A Necessary Music & An Evening with Robert Ashley

29 Jan 2009

Regular hours

12:00 – 18:00

Cost of entry


Save Event: A Necessary Music & An Evening with Robert Ashley

I've seen this

People who have saved this event:


The Showroom

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Numerous buses from central London stop on the Edgware Road within a few minutes walk of the space, including the 6, 16, 98, 332 and 414.
  • The Showroom is a short walk from Edgware Road underground station, which is served by the Hammersmith and City, Circle and Bakerloo lines.
  • Edgware Road Tube for Bakerloo, Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines
Directions via Google Maps Directions via Citymapper
Event map

Screening and talk at the Cockpit Theatre


The Event is being held at: The Cockpit Theatre Gateforth Street (Off Church Street) London NW8 8EH http://cockpittheatre.org.uk A Necessary Music — A project by artist Beatrice Gibson, developed in collaboration with composer Alex Waterman. Narration by Robert Ashley. A Necessary Music is a science fiction film about modernist social housing. A musically conceived piece, referencing the video operas of composer Robert Ashley, the film explores the social imaginary of a utopian landscape through directed attention to the voices that inhabit it. Roosevelt Island is situated between Manhattan and Queens. Formally known as Welfare Island and originally home to New York's largest insane asylum, and a range of other 19th century municipal facilities for incarceration, it now houses one of the cities most visible, yet little-known modernist social housing projects designed by Philip Johnson. A Necessary Music employs the islands residents as its authors and actors. Gathering together texts written by them to construct its script and casting 17 residents to enact these lines, the film is accompanied by a fictional narration take from Adolfo Bioy Casares' 1941 science fiction novel 'The invention of Morel'. Gradually dissolving from attempted realism to imagined narrative, what begins as a process concerned with sociality becomes instead an ethnographic fiction about place and community, and an investigation into representation itself. The production of A Necessary Music was supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and the Arts Council of England. An Evening with Robert Ashley — A talk by Will Holder An Evening with Robert Ashley is a talk by Will Holder on biography, polyphony and oral representation in the work of composer Robert Ashley. Holder is interested in the performative process of publishing. He recently co-edited and designed Agapà ª and Intersections with Alex Waterman, Miguel Abreu Gallery and The Kitchen (NYC): an investigation into the social implications of reading, and various methods of writing and scoring from the late 60s until today. Holder and Waterman are currently working on a monograph in the form of operatic scores of Robert Ashley. Agapà ª and Intersections will be available at the event. This event is supported by the Arts Council of England.


Have you been to this event? Share your insights and give it a review below.