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March 14, 1989 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-03-14

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, March 14, 1989

Page 5

Don't
panic
Hitchhiker's
Guide to the
Galaxy au-
thor Douglas
Adams to
bare The
Long Dark
Tea-Time of
the Soul
BY IAN CAMPBELL
THE man who invented the Pan
Galactic Gargle Blaster is coming to
Ann Arbor.
Douglas Adams will be at the
Michigan Union Ballroom to speak
of how difficult it is to adjust to
Earth when you're from Betelgeuse,
or perhaps just of how he created his
books, including his latest effort,
* The Long Dark Tea-Time of the
Soul.
Adams is the author of the series
of novels which began with The
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,
his most famous title. The four
books in the series begin when
Arthur Dent, a stereotypically
befuddled Englishman, barely man-
ages to escape Earth when the planet
is destroyed to make way for a new
hyperspace bypass. He begins a se-
ries of adventures which include
learning that the Earth was just an
experiment designed by laboratory
rats, meeting the President of the
Galaxy, learning to fly, and finally
seeing God's final message to his
creation: "We apologize for the in-
convenience." The novels were
eventually made into a television
- series on PBS; Adams' last book,
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective
Agency, began a more down-to-
earth, if not less absurd, cycle of
stories.
He began writing in the early
1970s as a scriptwriter for Monty
Python's Flying Circus, although it
is unclear which sketches he was re-
sponsible for. When the show
folded, he took up writing and pro-
ducing radio plays for the BBC,
which are much more popular in
England than America. The inspira-

Mehta magic
Israel Philharmonic to perform
BY TONY SILBER
THE last time Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra came to
Ann Arbor together in 1976, a packed Hill Auditorium was overcome by the
energy and excitement of the mesmerizing maestro and the gifted members
of the orchestra. Tonight Mehta returns to Hill with 13 more years of fame
and respect under his baton.
"There is no question that this remarkable virtuosic ensemble has earned
a special place among the world's greatest orchestras," wrote the Chicago
Tribune recently. Mehta certainly has; he is considered one of the most
prominent conductors in the world, and has been compared to the likes of
Leonard Bernstein and Herbert von Karajan.
The Israel Philharmonic was formed in 1936. The orchestra has grown
since its early years, and performed Israel's national anthem on May 17,
1948, the day Israel was granted independence. They have become one of the
premier touring ensembles in the world since, performing over 200 concerts
each year on six continents as well as in its home auditorium in Tel Aviv.
Mchta's career has been as illustrious as his ensemble's. He was born in
Bombay, India in 1936. In 1961, he was appointed Music Director of the
Montreal Symphony. The next year, he was appointed to the same post for
the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the age of 26. The New York Philhar-
monic did the same honors to Mehta in 1978 and three years later, in 1981,
The Israel Philharmonic appointed him Music Director for life.
The Philharmonic under Mehta have also become recording giants and
have won awards and distinctions for many of their recordings such as
Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony and Beethoven's Emperor Piano Con-
certo. The Israel Philharmonic is also known for their regular commissions
for new works and their scholarship funds for gifted musicians. They have
become a symbol of cultural life in Israel.
Tonight's program will open with Memory (1982) for orchestra and so-
prano by Mark Kopytman, a Soviet refusnik before emigrating to Israel. It
is based on a Yemenite folk song. Mehta and company will next perform
the most famous composition of Arnold Schoenberg, Verklaerte Nacht
(1899), a magical, evocative, and atmospheric orchestral composition.
The program will close with the always exciting Symphony No. 2 by
Johannes Brahms, a piece that can be spectacular and grandiose in its ener-
getic brass finale as well as lyrical and warm in its "Adagio." This work
will provide Mehta and the Philharmonic with the opportunity for personal
and lasting interpretation, and it should be quite explosive. Ann Arbor is in
store for a rare treat as this exceptional group of musicians and their world
reknowned director make this long awaited stop at Hill. Prepare for the best.
ZUBIN MEIlTA AND TIlE ISRAEL PHILHARMONIC perform tonight at
8:00 at hill Auditorium. Call 764-2538 for tickets and information.

ti

(Douglas Adams) was broke and therefore unable to make any use of his
copy of Europe on $5 a Day. He wished that there were a Hitchhiker's Guide
to Europe; as he was stargazing at the time, an idea was born.

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tion for his own novels came when
he was bicycling through Europe as
a student. He was broke and therefore
unable to make any use of his copy
of Europe on $5 a Day. He wished
that there were a Hitchhiker's Guide
to Europe; as he was stargazing at
the time, an idea was born.
His books use absurdity to make
fun of nearly everything, from
mainstream science fiction, to ac-
cepted philosophy, to the publishing
industry, to British culture. The
novels are even funnier when read
from an American perspective: the

game of cricket is so incomprehen-
sible in the first place that when a
race of cricket-playing aliens attempt
to take over the galaxy using gigan-
tic wickets and bails, readers may
wish to take precautions. At the
same time, Adams is a dreamy ro-
mantic and includes in his books
discourses on some of his favorite
things like gin and tonic, dolphins,
flying, and listening to Dire Straits
during sex.
Whatever your own feelings on
science fiction or Mark Knopfler
may be, check out Douglas Adams

tonight. Anyone who says that the
Ultimate Answer to the Universe is
"42" (the Question is "What is six
times nine?") is worth listening to.
DOUGLAS ADAMS will speak
tonight at the Michigan Union Ball-
room at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5. Bring
your towel.
Michigan Daily
ARTS
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