Dust features the voices of Robert Ashley, Sam Ashley, Thomas Buckner, Tom Hamilton, Jacqueline Humbert, and Joan La Barbara. 'Blue' Gene Tyranny and Tom Hamilton provide synthesizer and live mixing. The electronic orchestration is by Robert Ashley, Tom Hamilton and 'Blue' Gene Tyranny, with sound effects for 'Friends' composed by Tom Hamilton. This recording was made live at the Kitchen in April of 1999. Modeled upon the medieval form of a motet, Dust layers the voices of five characters, drawing upon the 'street-talk' practice of speaking and hearing at the same time. Introducing new techniques in vocal and orchestral styles, and featuring video projections by Yukihiro Yoshihara, Dust conjures up a Futurist fusion of dream and reality to deal with questions of memory and irretrievable loss. Through a series of related works over the past two decades, Robert Ashley has connected opera with stream-of-consciousness poetry, with advanced forms of narrative and with new ideas about the nature of operatic ensemble. A major figure in American experimental music theater, the depth of Ashley's librettos reveals a highly developed literary mind as well as that of a first rate composer.
illage Voice (3/14/00, p.119) - "...is 'Dust' Ashley's greatest opera? It is certainly his most accessible, and is bound to win [new] fans.... an older man's brutally honest work...a new simplicity....but coming from