The Michigan Daily
Tuesday, November 10, 1987
By V.J. Beauchamp
Rare Air, the Canadian Celtic fusion experience,
return to the Ark tonight for one 8 p.m. show.
You may well remember Rare Air as the
unpronouncable Na Cabarfeidh. The name change
represents a very interesting and unusual phenomenon.
As you may also be aware, the Canadian governmental
policy discourages rather than encourages the "melting
pot" homogenization that we see here in the States.
Whole neighborhoods are often comprised of one ethnic
group. Because of their interest in holding one's
ancestors' traditions sacred, Canadians have many
ethnic societies to practice their skills or crafts.
One such skill is the music and dancing of the
Highland region. Three of the four members of Rare
Air are Scottish Canadians who began playing
Highland bagpipes and snare drums at an early age. In
1973, these three all found themselves in the
Cabarfeidh/City of Toronto Pipe Band. The Cabarfeidh
became the first "Foreign Top Class" band to win a
first prize in Scotland.
Toronto is a pretty small town when you play
Celtic traditional music. Grier Coppins and Patrick
O'Gorman, the pipers, and Trevor Ferrier, the
drummer, knew everyone in the city who played. One
of Coppins' ex-schoolmates, Richard Murai, shared
their interests in creating an intense, vibrant music
based loosely on Celtic-Gaelic sources. The Japanese
Canadian's guitars and percussion provided the perfect
foil for the roaring wall of bagpipes and bombardes.
They called themselves Na Cabarfeidh. And so it all
began in 1978.
Before their performance at the 1984 Ann Arbor Folk
Festival, they changed their name to the simpler, less-
Gaelic sounding Rare Air. The name, Na Cabarfeidh,
means "top of the stag," a title bestowed in ancient
Scotland to the chief of the Mackenzie clan. It tripped
up even the most confident radio announcers and well-
meaning record store clerks. The name also can give
the impression of a bunch of ultra-serious, pretentious,
more-Gaelic-than-thou traditionalists. This is not
actually the case.
In an interview in May 1987 with Daryl Yung for
Toronto's NOW magazine, Coppins explained: "We
didn't really consider ourselves to be much of a part of
the British Isles thing. I think our music is closer to
Sun Ra than it is to the Bothy Band. We just realized
we had this big, long Gaelic name that didn't mean
very much to us and made us sound like we were from
the Isle of Skye. We're actually just urban kids who
grew up playing Celtic music."
It is true that the roots are Celtic. Yes. Bretonic,
Scottish, Irish. But also African, and Indian, and
components from jazz, funk, rock, and blues. The
music is loud. And the guys are all moving about.
Their music is very intense, powerful, and high-energy,
both in concert and on their four albums. Their latest,
Hard to Beat, -was recently released by Green Linnet,
along with their new video/single, "Tribal Rites."
Rare Air will be performing tonight at the Ark,
637 1/2 S. Main, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7.50, $6.50
for members and students.
Rare Air are (left to right) Richard Mural, Grier Coppins, Trevor Ferrier, and Patrick O'Gorman. They will
be performing their rare blend of Celtic flavored sounds to the Ark tonight.
By Avra Kouffman
This past Saturday, the Michigan
Theater presented two showings of
Koyaanisquatsi live to packed
houses. The event featured the
screening of the film Koyaanisquatsi
and a live accompaniment by Philip
Glass and his Ensemble. Glass wrote
the film's score, and is currently on
tour performing it around t he
The Philip Glass Ensemble
consists of Glass and five other
musicians/singers, as well as Kurt
Munkacsi, the group's audio
engineer. With the help of their
production staff and guest musicians,
the Glass Ensemble offered a
powerful performance alongside an
equally powerful film.
The afternoon of the performance,
Philip Glass appeared at SKR
Classical to autograph copies of his
various albums. He chatted with fans
and seemed candid and unaffected.
The Daily spoke to him about his
Daily: What's your schedule for
the upcoming year?
