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October 16, 1991 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-16

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Wednesday, October 16, 1991

Page 5

Heavies put the funk back in it

by Scott Sterling

Detroit, summer of 1991: there is
a huge resurgence in the under-
ground club scene. After-hours
clubs such as the Warehouse and
1515 Broadway are consistently
packed with club kids and ravers.
Amidst the soundtrack of songs
that propelled the manic, sweaty
,crowds this past summer, only one
stands out as the Detroit club an-
them: "Dream Come True," the de-
but single by British acid-jazz
funksters the Brand New Heavies, is
the hippest song to be seen dancing
to at three a.m. this year. The song's
jazzy, horn-driven '70s groove (a
word this band uses a lot) and infec-
tious chorus, sung by the powerful
and amazingly soulful vocalist
N'Dea Davenport, never fails to fill
the dance floor.
Chicago, fall of 1991: Andrew
Levy, the Brand New Heavies'
bassist, is speaking to me from a
downtown hotel room. The sweet
sounds of the band's touring horn
section can be heard in the back-
ground, as Andrew and I settle in
for a fun and enjoyable chat.
The Brand New Heavies emerged
from the Rare Groove scene in
London back in the late 1980s. This
contingency of British soul boys
turned to American bands, such as
Tower of Power, Miles Davis, and
Earth, Wind, and Fire, for inspi-
ration, while most of England was
getting into computer-powered
techno and house music. I ask
Andrew about their then-new
sound.
Andrew Levy: Without sounding
too boastful, we kind of instigated
that whole thing. There weren't any
other bands playing live dance
music, which is basically what we
were doing. There were a few DJs
playing that kind of stuff, but only
one or two in London. One of those
DJs ended up being in our (first)
band. We were called Diana Brown
and The Brothers. (It was) us, Diana
Brown and the DJ, doing the rare
groove stuff. They eventually left
and set up their own thing. The
current line-up (Levy, guitarist
Simon Bartholomew, drummer Jan

Kincaid, saxophonist Jim Wellman
and guitarist Lascelles Gordon)
came together about a year ago.
Scott Sterling: So you feel that
you've had a huge influence on
British music?
AL: Anything from Europe that's

Disciples are going to be massive.
SS: So what kind of response has the
BNH had on the road here in
America this far?
AL: The show's are sold-out, and we
do three encores a night. The people
know the words, and it's a really

voice just cooks!
AL: Yeah, it does, doesn't it? She
was signed to our label, Delicious
Vinyl, and we were looking for a
vocalist. The president (of Delicious
Vinyl) played her our tape, and she
flew to London to record within
two days.
SS: When you're not dazzling
audiences on stage, what do you do
in your free time on the road?
AL: (Laughs) We try to check as
many clubs as we can, if only to
relax. We listen to music a lot. A
lot of rap, Latin stuff. Anything
that's got grooves and is rhythmic. I
listen to classical stuff, such as
Schoenberg and Ligetti, avant garde
classical composers. We also jam in
our hotel rooms. Our percussionist,
Miguel Valdez, has a very wide ar-
ray of instruments, and we just jam
and often record it.
SS: Have you written any new
songs this way?
AL: We've come up with a lot of
grooves. That's really where the
BNH come from, theP way we write
our stuff. If the groove is right, then
it's a song. We're a groove-based act.
SS: What are the band's plans after
the U.S. tour?
AL: We're working on two songs
for movie soundtracks. One of the
movies is called Juice (the di-
rectoral debut of Spike Lee's famed
cinematographer, Ernest Dickerson).
The other track is for a movie called
The Prince and The Pauper. That
song might be on our next album.
Then we're all going to have a two-
week holiday somewhere in the
world. Then we go to Japan for a
ten-date tour, and then back to the
U.S. for a longer and larger theater

Graduates display
their art; Justice is
served at Pitcher
Alumni Art Show krater vases. The sculptures them
Slusser Gallery selves, however, depict overweigh

46

The School of Art is hosting
the annual Alumni Art Show in
the Slusser Gallery of the Art and
Architecture building. The show
features ten artists who have grad-
uated (or will soon graduate) from
the University School of Art and
are currently pursuing careers as
artists or designers.
Michael G. Collins, who re-
ceived his BFA in 1985 and will
receive his MFA next year, has a
group of small oil paintings in the
show. Collins' still lifes, featur-
ing shells, have a nice, soft focus
to them, but his painting of the
University Observatory, though it
captures the light well, seems too
literal. Oddly enough, it also
appears to be rather unfocused.
Tom Webb, who received his
MFA in 1970, has several two-
dimensional works in oil crayon
and a group of sculptures on dis-
play. Webb creates a series of sur-
real images that work best when
he doesn't become too concerned
with portraying tangible objects
and instead focuses on geometric
shapes, as in his beautiful oil cra-
yon drawing, "Four Leaders Dis-
cuss Assassination." Among his
sculptures, the most striking is
"False Memory," with its exciting
arrangement of wooden rods.
The most captivating works in
the show are the textiles by Laura
K. Brody, who received her BFA
in 1980. Brody depicts stylized bo-
dies which seem to be falling.
Weaving, sweeping lines move
around and across the bodies, ac-
centuating the feeling of turmoil
in works with titles such as
"Maelstrom," "Upheaval" and
"House Tornado."
John Goodyear's series of em-
bossed lithographs on Arches pa-
per is also interesting. Goodyear
embosses the outlines of several
images of art from the dawn of
civilization (such as the Stele of
Hammurabi) on Arches paper, in-
scribing the words "Order" and
"Chaos" across the work. Good-
year's images are sharp and direct.
The superficial view of history
reflected in his work is remi-
niscent of Pop Art.
The most humorous work in
the show belongs to Dalciene
Merning. The outlines of Mer-
ning's series of terracotta scul-
ptures take the classic forms of
traditional Greek amphora and

