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January 26, 2012 - Image 66

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-01-26

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arts & entertainment

Images of manes

impact on the

Merging Artistic Visions

environment create
a counterpoint

to Messiaen's

4 444 1. 4 44.

Israeli filmmaker Daniel Landau's images
will accompany orchestra's performance
of 20th-century masterpiece.

Suzanne Chessler

Contributing Writer

Ann Arbor


aniel Landau visualizes music —
not merely in his own mind but in
ways to share with audiences.
The Israeli filmmaker, with a first visit to
Ann Arbor, will attend the showcasing of
his cinematic interpretation of 20th-cen-
tury French composer Olivier Messiaen's
From the Canyons to the Stars at 4 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 29, in Hill Auditorium.
While Messiaen
intended to compose
sonic impressions of
America's last untouched
frontier, the West, the
filmmaker intended a
counterpoint by captur-
ing images of man's
impact on that environ-
Daniel Landau
As From the Canyons
to the Stars is played by the Hamburg
Symphony Orchestra, Landau's film will
be projected on three large screens. Jeffrey
Tate will conduct as Francesco Tristano
appears as featured pianist.
"I added another dimension to the
music that results in a total experience
explains Landau, 38, in a phone conversa-
tion from his Tel Aviv home.
"The piece has 12 parts so I had a given
form as I started working on this project.
Messiaen's music is very abstract and busy
with lots of details, and I listened to each

part to define the spiritual state and how it
affected me.
"Each part has its kind of program that
Messiaen noted, but I sketched out a visual
narrative. I tried to understand what the
music suggests in terms of energy
"I came up with a concept that was more
critical about man's relationship to nature than
Messiaen's awe and amazement and tried to
fit the spiritual energy of each part within my
story. Even with all the euphoria of the music,
the emotional range goes pretty dark."
The music originally was commissioned
by Alice Tully, the New York philanthropist
known for her contribution to the perfor-
mance space at Lincoln Center. She wanted
a special commemoration of America's
bicentennial, and Messiaen's piece was
completed in 1971.
Landau was approached much later
by Hamburg Symphony administrators,
who knew about similar projects he had
done, mostly while living in Amsterdam.
He had collaborated with the Netherlands
Philharmonic Orchestra and other presti-
gious music organizations.
Landau's work has been featured by the
Opera National de Paris, Festival Centro
Historico in Mexico City, Sitges International
Film Festival in Spain and Bath
International Music Festival in England.
"I had music training from a very young
age and focused on composition at the
Rubin Academy of Music [in Jerusalem]:'
says Landau, who first studied classical
guitar at the encouragement of his mother.
"I pursued higher education in the
Netherlands, where I got my master's

Nate Bloom

Special to the Jewish News

The SAG Awards

The Screen Actors Guild Awards airs

live on TBS on Sunday, Jan. 29, at 5
p.m., with an encore on TNT at 8 p.m.
The individual Jewish nominees are:
Jonah Hill, 28, best supporting actor,
film, Moneyball; Julianna Margulies, 45,
best actress, TV series, The Good Wife;
and Kyra Sedgwick,
46, best actress, TV
series, The Closer.
The SAG awards
also include awards
for best ensemble
cast in film and TV.
Big Bang Theory has
the highest num-
ber of Jewish cast


January 26 • 2012

members of any nominated TV show:
Mayim Bialik, 36 (Amy Fowler); Simon
Heiberg, 31 (Howard Wolowitz) and
Melissa Rauch, 31, who ironically plays
Bernadette, the Catholic fiancee of the
Jewish character, Wolowitz.
Not seen enough to be nominated
is Brian George, 59, who was born in
Israel, the son of Jews from India. He
plays the father of the Asian Indian
character, Rajesh, and is seen only
when he lectures his son via a webcam
hookup to India. George is probably
best remembered for playing Pakistani
immigrant Babu Bhatt in three Seinfeld
episodes (the character was deported
due to Elaine and Jerry's negligence).

TV Debuts

Jerry Seinfeld and Don Rickles will

be among the guests on the new


degree in music composition at the Royal
Conservatory in The Hague. What was
unique about the school was its interdis-
ciplinary approach, and that was a very
fertile environment for me."
Landau, interested in combining artistic
elements rather than imagining sympho-
nies, early on developed a performance
piece that joined a Turkish kanun player
with a chamber orchestra and added
improvised percussions with electronic
"I was like a kid playing with Legos," he
says. "Gradually, film came into my work.
The excitement of opening to the world the
various narratives that can be transmitted
with a visual medium led to several pro-
ductions that ran in Europe and America."
Staying away from his own composing for
more than a decade, Landau strictly works
with film and theater. He invites other com-
posers to add music to his projects.
After returning to Israel in 2005, Landau
developed a full-length production that
combined dancers appearing with filmed
and projected masks.
"The more I worked with this technique,
I realized that the realistic aspect [that can
be achieved through stage productions]
is what interests me he explains. "This
is different from theater in the dramatic
"I did a piece where I interviewed an
Israeli Black Panther. I basically filmed his
face during a very interesting conversation.
Then, I took that film face and had it inter-
preted with a dance body.
"With some development, [the process]

Showtime inter-
view program Inside
Comedy. Hosted by

became part of a major project called
Reside. The idea sends me into immigrant
communities to interview the people.
Almost as a nomadic artist, I want to go
from one community to another and then
process [what people have said] into stage
Landau, who credits his parents for
encouraging creativity, draws attention to
other artists in his family.
Sigalit Landau, his sister, is a prominent
three-dimensional visual artist, whose
contemporary work has been shown in
many countries including the U.S. Michal
0. Landau, his wife, works as a singer-
Daniel Landau explains that he and his
wife are very involved with the education
of their two children: Alma, 8, and Emil, 3.
As much as they like music, these parents
do not want to impose that interest into the
lives of their daughter and son.
"Understanding the child's world
appeals to me he says. "Education is
something I enjoy very much, and I'm
going to have something to do with that in
the future."

University Musical Society presents
Daniel Landau's cinematic instal-
lation accompanying the Hamburg
Symphony Orchestra performing
Messiaen's From the Canyons to the
Stars at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, in
Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University,
Ann Arbor. $19-S65. (734) 764-2538;
www.ums.org .

Bernstein, a top gambler. Richard
Kind, 55 (Spin City), has a large sup-
porting role.

David Steinberg,

it debuts at 11 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 26.
Steinberg, who is
nominated for a
Directors Guild of
America award this
year for helming an episode of Curb
Your Enthusiasm, also will interview
many other top comics, including

Larry David, Mel Brooks, Garry
Shandling and Sarah Silverman.

Debuting 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29,
on HBO is the dramatic series Luck,
about various people associated
with horse racing. Created by David
Milch (Deadwood), the series stars
Dustin Hoffman, 74,. as Chester "Ace"

Romance Notes

By the way, the New York Post reports
that Jonah Hill is dating Alexandra
"Ali" Hoffman, 24, Dustin's youngest
child. Hill's teenage friendship with
two of Dustin's other children led to
Hoffman offering Hill his first film role.
Ali Hoffman is one of Dustin's four
children with second wife, Lisa, the
sister of a rabbi.
Engaged to a Jewish guy is actress
Drew Barrymore, 36. Her fiance is Will
Kopelman, 33, a fine arts consultant.
His father, Arie Kopelman, 71, is the
former head of Chanel America. His
sister, Jill Kopelman Kargman, 37, is a
well-known columnist and novelist. ❑

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