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January 15, 1974 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-01-15

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Tuesday, January 15, 1974

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Tuesday, January 15, 1974 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page FvE

Golden Ring rings
in new year at Ark

By LORRE WEIDLICH
Every institution develops its
own traditions; one of the nicest
Ark traditions is beginning its
new year with The Golden Ring. .
The Ring was smaller last
weekend than in previous years,
since the Armstrongs were un-
able to drive in from Chicago,
victims of the gas shortage, but
Ed and Penny Trickett and Har-
ry Tuft were there, and Ruth
Meyer was back after a year's
absence.
Ed's ease and humorous rap-
port with the audience establish-
ed the mood for the evening.
There were more technical er-
rors than usual - attempted-
riffs that failed and lack of co-
ordination between group mem-
bers - but the quality of the
performance was high, and er-
rors were treated with good-na-
tured laughter by both perform-
ers and Audience.
Dulcimers seemed to be the
focal point of the evening, both
plucked and hammered. Ed liv-
ened up his old favorite, "Grand-
father Clock," with some new
attempts at syncopation, and
Ruth played her rather unusual
Appalachian dulcimer with great
purity and lyricism, as on Howie
Mitchell's "Dipper of Stars."
Harry Tuft's voice has chang-
ed slightly - become mellower
and smoother. His repertoire
ranged from contemporary songs
by Arlo Guthrie and Tom Rush
to a stunning a capella "Sir Pa-
trick Spens." The surprise of the
evening was Ed's first piano ac-
companiment, to a gentle poem
and song entitled "Where have

the old songs gone?."
ThedGolden Ring itself is more
than just a musical group. It is,
as Harry explained, a kind of
music, an approach to music, a
kind of sharing. Ed Trickett ex-
panded on that: "It's an ap-
proach toward getting different
kinds of satisfaction from music,
one that's getting harder and
harder to keep going. As people
get better, they develop a differ-F
ent ethic."
I questioned his use of the
word "better," and he clarified,
"Technically and in a perform-
ing sense. There is more opting
for satisfying different kinds of
needs."
He talked about the lack of
opportunity to get together with
people to share music. The Gold-
en Ring itself has that prob-
lem: Harry lives in Denver,
where he owns the Denver Folk-
lore Center; Ed, Penny and Ruth
are all from New Haven, Conn.
For them all, music is not a
full time occupation. Ruth studies
Russian literature and works
with disturbed children at Yale,
where Ed teaches psychological
counseling and helps prepare un-
dergrads for teaching. Penny is
working for her doctorate in
psychology.
Members of the Golden Ring
have been sharing music for 10
years with each other and any-
one else who enjoys listening and
singing along. Let's hope that the
demands of our culture for pro-
fessionalism and its inevitable
commercialism don't kill the
spirit.

Seals'
By MARNIE HEYN
Seals and Crofts are famous
for mellow music.
Jimmy Seals projected t h e
same warmth and ease over Ma
Bell's wire from William and
Mary College in Virginia when
WCBN's John Raftrey and I in-
terviewed him last week.
Although dinner was getting
cold on the table and two new
musicians had to be worked into

rap on

music,

simplistic answers

faiL

Page Five
"

man beings and the nezesitte.s
of the music we make."
I asked Jimmy what excited
him most about American music
right now. "The most ex:iting
thing for us is to recognize that
the present is a transitia per-
iod -n all the arts and sciences,"
he said. "It's exciting to ha part
of th-t change, to participate in
the proceses of joy and educa-
tion that are going on all over

