The Michigan Daily
Tuesday, April 11, 1989
BY WILLIAM (BILL) C. BANFIELD
V HEN I wrote the preview for Steve Reich's
concert, I posed the question, "What is the music
of the modern composer?" Reich's answer was
something like this: "What do you mean? The
composer creates the music he/she feels."
Reich's music was heard by a packed house of
admirers Saturday night at the Michigan Theater,
and they would simply answer the question like
this: "Reich music." So, what is Reich music?
What is known to us as minimalism, (the reduc-
tion of musical materials to simple repetitive
phrases shifted slightly by rhythmic displacement
or subtle additive harmony over a long period)
was heard in full form.
Reich's new album features an incredible
composition called "Different Trains." The piece
uses pre-recorded material, and is really an
autobiographical documentary on the different
experience of being a young Jewish boy traveling
back and forth across the United States (New
York to California) during the early '40s, and the
experience of thousands of Jewish people travel-
ing in Europe during the same time.
The story is told by persons who were a part
of Reich's childhood or had similar traveling
experiences as Jews in Europe during this time.
Although their stories are heard as broken speech
fragments, they provide the major themes (the
story, rhythm and harmony) of Reich's
Reich is currently dressing "Different Trains"
in a format he calls "music theater/video." In this
new format of the piece, Reich sees it being
experienced three ways: The stories would be told
by the characters projected on a large screen, the
musicians would simultaneously play the
materials derived from the speech patterns, and
the audience would hear the music and experience
the drama of the storytelling.
Reich responded that "Different Trains" "dealt
with the state of affairs"; it is social art. Reich
stated that, "Good art lives and dies on the
strength of its music, not on the validity of its
political stance." He cited Wagner as one who
wrote music that was politically potent yet also
stood as "good art."
Besides the Western European traditions, Re-
ich is also heavily influenced by the African
American traditional forms, as well as his studies
of African drumming and Balinese musical
Did these influences come to bear on the per-
formance Saturday night? Overall, Reich's con-
cert was truly enjoyable and the performances
were extraordinary and seemingly flawless (except
for the musician who dropped something during
the quiet moment in "Sextet").
The concert was opened by a piece called
"Clapping Music." It was just that. David
Tanenbaum's playing of "Electric Counterpoint"
was at first problematic, because the early en-
trances with pre-recorded tracks seemed out of
synch. But this soon turned into a wonderful and
warm mesh of live and taped guitar textures. "Six
Pianos" was very intriguing, as we rarely get a
chance to hear six pianists play together.
In all the pieces, Reich incorporates much of
the musical language we know as commonplace
in this culture (atonality, jazz and traditional).
But as all great artists must do, Reich brought
his inventiveness to bear upon the language, and
we got something called Reich Music. As well,
one could clearly hear the influences of other
My only concern is not an attack against Re-
ich's art, but given as an issue for reflection.
Reich's composition "Drumming," which was
"other cultural"-influenced and brought to the
tonal art museum (concert stage), shares with
other such works the need to be presented in its
cultural context, lest it not be appreciated fully. I
share this story told to me by an old African:
"The man came to us and told us to put away
our religion. And he told us to throw away our
art. So he took it to the shores, and told us he
threw it in the water. Years later we saw our art Steve Reich performed his own brand of minimalistic music Saturday
in their museums."
night at the Michigan Theater.
Last Exit rather c
Iron Path warped,
Venture, Virgin Records What fo
The name of the group, the title ten bril
of the album, even the ominous ab- Exit is
stractions on the cover, all seem to drumme
speak metal. Yet there it is in the reedman
jazz section, nestled between Lee Bill Lash
r Konitz and Wynton Marsalis. Sharr
All categorizations scurry away unmistal
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r Ronald Shannon Jackson,
Peter Brotzman, and bassist
ock has been wrenching his
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note: no classes meet during finals
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$3,600 FOR 12 WEEK SUMMER!
