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Ashley Weekend in Middletown

March 6, 2018

This past weekend in Middletown, CT was an amazing celebration of the life & work of Robert Ashley.  Not only did we perform Crash (with Amirtha Kidambi) and “The Bank” from Perfect Lives, Tom Buckner gave a concert of three pieces of Bob’s and one by Alvin Lucier inspired by Improvement.  Not to mention the lengthy conversations on Saturday that was catnip of the newly coined “Ash-heads” (Aliza’s term), some of whom who’d traveled many miles to talk to and mingle with Varispeed and some other close collaborators of Bob’s.

We don’t have any audio or video, but here’s some photos for context.


Dramatis personae of weekend included (L to R) Paula Matthusen, Gelsey, Tom Buckner, Aliza, Alvin Lucier, Mimi Johnson, Tom Hamilton, Amirtha Kidambi, Paul, Dave, Brian, Alex Waterman (holding a young Waterman).

IMG_3993 Allow us to point out that Mr Paul F Pinto was endeavoring this entire weekend about 48 hours after returning from about three months in Southeast Asia.  If there were awards for endeavoring big performance feats while operating with intense jet lag, Paul would have one locked up.

We had very little time to get “The Bank” together, and Paul hadn’t had a chance to play drums in months, but we’re pros and we made it happen.  Especially Paul!



Brian did the lead for “The Bank” for the first time since we did a one-off at WFMU back in 2014.  Brian’s approach is more based on the breaths in the original version.  So think about THAT.


Aliza & Dave went to Wesleyan.  Aliza had the idea to do “The Bank” for undergrads, who might come under the spell of Perfect Lives like Aliza & Dave did years ago.  Aliza also brilliantly & shamelessly plugged our two shows to any undergrad who would listen.  She makes a hard sell.


Finally, we’ll leave you with the shot Aliza so proudly assembled of the other four of us in the hotel pool.  Not pictured: hot tub nearby.

More Varispeed action is coming your way this spring!  Stay tuned!

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