E~
re
- - -- -- ---

fended by a religious rap. We
take the time to meet wi h th-se
who are interested in a moi e
favorak-e setting," Sea,, ,says.
Since their espousal of t h e
Baha'i faith, Seals and Crofts
have said that their music does
not emanate from them, but
from "something larger." I ask-
ed how they create under that
kind of restraint or compulsion.
Jimmy didn't answer the ques-
tion, but did explain what he
meant by his music not emanat-
ing from him:
"According to Bahai's tenets,
human beings are incapable of
original thought. They can only
receive Thought that emanates
from somewhere else and modify
or amplify that Thought accrd-
ing to their ability to receive ,t.
I do my best."
Jimmy said that their upcom-
ing album contains two or three
songs that are their best mater-
ial ever. "We're unsure of its
acceptance but confident of its
quality. We've taken a strong
pro-life stance in their title
song. Physicians and theologians
have debated for centuries when
life begins. We're saying t h a t
life begins with conception, and
that while abortion may be right

in some circumstances, it's no
cure-all.
Continuing his anti-abortion
analysis, he said, "Since there's
no world-wide arbiter of right
and wrong, we're appealing to
people to consider that there's no
way to know before a child is
born whether or not the child
will be a genius, a savior, a Hel-
en Keller, a Roosevelt, a Ken-
nedy. Abortion is tampering with
the future."
Maybe I would have felt dif-
ferently if Jimmy had chosen
other people as examples of pos-
sible tragic losses to humanity,
but I suspect not.
Perhaps I should have told him
that I am more concerned with
the children who are already
alive and don't have enough food
to survive, but I doubt it would
have penetrated the fog of easy
answers with which he has sur-
rounded himself.
Nevertheless, Seals and Crofts
make tremendous music. Those
who want music can attend th3
concert, and those who want to
delve into their philosophy can
catch that at the re:eption/
meeting afterward, time and
place to be announced at the
concert.

Dalv Photo by KAREN KASMAUSKI
Ruthi, Jyer
try to Say?

What does

'Twigs

By PENNY BLANK
From the cover of the pro-
gram and the numerous posters
used to publicize this weekend's
production, one was left to be-
lieve that Twigs, this semester's
first Professional Theater Pro-
gram offering, is a nice family
comedy in which the mother
wears a funny picture hat and
everyone smiles.
Author George Furth lets this
impression die slowly and leav-
es the audience still wondering
what the play is about right up
to the intermission. The f o u r
vignettes that comprise the play
Twigs don't contain your aver-
age Neil Simon brand of humor
or the comic absurdity of a Feif-
fer or an Albee.
Furth's view of three middle-
aged sisters and their mean-
mouthed, cantankerous mother,
offer little that is new in class
or age stereotypes.
The vignettes take place

throughout the day before
Thanksgiving, and present each
sister and finally their mother in
settings analogous to the lives
they had made for themselves.
The element of reminiscence,
their looking back on what they
have or don't have to be thank-
ful for, binds the scenes a n d
characters together.
Emily, an upper-middle chus,
energetic widow, is presented
first. The youngest of t h e
"twigs," she is independent and
self-sufficient. She is ready to
meet all challenges even if they
of Frank, the attractive owners
come to her- door in the form
of the company that moved her
into her new apartment.
One should have known what
to expect of the next scene with
sister Celia when her weekend
guest, upon arriving, vomits aud-
ibly offstage for two minutes and
apologizes for it for another five.
From this dramatic highpoint,

Celia, adorned with 'change of
life red' hair, reveals in dia-
logue with her red-neck-white-
socks-and-Blue-Ribbon-Beer hus-
band, why she has had two nerv-
ous breakdowns during their
marriage.
In a final blow of self-huml-
iation, Celia sings a cutesie vr-
sion of "Hollywood and Vine,.'
from the days when she aspired
to be a starlet and ran awayv
from home.
Dorothy, the oldest and most
appealing sister, is happily m ir-
ried and content. Her husband i'
clever, funny and together they
make the perfect couple for a
long-running situation comed.
Their scene contains quite a bit
of slapstick, good-natured hum-
or and even a 'pie-throwing' in-
cident which this time is a cho-
colate cake, baked for their 25ih
anniversary. This third vigne'te
gives the audience the most s ris-
faction in comedy content mnl
timing but fades into sentimental-
ity.
. The fina scene presents the
origin of the previous "ko-:iedv
kindling" - Ma and Pa, who af-
ter frequent and irreverentre
ferences to the Catholic persua-
sion turned out never to have
been formally married.
By the time Furth gets to the
big tie-in of the "twigs" punch-
line ("Just as the twig is ',ent,
the tree's inclined.), it has al-
ready been punched. As Ma ap-
propriately comments on i_
"Horseshit."

