In the mid-'70s, Michigan-born composer Robert Ashley discovered a rare commodity in the art world: a niche. Lamenting that his homeland lacked the rich operatic tradition of Europe, he sought to invent a distinctly American art form, mixing dense sound environments and amorphous narration to create something he called "opera-for-television" (with the "television" part mostly referring to the works' division into 30-minute "episodes"). He clearly wasn't courting a mass-media audience, though: In... More >>>