Glass: Koyaanisquatsi takes us
to Europe until December; we tour
Belgium, Italy, France and Germany.
This winter I'm finishing The Fall
of the House of Usher. It opens at
the American Repertory Theater in
Boston on May 14. I'm working on
the music for The Making of the
Representative for Planet 8 by
Doris Lessing, who wrote the book
and the libretto. That opens July 7
in Houston. I'm also writing The
ts on career
Visitors for an ensemble and one
actor, Bill Raymond. It's about an
encounter with aliens. It opens ir,
Vienna on July 15 and comes to the
U.S. in September for the American
Theater Festival in. Philadelphia.
Then, that will tour the States until
December. Also Akhnaten is
opening in Sao Paulo in July.
D: Is thescore to Powaquatsi
similar to Koyaanisquatsi or did you
want to do something completely
G: The music is very different. It
incorporates instruments from South
America, Africa, and India, the
places where the film was shot. The
two films are similar, the same type
of film, but music is very different.
D: Which compositions are you
most proud of?
G: Koyaanisquatsi and
D: You live in New York.
Which upcoming New York City
musicians should we watch out for?
G: Pierce Turner - he has a
record coming out on Beggar's
Banquet. It's really terrific. I did the
arrangements for it.
D: The Dalai Lama was in New
York recently. Were you involved
G: Not this time. I've done
concerts for his coming in the past
but I wasn't in New York this time.
Phil Henley of the Dharma Bums
was really involved. I've worked
with him in the past... he's a real
D : What composers and
musicians do you listen to in your
G: Anything, really. Lately I've
been listening to Powaquatsi a lot
- we've just finished recording it.
Anything from Sibelius to Bach.
Also, a lot of Brazilian music. I was
in Brazil recently and I got interested
D: Have you spent much time in
Ann Arbor? How do you like it?
G: This is my fourth time here.
I've been coming here quite
regularly; we do very well here. I do
like Ann Arbor but I haven't been
able to see much of it; every time
I'm here I come to this store, sign a
few records, and I leave!
raises ethical issues
By Mark Shaiman
"This is a cross-examination of a
witness, not an indictment of the
criminal justice system" says the
judge in Suspect . And while he is
right about the court case, he is
definitely not referring to the film.
Suspect does examine the
system. Kathleen Riley (Cher) is a
public defender assigned to the case
of Carl Wayne Anderson (Liam
Neeson), a homeless Vietnam vet-
eran accused of murder. Eddie Sanger
(Dennis Quaid), a Washington milk
lobbyist, is a member of the jury
who takes on an added interest in the
case and does some investigative
work of his own.
Problems arise when Sanger turns
over his new found evidence to
Riley, therefore violating the law
prohibiting contact between attorney
and juror outside of the courtroom.
This places Riley in the difficult
position of choosing between
helping her client and possibly being
This brings up many ethical
questions about the justice system:
Should laws be broken to maintain
justice? Who has the right to decide
this? And just what is justice?
Fortunately the film makes no
pretenses about providing the
answers. Of course, by the end of the
film justice is dealt out to those who
deserve to be punished or rewarded.
But the film leaves you with
something to think about which is
rare and worthy of praise.
Eric Roth's screenplay develops
this theme well, especially in
conjunction with the plot. The film
is basically a thriller in which Riley
and Sanger become too know-
ledgeable and thus endangertheir
lives. This provides suspense and
allows Roth to create situations
where the motives of the characters
are pure even though the "system"
may not think so.
The major problem with the film
is its weak ending. The true
discovery of the real killer is no
surprise to the audience; we've all
seen this resolution before. But the
strength of the theme makes up tor
Adding to the film are the
character portrayals by Cher and
Quaid. She is the quick-thinking
lawyer and he is the smooth-talking
lobbyist which provides for some
witty dialogue between the two.
While she is brassy, he is charming
with a sarcastic smile reminiscent of
Overall, Suspect is worth seeing,
if not for what it does, then for what
it attempts to do.
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