The audience is eft with t h e
sweet and sour of all 11 lives
portrayed, and feels a bit un-
satisfied. Some of the laughs
are genuine, but numerous cli-
ches and false vehicles for hu-
mor plague the production.
All the female parts are play-
ed by actress Vivian Blaine bak-
ed by a fine gathering of male
character actors. Blaine's charac-
terizations are very convincing
in each of her four roles but o e
gets the feeling that she is b. -
in g weighed down by the writing
an d direction which stresses sim-
ilar sisterly attributes. S h n
finds herself, in several instanc-
es, being upstaged by superior
comedy talents of her leading
man.
Most comedies leave room for
reflection on the pathos of the
flawed comic characters. Twigs
unfortunately left, pause large
enough to drive a train through,
with little on which to even re-
flect.

the group before the concert,
Jimmy maintained the friendli-
ness - along with the downed-
out intellectual rigor of a sleepy
puppy.
We asked him whether the in-
creased prominence of rock and
jazz in his music was a product
of audience acceptance of these
genres.
Jimmy responded, "No, we just
take concert material mostly
from our albums, and try to in-
clude something f o r everyone.
We generally do one long ex-
ploratory instrumental to expose
people to new music that we're
trying.
"We've never responded to
pressure to produce popular mu-
sic, to clme up with a new hit
single that sounded like the last
hit single. We feel that variety
is important. We Just try to pro-
duce consistently good music.
You have to produce good, music
because this business is so com-
petitive."
Speaking of his likes and dis-
likes of recording and perform-
ing 'ive, Jimmy said, 'They're
totally different environments,
different experiences. Sometimes
we feel the need to nake music
so strongly that we just grab
our instruments andl start in. It's
easy to recreate that mood for a
concert, to prepare to make mu-
sic fortpeople who are eager to
share that with you.
"We re still doing mixing ses-
sions for our upcoming album
Unborn Child. Sometimes you
lose the spirit of a song with re-
cording. It's hard to generate
excitement for your work ac-
cording to a studio schedule, to
respond the same way to a date
and time that you respond to hu-

the world."
Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts
both grew up with handmade mu-
sic. Iwanted to know how their
artistic growth and personal
growt n had interrelated.
"Doing music helped us grow
pershmally because we came into
contact with musicians who had
different life styles, different ex-
periences, and through music we
could share something of each
other. And our understanding of
music changed as we became
more aware of the world around
us, of other people, of the na-
ture of the universe."
Jimmy explained that alt iough
the Baha'i faith is central to
their lives, they chose to reserve
their religious work for meet-
ings after each concert rather
than speak from the stage. (Since
Bahai's had no ministers or
priests as such, each adherent
can perform the funcsion of re-
ligious teacher.)
"We don't want to traasgress
against those who came to hear
the music, and who might be of-
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SUBJECT: "FAMINE IN AFRICA"
SPEAKER: MR. MAHMOUD DIALLO
Graduate Student in Business
CoorAinator of SAEL TASK FORCE
African Students Association

LUNCH-DISCUSSION

-----

Cost: 50c
For Reservations
Coil 662-5529

Sponsored by:
Ecumenical Campus Center
International Center

._

TUESDAY, January 15

12:00 NOON

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COME ON DOWN...

W~rt
"p 1 0 u5o

see

on the air-LIVE!

