashley tells it: "An over-the-hill entertainer, and his somewhat younger pal, Buddy (The World's Greatest Piano Player), find themselves in a small town on the Midwest circuit playing at The Perfect Lives Lounge. They become friends with the son and daughter of the local Sheriff, and the four hatch a plan to do something that if they are caught, it will be a crime, but if they are not caught it will be art. They've set themselves a kind of metaphysical challenge." This book includes the complete libretto, in seven episodes, followed by thirty-eight pages of Robert Ashley talking about his ideas and the making of the opera. "He's opera's James Joyce...no other new music theater so rewards effort by getting under your skin and molding your consciousness"—The New York Times.
Robert Ashley is a prolific composer and writer, best known for his work in new forms of opera: epic prose poems he sets to music, which have been awarded, commissioned, and performed internationally for over forty-five years. In the 1960s, Ashley organized Ann Arbor's legendary ONCE Festival and directed the ONCE Group. During the 1970s, he directed the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College, toured with the Sonic Arts Union, and wrote and produced Perfect Lives, an opera for television widely praised as the precursor of "music-television." Staged versions of his opera ATALANTA (ACTS OF GOD) have toured throughout Europe and the United States. QUICKSAND (Burning Books, 2011) is his first novel. Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA