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December 09, 1988 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-12-09

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

Concert
displays
modern
music
BY SATIK ANDRIASSIAN
jTHIS Saturday night the Univer-
sity's Electronic Music Studios,
under the direction of George Wil-
son, will celebrate its 25th birth-
day with a concert of new elec-
tronic music by several guest and
local composers.
Early in 1963, Ross Lee
Finney, then chair of the
composition department, initiated
the project for bringing the elec-
tronic music medium within the
creative nucleus of the University
by appointing George Wilson di-
rector of the soon-to-be-flourishing
studio. The first creative results
were realized by the faculty during
the fall months of 1964 while the
equipment was temporarily housed
on North Campus, before its move
to its present home in Hill
Auditorium. Wilson is also re-
. .sponsible for the University's first
computer-generated music facility,
for which he received four succes-
sive National Endowment for the
Arts grants.
Wilson feels that the flexibility
and versatility of the studio and its
pedagogy have greatly enhanced the
potential for unlimited creative ex-
change - a potential that has been
realized in Saturday night's con-
cert.
It features the works of guest
composers, both alumni of the

JOSE JUAREZ/Day-
John Kennedy, John Morrison, Serra Hwang, George Wilson, John Costa, and Evan Chambers
all perform compositions in the 25th birthday celebration of the electronic music department.

University composition department
- David Vayo of Connecticut
College, and Jeffrey Bass, a former
member of the music composition
faculty here. From the present
ranks of the composition depart-
ment are distinguished doctoral
students Evan Chambers, John
Costa, Serra Hwang, John
Kennedy, and John Morrison.
Among the other artists featured
in this concert is choreogra-
pher/dancer Jessica Fogel, a faculty
member of the University dance
department, whose works have
been produced throught the United
States, Mexico, and Canada.
Adding the visual component will
be internationally recognized and
award-winning Detroit artist
Thomas Frank. He is credited with
the world's first Clichd-verra dye

transfer film, and the first success-
ful use of metallic pigments in the
gun bichromatic printmaking pro-
cess.
Saturday night's concert will
present different types of electronic
music, including tape music
generated by electronic instruments
and manipulated by diverse pro-
cessing devices; tape music com-
posed from mixtures of electronic
sound sources; and tape music cre-
ated by acoustic instruments and
processed with electronics.
For the most part, however,
composers have used the conven-
tional techniques - complex
sounds are constructed by splicing
together short pieces of pre-
recorded tape. These strings of

sound are re-manipulated, achiev-
ing the desired richness of sound.
The ear then perceives the complex
sound as a whole without being
able to hear the smaller fragments.
This mosaic-like process is a
slow one that takes enormous pa-
tience on the part of the composer.
The flexibility of electronic music
and its versatility lies upon the
composer's knowledge of special-
ized techniques as well as intimate
familiarity of the electronic equip-
ment. This skill, determination,
and artistic commitment will all be
well-represented Saturday.
The electronic music concert will
be presented Saturday at 8 p.m. at
Rackham. Admission is free.

The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 9, 1988- Page 9
G&SS produce
expected Utopia
BY BETH COLQUITT
What can one say of an opera which is no more than expected, and yet
no less than expected? It would be nice to say that the Gilbert and
Sullivan Society's production of Utopia, Limited , was a superb and
lovely show, and go into all the details of why it was so good, but this
doesn't describe one's immediate reaction to the show.
G&SS'sUtopia was exceedingly pleasant and enjoyable. The singing
voices of the main characters were lovely. Especially good was the
Princess Zara (Kaia Monroe), whose voice and stage presence were superb.
Her costumes were also particularly appropos and flattering.
The costuming in general had a very professional appearance, thanks to
the efforts of Kathleen McCall, who also created costumes for The Gon-
doliers and Patience .
But none of this should come as any surprise. Gilbert and Sullivan
created shows that are very difficult to undertake if you aren't planning to
do them well, so one always expects that any Gilbert and Sullivan pro-
duction will be musically excellent and visually pleasing. One can expect
no less from a Gilbert and Sullivan society.
AlthoughUtopia is a much more of a satire than Gilbert and Sullivan's.
earlier works, it has the same light attitude asThe Pirates of Penzance or
II.M.S. Pinafore . Gilbert doesn't leave anyone out, but he also doesn't
ever engage in vicious satire. The irony occasionally becomes so frivolous
that it almost undermines its purpose. There are times whenUtopia is
unreservedly silly - the wise men (David Jessen and Don Devine) are
supposed to represent some of the clownish activities that go on in, a
corrupt government, but these men are clowns in their own right, dancing
and stumbling around the stage. This is also true with the "Public
Exploder," (Timur Kocak) whose job it is to detonate the king if he dis-
obeys the wise men's "advice."
If you are searching for an aesthetically, pleasing show to see this
weekend, go see Utopia, one of the best local performances this fall.It
met all my expectations, and if you have lower expectations of Gilbert and
Sullivan than I, you will probably think it outstanding.
UTOPIA, LIMITED is being performed tonight through Sunday at the
Lydia Mendelssohn Theater. Performance times are tonight and tomorrow
at 8 p.m. and tommorrow and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10, $'9
$8.50, and $7.50; $5 with student ID.
Satisfy Your
Curiosity!
Have the 1988/89 Salary Supplement delivered to
your home or office. To order your copy, send $2.00;
plus $1.00 for postage and handling persupplement;
requested. Previous years are also available at the
same cost ($3 total).
Make your check out to:
Student Publications
420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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