Comic Opera Guild
debuts in Trueblood

By TONY CECERE
The Comic Opera Guild, a new
local theatre group, delivered an
interesting but unpolished pre-
mier performance last Saturday
evening in Trueblood Aud. Two
unusual works, Ages Ago by W.
S. Gilbert and Bastien and Bas-
tienne by Wolfgang Amadeus Mo-
zart launched the Guild's season
in unorthodox style.
Bastien and Bastienne was the
product of a 12-year-old Mozart,
combining surprisingly sophisti-
cated music with a simple story
involving three characters: Bas-
tien the country boy visits the
city and forsakes his fiancee,
Bastienne. Bastienne recounts
her tale of misery to Colas, the
local magician and, by means of
a magic spell, the two lovers are
reunited.
Thomas Petiet's rendition of
Colas was a high point of the
opera, combining excellent sing-
ing and acting. Beth Lindberg
sang a pert Bastienne with a
clear, unfrettered voice.
Unfortunately, there was no
orchestra for the Mozart. T h e
accompaniment was reduced to
piano, requiring the pianist to
play the entire work non-stop,
resulting in numerous mistakes
due to fatigue.
Ages Ago was one of W. S.
Gilbert's early efforts, written
before his famous collaboration
with musician Sir Arthur Sulli-
van. The story follows the basic
lines of his better known works:
a old grouch named Ebenezer

Tare purchases (sic) Glen Cock-
aleekie Castle and proceeds to
move in with his servants and
Rosa, his niece. Rosa in turn
loves Colbumbus Hebblethware,
a penniless and somewhat stupid
young man, detested by Uncle
Ebenezer.
Naturally the castle is haunt-
ed and the portraits of the form-
er estate owners spring to life,
returning the castle to Colum-
bus, the true heir of the estate.
Columbus proposes to Rosa and
all live happily ever after in
ture Victorian England.
The production was hampered
by the bland and trite musical
score. It seems that the music
was composed by Frederick Clay,
a 19th century English compos-
er who deserves the neglect that
he has received.
The orchestration of this show
was also reduced into a key-
board version (piano and organ),
resulting in the same fatigue
problem posed by the Mozart
opera. In addition there was no
musical direction, so that impre-
cise entrances marred the begin-
ning of almost every song
Despite some offbeat choreo-
graphy and an ocasional funny
line, the production 1-Acked vi-
tality. The inherently tri'e na-
ture of the music served to exag-
gerate this problem, turning
large sections of the show (es-
pecially the large music numo-
ers) into deserts of inacciviy.
The spark was never ignited
in this version of Ages Ago.

TRIPLE FEA TURE
MEATBCALL &
SEC CLINIC GIRLS
( CONTACT
SPECIAL FEA-TUE
She BIRDS, the BEADS
ar.&H CI N EM

uc-daystar presents
the world's most honored musician ...
DUKE ELLINGTON and his Orchestra
w
y.
a
4 < ....t
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 30-8 P.M.
POWER CENTER
TICKETS $5.00 reserved seating
go on sale Tuesday, Jan. 15 only at the Michigan Union, 11 -5:30
daily, Sat, 1-4 p.m. 763-4553 during box office hours for info
sorry, no personal checks
ALSO ON SALE AT THE UNION:
JONI MITCHELL, Seals & Crofts
!II4222P

x* K~iar #i NEW WORLD C i K K INEMA Showcase Ki i i

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FRANK
TON

Listen to the action on 650 AM in your dorm, and COME ON DOWN
341 S. MAIN ST. ANN ARBOR 769-5960

NEW WORLD CINEMA Showcase
K PERRY'S
DIARY of a MAD HOUSEWIFE
(featuring special camreo appearance by ALICE COOPER)

ITE

7&9 P.M.

Modern Languages Aud. 3

Pellini's
Wed. & Thurs,
Jan. '16 & 17k i
7 & 9 p.m.
NATURAL SCIENCE AUD.-Central U of M campus

I

Next Week-Mon.-BELLE DE JOUR
Tue. & Wed.-STATE OF SEIGE
Thurs.-JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN

Jan. 28 & 29-BUTCH CASSIDY
Jan. 30 & 31-SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER

U B

It
is
written .. .

paper

... that working for a news-

can be exciting, frus-

Attention I!
The Center for

Attention!!

trating, enjoyable and
freshing

r-

Afro-American and

African Studies through the auspices
of its Kwame Nkrumah Lecture Series

IAL.. i..a .. TUCEt1 AII0V 9 1

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