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With Silent Auction items contributed by:
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  Woodland Pattern 32nd Anniversary Gala
featuring Robert Ashley
Anniversary Celebration
with Robert Ashley
Friday, November 16, 2012
5:30pm Reception | 7:00pm Program

Renaissance Place
1451 N. Prospect Avenue,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202

Program Only: $20 in advance / $25 at door
Reception & Program: $80 single / $150 for couples

Reception: cash bar, hors d'oeuvres, silent auction
Program: honoring of Ruth DeYoung Kohler and Hal Rammel
"Lectures to Be Sung" performed by Robert Ashley w/ Tom Hamilton

Ruth DeYoung Kohler has become a living legend in Wisconsin as a result of her several decade's long participation as patron, volunteer, administrator and moving force at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan. Her visionary goals as Director there since 1972 have raised that institution to an international level, enriching the entire state by its presence.

Hal Rammel Ruth DeYoung Kohler
Hal RammelRuth DeYoung Kohler

She has served as Chairman and member of the Wisconsin Arts Board, been on the panel of the National Endowment for the Arts, served as Director and member of the Kohler Foundation, been a member of the Wisconsin American Revolution Bicentennial Commission and on the National Crafts Planning Board, received honorary doctorates from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, UW Oshkosh and Lakeland College, been a member of the Board of Curators of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, serves on the Wisconsin Academy's Council as Vice President for the Arts and is a Fellow of the Academy, a juror and speaker, a recipient of a Governors Award in Support of the Arts and the Visionary Award from the American Craft Museum in New York, the Smith Medal from Smith College of Massachusetts for exceptional achievement in the Arts, and has been a continuing force behind the scenes who cares about and improves Wisconsin's regional art culture. There may be no one else in the state that has ever compiled a record of this magnitude.

Hal Rammel is a visual artist, musician, author, and educator. He designs and builds musical instruments for the recording and performance of original compositions and improvisations. His drawings, cartoons, photographs and musical instruments have been exhibited at the Audible gallery, Corbett vs, Dempsey Gallery, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and at the racine Art Museum and Woodland Pattern Book Center. He has been the host and curator of Alternating Currents Live at Woodland Pattern since 1995, and the host of Alternating Currents on WMSE (91.7FM-Milwaukee) since 1992.

When the 21st Century glances back to see where the future of opera came from, Ashley, like Monteverdi before him, is going to look like a radical new beginning.
-The Village Voice


Robert Ashley
   Photo by Ken Weiss
Robert Ashley, a distinguished figure in American contemporary music, holds an international reputation for his work in new forms of opera and multi-disciplinary projects. His recorded works are acknowledged classics of language in a musical setting. He pioneered opera-for-television.The operatic works of Robert Ashley are distinctly American in their subject matter and in their use of language. Fanfare Magazine calls Ashley's Perfect Lives "nothing less than the first American opera..." Ashley's operas are "so vast in their vision that they are comparable only to Wagner's Ring cycle or Stockhausen's seven-evening Licht cycle. In form and content, in musical, vocal, literary and media technique, they are, however, comparable to nothing else" (The Los Angeles Times).

Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1930, Robert Ashley was educated at the University of Michigan and the Manhattan School of Music. At the University of Michigan, he worked at the Speech Research Laboratories (psycho-acoustics and cultural speech patterns).

Ashley organized the ONCE Festival, the annual festival of contemporary performing arts in Ann Arbor which, from 1961 to 1969, presented most of the decade's pioneers of the performing arts. He directed the highly influential ONCE Group, a music-theater ensemble that toured the United States from 1964 to 1969. During these years Ashley developed and produced the first of his mixed-media operas, notably That Morning Thing and In Memoriam...Kit Carson, and composed the soundtracks for films by George Manupelli.

In 1969, Ashley was appointed Director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College (Oakland, California), where he organized the first public-access music and media facility. From 1966 to 1976 he toured throughout the United States and Europe with the Sonic Arts Union, a composers' collective that included David Behrman, Alvin Lucier, and Gordon Mumma. With the support of the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, Ashley produced and directed Music with Roots in the Aether: video portraits of composers and their music, a 14-hour television opera/documentary about the work and ideas of seven American composers.

Ashley has also provided music for the dance companies of Trisha Brown (Son of Gone Fishin', 1983), Merce Cunningham (Problems in the Flying Saucer, 1988), Douglas Dunn (Ideas from The Church, 1978) and Steve Paxton (The Park and The Backyard, 1978.)

Robert Ashley's website

Robert Ashley on "Lectures to Be Sung"

For the last few years I have been doing a solo concert called "Lectures To Be Sung." This is a program made up of vocal pieces that are taken from operas I have written over the past few years. The list of pieces that can be performed as part of "Lectures To Be Sung" is rather large—more than forty songs ranging in length from five minutes to twenty minutes. The charm of this idea for me is that I usually don't choose which pieces go into a program until the time I come on stage with the scores in hand. Then I do what the "feeling" of the moment tells me to do. It uses whatever is happening in that moment—what I am feeling and especially what I think the audience is feeling—to provoke me to do something I might not do if I had thought about it.

Tom Hamilton has been a profoundly important collaborator in my work for the past twenty-five years. Among other things—helping me with the composition of the orchestra and other artistic and technical chores—he does the live processing of the sound of the voices in the ensemble—adding various kinds of equalization and other effects—and makes us sound good. This role is part of our collaboration in "Lectures To Be Sung." The job is hard to understand for a person who is not a performer. I sing in a style that is sometimes not recognized as singing. Tom makes me sound good—or as good as possible.


If you would like to be an underwriting sponsor of this singular event, please download, print, and complete the sponsorship form and mail to Woodland Pattern, or contact Rob at 414.263.5001 or robertb@woodlandpattern.org for more information.

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