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January 26, 1990 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-01-26
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- Folk Festival,_continued -
Michael Hedges amps the acoustic


Sheer domination of the stage is
one of Michael Hedges' many
extraordinary talents. He dubs his
music "thrash acoustic" and
"heavy mental;" that is, cerebral,
polished and inspired to the point
of agitation. His performances are
eclectic; he'll borrow open
tunings from David Crosby and
create atonal music inspired by

Classical Modernists such as Bela
Bartok; he'll feel the hot line of
his pulse and roar out with "Come
Together," "Pinball Wizard," or
"So You Want to Be a Rock and
Roll Star;" he'll stretch for
atmosphere with timing and
touch reminiscent of Thelonius
Monk's piano.
He can accommodate such a

range because he is one of the
best and most innovative guitar
players we have. Musician has
cited Hedges to be "generally
considered king of the hill."
Hedges explores the interior of
the guitar and the exterior, too.
He simultaneously strums and
picks at both ends of the
instrument, slaps the strings and
taps the body for percussive and
tonal effects.
Like an all-around gymnast, he
works with a range of apparatus.
He prowls and stamps his feet on
six-string rockers, picks up the
absurd-looking Harp guitar (with
six strings on the bottom and five
on top and a shape that would
have inspired Dali) for musing
songs like "Because It's There,"

by Mark Webster
picking melodies and bass lines
simultaneously. When he runs out
of thumbs, fingers and feet he
sings. His vocals take ideas from
Bobby McFerrin, with whom he
has recorded.
Nominated for a Grammy for
his album, AerialBoundaries,
Hedges comes from Oklahoma
and records with Windham Hill,
proving that Windham Hill
appreciates diversity. Hedges is
not New Age. His music is
anything but the airiness which
that moniker implies.
On stage Hedges can push his
talent beyond boundaries both
the audience and himself are
aware of.

Sweet Honey's
Reagon Music
for everyone,

by Mark Swartz
understanding of cultural
expression created by a group or a
community being a way of
understanding the history of that
group. And this began with the
civil rights movement when I
became interested in singing and
prayers and sermons that actually
were artifacts or documents of
what people were feeling, and
records of why they were
participating in the movement.
W: How have your studies
helped your own understanding of
the role of music in the African-
American community?
R: It's a way of trying to
Continued next page

founded last spring, its
membership has grown to over
200 members. Several local
business have recently made
arrangements with the Co-op to
display and sell paintings, jewelry,
and other fine art works. Other
rotating exhibits of member's
work are currently at Espresso
Royale Cafe, Grand Illusion, and
other various locations.
Maybe you've encountered
some of the art forms around
campus. The group's first exhibit
was the gigantic collaborative
mural on South University last
spring, erected to hide the
construction of the Galleria retail
complex. A dozen Co-op painters
also completed an 18 by 24 ft.
mural used for the Performance
Network's main stage and dance
floor for their "Raise the Roof'
benefit fund raiser last term.
Currently, Co-op artists are
working together painting the
walls of their recently acquired
headquarters. Throughout this
weekend, curious critics may
wander the stairs and halls of an
abandoned warehouse at 918
Main Street to catch a glimpse of

their newest collaborative canvas.
So, almost nine months since
the spring wedding of artists and
Co-op, the group has not only
parented a growing membership,
but created a place where
members can create and work
with other local artists. The
warehouse contains six private
studio spaces, ranging in size form
60 to 120 square feet. Since the
Co-op has also arranged to lease
and renovate the building directly
adjacent their existing home, the
Co-op will also be offering private
studio space for rental to any
Free communal studio space is
expected to be expanded in the
near future, LeMar said. Also in
the works are free workshops for
Co-op members on airbrushing,
photography, darkroom
procedures, jewelry making, T-
shirt and garment printing, wood
carving, stained glass window
making and ceramics.
Local artists have been eager to
take advantage of the opportunity
to use these facilities for a ten
dollar membership fee.
Liz Dewey has lived in Ann

Arbor for about eight years, and
studied art and communications
at the University of Michigan.
Though she works in many
different artistic areas, she enjoys
figure drawing and printmaking
most. Dewey said she is most
excited by the different
opportunities the Co-op offers.
"Making art resources available
at a lower cost, discounting
framing, photographic services,
copyright services, and making
available a network of people and
opportunities is what this Co-op is
all about," said Dewey.
Dewey said the Co-op was too
unique for ordinary words and
instead said the group contained a
lot of "centergy."
"Centergy is when the
collective results of lots of people
is greater than many separate
individual results," said Dewey.
"People work together, learn from
one another, and everybody
Mark Lee, artist and
University student
in that order


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eve n th'
Bernice Johnson Reagon's
involvement in the civil rights
movement dates back to 1%1
when she was expelled from
Albany State College in Georgia
for "Behavior unbecoming a
college student of Albany State
College," their way of saying she
participated in protests with the
Students' Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee. After
singing with the SNCC Freedom
singers and the Harambee singers,
(Swahili, for "Let's pull together")
her involvement with the Black
Repertory Theater in Washington
D.C. led to the creation of Sweet
Honey in the Rock. For seventeen
years, Sweet Honey has brought
its energetic a cappella treatment
of traditional and folk songs to
audiences around the world.
Reagon, who holds a Ph.d in
History, continues to be active in
civil rights, and to further the
study of oral traditions and the
ongoing struggle of African-
Americans. "There's still a job to
do," folk godfather Pete Seeger
says of Bernice Reagon, "and I
think the world's lucky to have her
working on it."

Weekend: What sort of programs
have you planned for the
Smithsonian Institute in
Washington D.C.?
Reagon: The Smithsonian for
me has been a continuation of my

wAp . I




Bernice Johnson Reagon, far left, with the rest of Sweet
Honey in the Rock



Januant2 X100

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