Ashley’s algorithm

In Brief, Stage: Dec. 2012/Jan. 2013

“Performative” artist Sam Ashley is in Vienna to organise a full-scale version of his most recent composition. “Freedom From Happiness” uses a simple mathematical algorithm, Ashley creates a mystical sound, whilst simultaneously questioning the much-discussed relation between man and machine. When played in full-scale, the piece requires 22 pianos and performers.

This year it has already been performed, from February to May, in a different version at MuseumsQuartier. In late Nov. in Linz, a smaller version of the piece was performed (with 10 pianos instead of 22).

Over the last 30 years, the main theme of his work has been mysticism. Experimenting with different mediums like tapes or computer-generated sounds, Ashley reinterprets and explores this term, approaching it from ever-new directions.

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