For further Informaion, attend our short Info. meeting at:
10:10 12:10 2:10 or 4:10
DATE: Tue., April 11th or Wed., April 12th
PLACE: U of M Union Bldg. - Pond Room
POSITIONS AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT STATE
INCLUDING ANN ARBOR. DETROIT AND LANSING
Needed-part time in our busy offices. 4p.m.-7
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FULL OR PART-TIME PERSON for sum-
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HOT DOG STOP 515 E. Liberty in Liberty
Square lower level. Counter help and push-
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Enjoy working with children? Boston Live-In
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PART-TIME POSITION avail. for Spring,
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erson @ the MICHIGAN UMON BOOK-
STORE, ground floor of Michigan Union.
Part-time research assistant in psvchiatrv.
since the '60s, when he was seeped
in the prodigious explosions of
Coltrane, Albert Ayler, and Pharoah
Sanders. Jackson has energized Cecil
Taylor and Ornette Coleman's
groups in the past, as well as his
own hybrid of freedom and funk, The
Decoding Society. On this recording
his shifts verge on momentous, di-
recting the great leaps of texture
which occur throughout.
Brotzman is a West German who
has pushed the reaches of European
free jazz to the wall. Some of his
lines are impressive, but it is the
overall effect of his blowing, the
variance in energy and pitch, not
PERSON FRIDAY - Bookkeepin errands,
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Earn $5/hr. and learn color & density. Photo
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STOCKPERSON WANTED - Days: Mon-
day-Saturday. Start about April 17. Time: 4-
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STUDENT CHANGEOVER house cleaning
Sun. April 30, Mon. May 1 $6/hr. 662-3223.
STUDENTS: Are you enrolled as a full-time
undergrad (12 or more hours)? Are you
looking for part-time work (up to 20
hrs/week) during school and full-time during
vacations? Can you meet low income criteria,
i.e. are you an independent student? We are
recruiting for the following positions: Me-
chanical engineering, Safety, and Chemical
enineern technicians. Starting salary is
$6.00 or ?6.76 depending on qualifications.
Contact: Carol Mick, Human Resources Of-
fice U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
256 Plymouth Rd. or phone 313-668-4220.
The EPA is an equal opportunity employer.
SUBWAY is now hiring for summer hel .
Full and part-time positions available. We o-
fer a pleasant grease-free work environment.
Apply 1701 Plymouth Rd., North Campus
SUMMER JOBS in FARMING-
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PAINTER or FOREMAN. Call Jason at 1-
TEMPORARY POSITION -- Office Courier:
Monday-Friday, aproximately 3:00-5:30.
Beginning Ma1 - September 1. Must be de-
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have good driving record and at least 18
years of age. $4.25 plus mileage. Call Ms.
Favers at 930-0400.
WANT TO SPEND THE SUMMER IN
ANN ARBOR? Taking classes Spring term
but need a job for summer? Full-time child
care needed for two girls ages 2 & 7 June 26-
Sept. 2. Week of July 4 off. Large comfort-
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Call Pam at 764-6290 (days) or 747-7182
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WARM, RELIABLE Student with experi-
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WOMEN VOLUNTEERS NEEDED for 24
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chord changes, which is important.
On Iron Path he has a gift for situ-
ating himself along the ideal range
of Last Exit's horizontal sound. On
one cut, he implodes the wooden
timbre of the bass clarinet between
Sharrock's screams and Laswell's
Laswell is an unfailing player on
this date, as well as producer. It is
the group's first studio effort, and
while they have lost none of the
drive of their live performances, they
have gained some balance and sub-
tlety from Laswell's hand.
The music is enviscerating and
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informed by the gloom-horror-
industrial death sensibilities of an-
other metal/hardcore day. A combi-
FEMALE non-smoking roommate needed
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Rent: $225.. ISSA PROPERTIES 662-4446.
2 NON-SMOKING graduate students needed
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nation of violence and virtuosity that
purists of either genre couldn't hope
USE YOUR GRAPHIC ARTIST
To design the 1989-90
Student Directory cover
We need a student to design the new Student
Directory cover. If you are interested please
contact Sue at 764-0554 or stop by Student
Publications Bldg. at 420 Maynard. The
deadline is approaching soon so act now!
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EARN $2500-$3500! National campaign po-
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APT. MANAGER-- Looking for a responsi-
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