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March 31, 1987 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-03-31

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The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, March 31, 1987

Page 7

Taking a step into the 'real'

art world

By Charles Oestreicher
For the majority of students who
will receive degrees from the
University in May, graduation will
involve little official fanfare. The
event is marked by a vast ceremony
during which the graduate dons a
cap and gown, listens to some
dignitary of some sort deliver a
speech, receives her diploma - and
so ends a four-year journey in a

single day.
The process for graduating



Fine Arts


of the artist's work in a gallery
setting. The shows serve as a
review of the past four years and
previews how the artist will
delvelop his talent further. They are
extremely significant for the simple
reason that it is tough to have one's
work exhibited on the outside. For
most of the graduates, it is their
first taste of the big-time art world.
Graduating students don't have
to have a show, but most choose to
anyway. For B.F.A. candidates, the

show and its ensuing grandeur are a
time for them to reflect upon work
completed and look ahead to new
opportunities in the professional
world or graduate school.
M.F.A. candidates, though, can
savor their education in a particular
field to its limit. Says one graduate
student whose show will be in
December: "This is it. Getting your
Master's degree is as far as you can
go. They confer a Ph.D. in Art in
Japan, but in this country, the

Master's is pretty much the end of
the road in your concentration."
What also makes these shows
special is the diversity of media and
styles within each one. Each show
includes students in different
concentrations, so it is not unusual
to see paintings hanging next to
graphic design displays with a
mixedrmedia sculpture in the middle
of the same room.
Pervading each show is the
camaraderie of the artists. The

shows symbolize the artist's
abandonment of ego; the works are
on displays not to impress, but to
reaffirm the value of time spent
working towards a degree. The
pieces, in their striking differences
in style and attitudes from one
another, develop a strange sort of
unity when they are on display.
Seldom does one particular work
stand out in the shows; rather, the
level of proficiency is such that
See ART, Page 8

Degree Shows

B.F.A. and M.F.A. candidates
doesn't differ much from everyone
else's, except for a special exhibit

Martin: Strummin' and pickin' his way to the Ark

By V.J. Beauchamp
Martin Carthy, British folk
singer, guitar, and hero
extraordinaire will make an
appearance at the Ark tonight, 8

Carthy is well known among
traditional British folk connoisseurs
as a guitarist who incorporates
American finger picking and the
rhythms of traditional British dance
music into a very percussive
picking style. Carthy also holds the
credit of having written the guitar

part of "Scarborough Fair." Should
I mention the voice or the
mandolin? More importantly
though, Carthy has represented
traditional British music before it
was a cool thing to do.
Carthy's tunes all strike the ear
as being foreign and exotic. Bright


Scottish and English dance tunes
with an odd number of measures, or
ballads with bent, almost modal
melodies. And as is fitting for a
British singer, his songs concern
themselves with disease, cuckoldry,
and death. But be not afraid. Carthy
is no stiff academic - he loves this
stuff, and sings and plays with great
enthusiasm, thick with drama and
glory and beauty and bawdy humor.
Carthy has played with all sorts.
His reputation began when he was
teamed up with fiddler Dave
Swarbrick, astounding audiences.
Swarbrick decided to join the first
electric English folk-rock band,
Fairport Convention, then Carthy
went on as an early member of the
second pioneering English folk-rock
band, Steeleye Span. In Steeleye
Span, he realised that acoustic and
electric guitars are quite different.
Pleased to See the King, regarded as

one of the folk classics, was the
first of two albums Carthy did with
them before returning in 1976 for
six months. Carthy then went on
into the Albion Country Band,
playing traditional songs and tunes
with a mixed acoustic and electric
band with accordion demon John
Kirkpatrick. That resulted in one
album, Battle of the Field, 1973.
He went back to basics and
singing a capella with the
Watersons, featuring his wife
Norma and her brother and sister.
Carthy, born and bred in London,
shares the family farm in Northern
England with the other Watersons
and their families.
At some point, Carthy got bored
with guitar-based folk and with
Kirkpatrick, Howard Evans, Richard
Chetham, and Martin Brinsford, he
formed Brass Monkey, an acoustic
folk group with a horn section.

Carthy's innovative guitar
technique has established what is
now known as "English folk
guitar." The strings are tuned to a
chord, and Carthy uses a thumb
pick and his fingertips to pick out a
melody. Occasionally he strums.
What results is a sweet, harmonic
sound that is forceful in the bass
range, yet strangely lilting.
For a while, Carthy was
explaining in his live showsthata
great songwriter should be able to
tell the story - any story, however
complicated - in just three verses.
He would then reproduce Hamlet
into three stanzas of bawdy
Cockney slang.

Continued from Previous Page



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Who needs
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catch him at

Cliffs Notes with
around? You can
the Ark, 8 p.m.,


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GREAT SINGLE ROOM in Albert Terr. for
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