“Blue and Bob had this symbiotic relationship from again in Ann Arbor,” Mr. Gordon, who additionally participated within the creation of “Excellent Lives,” stated in a telephone interview. “The character Buddy is just like the avatar for the music of ‘Blue’ Gene.”
“What we generally acknowledge as music in ‘Excellent Lives’ was ‘Blue’ Gene’s,” Mr. Gordon defined, “however the total composition was Bob’s.” Mr. Tyranny would contribute in several methods to later Ashley operas, together with “Mud” (1998) and “Celestial Excursions” (2003).
In his personal music, a lot of which he recorded for the Lovely Music label, Mr. Tyranny moved from early efforts with graphic notation and magnetic tape to compositions that drew from in style kinds. Some choices on his debut solo album, “Out of the Blue” (1978), like “Leading a Double Life,” had been primarily pop songs. “A Letter From Home,” which closed that album, combined discovered sounds and dreamy keyboards with an epistolary textual content, spoken and sung, starting from the mundane to the philosophical.
He labored extensively with electronics and labored all through the 1990s on “The Driver’s Son,” which he termed an “audio storyboard.” A realization of that piece, a questing monodrama set to lush timbres and bubbly rhythms, will likely be included in “Levels of Freedom Discovered,” a six-CD boxed set of unreleased Tyranny recordings due on Unseen Worlds within the spring. Mr. Tyranny, who misplaced his eyesight in 2009 and gave up performing after 2016, helped to compile the set, hoping to offer his disparate canon a coherent form.
Mr. Tyranny’s compositions divided vital response. “To this style, Mr. Tyranny’s work too typically skirts the trivial,” John Rockwell wrote in a 1987 New York Instances review. However Ben Ratliff, in a 2012 Instances review of the final new recording issued throughout Mr. Tyranny’s life, “Detours,” provided a distinct view: “Mr. Sheff represents a variety of totally different American energies.”
He added, “He doesn’t stint on stunning issues — main arpeggios, soul-chord progressions, traces that stream and breathe — and his keyboard contact is rounded and lovely, a sense you keep in mind.”