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October 08, 1974 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-10-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


r-I

Tuesday, October 8, 1974

o 1HE MICHIGAN DAILY

Poge Five

..iv..

I

Geremia:o Rural sI- les

By JOAN BORUS
Although Paul Geremia has
been involved in the folk music
scene for the last nine years,
he has been well known only
on the East coast. Consequent-
ly, his appearance at the Ark
last weekend provided h i m
with a new following.
Geremia's specialty is a kind
of blues music called coun-
try blues. It features the acous-
tic guitar, open tunings and
finger picking. In many in-
stances, the bottleneck is em-
ployed to give other special ef-
fects.
During our interview, Paul,
expounded upon his interpreta-
tions of the blues idiom. For
him, the country blues are the
rural music of the South - a
music that has no racial boun-
daries,
Although Geremia does main-
tain that much of it is black 1
oriented and contains racial f
overtones, he is of the opinion I
that it is of littleyimportanceI
in the final analysis. Instead

he feels that black and white
musicians developed distinc-
tive musical forms that often
overlap each other.
"A lot of the attitudes that 1
people have about the music
now were formulated by the re-
cord companies," he explained. '
"For instance when you think
of string band music you don't
think of it as black music, but
there were a lot of black string{
bands . . . the record compa-
nies didn't want to have a mar-
ket that was competing with1
itself."
"The outcome of that was
that string bands are white and
blues are black," he continued.
Throwing musical purism
aside, however, one has to ac-
knowledge' Geremia's crafts-
manship. His travels have
brought him in contact with
many of the old blues musicians
and the results are clearly in
evidence. Much of his repetoire
is devoted to those traditionalj
blues numbers by such people
as Robert Johnson, Big Bill

Broonzy and Bukka White. The
outstanding features are his
clear phrasing on acoustic gui-
tar (he plays a mean bottle-
neck twelve - string) and his
deep resonant harmonica.
However, what is perhaps the
most appealing dimension of
Geremia's repetoire is that
segment apart from the blues
playing - his songwriting. The
word "plaintive" rather than
"blues" would best describe
the mood for most of these
songs: they have a poignant
quality that isn't present in the
more traditional numbers.
In the final anlysis it is his'
own compositions that keep

learned from his apprenticeship
to the old masters and has 'a
clear technical and intellectual
understanding of his idiom is
obvious; to hear his renditions
of the blues is to hear them
played, in all probability, in the
exact style and manner that he
heard them played.
Paradoxically, this is where
his musicianship falls short, and
it points up the familiar dilem-
ma of how to evaluate the type
of musician who is uot normal-
ly associated with the concep-
tions surrounding the music he
plays. In such cases, one has
to look to see what such a mu-
sician does with this idiom

dancing in the street
to protest their oppression
on
WE WILL BE MARCHING
IN SUPPORT OF SOVIET JEWRY
"if not now when"
Speakers * Singi'ng *Dancing
HAKAFOT at 7:15 at Hillel
March from Hillel to People's Plaza 8:15
RALLY at Peoples Plaza
8:30
HILLEL-1429 Hill

I:

Gerernia from being merely whether ne uses it as a spring-
craftsnlike A recent review board for a new and different

of his new record album that
appeared in a Cambridge news-
paper referred to his as a "jour-
neyman apprentice" and his
concerts at the Ark would seem
to support that appellation.
For like the journeyman he
has served his apprenticeship
and paid his dues and is now a a

interpretation or strives to en-
rich its original integrity by a
thorough understanding of its
technical and its emotional as-
pects. This is particularly true
with the blues, a music based
on intense feeling. Listening to
Geremia's interpretation leaves
the listener with a flawless, but
somehow hollow semblance.

Photo by SUE SHEINER
Paid Geremia

master craftsman. That he has

Puppets provide exol
By BRIAN SUTTON puppets themselves, or tie pup- easy to tell whether thec
The National Shadow Theatre peteer. er speaking was old or
of Malaysia performed at Rack- Ahmad's puppets, when seen good or evil, serious or
ham Auditorium Sunday after- up close, are beautiful, syized Several times, during
noon, as part of the University creations, painted in great de- sations between the s
Musical Society's Asian Series. tail - right down t> the vil- who are comic charact
The shadow play, an ancient lain's fangs. The human charac- mad drew laughter fr
art form in Southeast Asia, is; ters all possess an arm which audience - even though
performed by a dalang, or pup- is joined at the shoulder and few audience members,
peteer - in this case, Hamzah- the elbow, and a hinged jaw, so knew his language.
bin Awang Ahmad. His puppets that the mouth moves and the Accompanying the ac
are made from buffalo-hide or arm gestures with remarkable an eight-piece orchesti
ox-hide which is scraped thin accuracy during dialogue. hidden behind the scre
for transparency, then cut, en- The dalang provides the dia- orchestra consisted of
graved and painted. logue, giving each character a drums, cymbals, gongs,c
The puppets enact their different voice. Thus, he must: like woodwind.
drama before a lamp, which not only be an expert puppeteer, The players perform
casts their' image onto a screen. but an accomplished actor. Al- first episode from thel
The audience sees only these though the dialogue was spoken ana, a two thousand y
images on the screen, not the in Malaysian, it was always work which is the basisc
Jessye Norman receives a
warm homecomingat Hill

iC h u morUNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

cha
!r yw.
con
erva
ers,
om
on
at m
lion
ra,
en.
var
or o
ed
Ra
year
of m

U

:act- shadow play repertory. In plot,
ung, the piece was surprisingly sim-
:nic. ilar to European and Mideast-
ever- ern mythology. A number of
ants,| rajahs compete for the hand of
Ah- a beautiful princess, as in both
the the Arabian Nights and Arthur-
y a ian legends. The hero wins her,
ost, by performing superhuman feats
and battling various monsters,
was in the best traditions of Greco-
also Roman mythology and The Sons
The of Hercules movies.
ious The puppets were expertly'
)boe- handled, the story and music in-
t h e teresting, the entire art form
! unique and exotic. However, this
nay- very exotic quality wasa draw-
oldI back at times. Being unfamiliar
Huch with the shadow play's conven-
tions, I rarely knew what to
look for.
When such a piece is per-
formed in Malaysia, the l e s s
sophisticated in the audience
are kept amused by local jokes
and dialect humor, but the lang-
uage barrier made this impos-
sible.
the
hese However, as a cultural exper-
ience, the performer was excel-;
ras, lent, teaching the audience
ach about Malaysian theatre, folk-!
dif- lore, music and visual art.
age The combination of enterain-
:cel- ment and education is refresh-
own ing, and for those of us who
tend to spend our Sunday af-
an ternoons watching the epic
pen- struggles of pro football play-
the ers, the Musical Society's Asian
of Series provides a welcome
ust, change of pace.
with

PROFESSIONAL "" *
THEATRE **M*
PROGRAMS
presents
oeiree Sisters
by Anton Chekhov
directed by Boris Tumarin
OCTOBER 17 THROUGH 20
Love's Labour~s Lostor
by William Shakespeare
directed by Gerald Freedman
OCTOBER 24 ThROUGH 27
by Christopher Marlowe
directed by Ellis Rabb
OCTOBER 31 THROUGH NOVEMBER 3
Tihe Time (C YcurLife
by William Saroyan
directed by Jack O'Brien
NOVLMBE R 7 TH ROUGH -1U
NENTHELSSOHN THEATRE--TICKET INFORMATION - (313) 764-04-50
SUSCRIPTIONS ONLY UNTIL OCTOBER 12TH. 2 -40"/oSAVINGS

By TONY CECERE
Saturday evening was home-
coming for Jessye Norman. A
graduate of the School of Music,
Norman returned to her alma
mater in a blaze of good singing
and found a warm, receptive
audience here to applaud her
vocalizing.
Unfortunately, Norman sang
too much of a good thing: Hugo

Wolf. Wolf's songs are very
dark and philosophical and,
taken in this large a dose, very
pedantic and boring. There were!
in total, 13 Wolf songs on a re-
cital that also included five of
Mahler's "Wunderhorn" songs.1
The evening opened with
Wolf's "Morike-Lieder." Norm-
an was well assisted from the
outset by the extremely sensi-E
tive accompaniment abilities of
Irwin Gage. Gage varied his
approach to the keyboard, pay-
ing particular attention to de-
tails in the text of these songs.
Another Wolf piece, "Spanis-
ches Liedurbuch," was next.
Once again, Norman created
the proper aura for these songs
with a serious approach and a
flawless execution.'
In the Mahler, Norman added
some dramatic hand gestures
to her interpretation with great
success. Here at last there{
were some lighter textures in
the music, giving Norman anf
opportunity to display some
change in tone quality.
Perhaps the salvation of the
entire evening was Eric Satie's
witty and simplistically beauti-
ful Melodies. The audience, re-
vived by this much needed dose

of comic relief, delighted in
whimsical nature of tf
songs. Egged on by Norm
well-timed humorous gestu
the audience laughed after e
song. Simple music is often
ficult to interpret, and G
must be credited with an ex
lent performance in hisc
right in the Melodies.
The evening closed with
approximate rerun of the o
ing of the concert with
"Italienisches Liederbuch"
(ahem) Hugo Wolf. I m
once again, credit Norman v
an excellent job - her v
is a powerful and marvelous
strument. But, to be blur
honest, by this point it re
didn't matter: I had reac
my saturation level.
Jessye Norman is a young
tist who has earned all
critical acclaim given her. I
my hope that she learns how

oice
in-
ntly
ally
hed
a r-
the
t is
v to

FREE BEER
WITH
Phil Hart
AND
John Reuther
FRIDAY, OCT. 11
8 P.M.
at REUTHER H.Q.
HILL at FOREST
-Paid Political Advertisement

balance her, programs to show
off the many facets of her in-
credible voice, leaving Mr. Wolf
in the drawer in the process.

Jessye Norman

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