n-
ht

women wearing bikinis and boxer
shorts. The garish glazes suggest
pink flamingo lawn decorations.
The Alumni Art Show also
features furniture and posters de-
signed by Alumni artists and will
be on display at the Slusser Gal-
lery in the Art and Architecture
Building until October 26.
-Aaron Hamburger
The Broken Pitcher
Trueblood Theater
October 10, 1991
The University Players' pro-
duction of The Broken Pitcher
opened last Thursday night, prov-
ing to the audience that German
plays can be funny. Kleist's com-
edy emphasizes the ineffectiveness
of the judicial system through the
tensions between members of the
community of Huysum.
Jon Hammond activated the
stage with his portrayal of Judge
Adam. His whimsical method of
indiscriminately dispensing justice
- by throwing sand bags on hu-
man-sized scales of justice, or by
ringing a bell - was hysterical.
Hammond was consistently true to
his character, incorporating the
heightened language of the play
into his own natural speaking
style with ease. He manipulated
rhythm, rhyme, intonation and pa-
cing to extract every ounce of hu-
mor from the text. The University
Players' production of Tartuffe last
winter, and now The Broken
Pitcher, have displayed Ham-
mond's innate ability to play ec-
centric characters with vitality.
Hammond, however, was not
the only actor to offer a fully de-
veloped character. Mark Willett's
performance as Walter, a visiting
circuit judge inspecting Adam's
courtroom procedures, was pol-
ished as well. Willett exhibited the
character's haughtiness and author-
ity with poise and grace as he dealt
with Adam and the peasants. His
movements on stage were as de-
liberate as his character, and he
consistently presented himself
with an air of dignity.
Matt Letscher's interpretation
of ClerkLight as a shaky, zealous
nerd with glasses was a good cast-
ing choice. With every sway of
his head, however, the glasses fell
off. Maybe this wasn't inten-
See PITCHER, Page 8

Brand New Heavies look SO fashionable. You can tell that their
Britishness has overwhelmed their sense of cool funkiness.

funky has basically been instigated
by us. We were doing it before there
was any interest in live music. I
think we were just ahead of our
time, basically.
SS: So which bands do you feel that
the BNH have directly influenced?
AL: Definitely Galliano (a Last
Poets-influenced beatnik-jazz- funk
combo), and the Young Disciples (a
rawer, funkier BNH-sounding band)
as well. Those are the only two that
I would personally suggest as being
A, good, and B, inspired by BNH.
They're bands I listen to, and are
friends as well. I think the Young

moving feeling. I'm really moved to
see people mouthing the words and
things like that.
SS: The BNH have a reputation as
being absolutely fierce live. What
do you think makes you so special in
concert?
AL: Well, we don't use explosives
or pyrotechnics or stage-dive, but
what we do is we lock into each
other's vibe. The band's like a
family, basically. We have the best
time on stage, and people notice
that. We create a party atmosphere.
SS: How did you hook up with your
vocalist, N'Dea Davenport. Her

tour.
SS: I have
Come True"

to tell
was the

you, "Dream
Detroit dance

anthem of the summer. It'll proba-
bly be the show stopper here.
AL: That's great to hear! We've
revamped it, actually. We've mixed
in a house section and a Latin
section, and we've extended it. It's
one of our oldest songs, so it's like
an old favorite for the band. That's
the song that got us our deal back in
nineteen-eighty-seven.
See HEAVY, Page 8

Burton Tower does more than tell time

by Liz Patton
As the clock strikes 10, Professor
Margo Halsted jumps up. "If we
hurry, we can see it striking," she
urges. From her office on the ninth
floor of Burton Tower, we scramble
up to the carillon overhead, ducking
under the huge bell together just in
time to feel the overtones fade
away. Five of the largest bells have
a separate hammer operated by the
clock, which chimes every day from
9:15 am. to 9 p.m.
Centuries ago, people depended
on clock towers to tell the time.
"Here people just sort of look at
their watches when it goes off,"
laughed Halsted. In a quaint old
metal and glass case stamped
"International Business Machines,"
the mechanical works all date from
the 1930s,-but the well-oiled gears
run smoothly and the clock is accu-
rate. If it reads 10 past, yes, you'll
be late to class.
Back in her office, Halsted con-
tinues to tell me about the carillon
and her upcoming concert. Since she
is officially part of the organ de-
partment, Halsted's recital is part
of the 31st Annual Conference on
Organ Music. In addition to music
of the 17th and 18th centuries, in-
cluding excerpts from Rameau's
Les Indes Galantes and Gluck's
Ihpigenie en Aulide, two of Hal-
sted's own compositions will be on
the program. Other contemporary
pieces include Robert Lannoy's
Ballet of the Little Ducks and Flor

Peeters' Serenade for Carillon. At
45 minutes, the concert shouldn't be
too long for the shivering listeners
in the courtyard below.
With 55 bells, the carillon in
Burton Memorial Tower is the
third heaviest in the world, but like
Goldilocks, Halsted says it's just
right. In fact, she says, conditions
here are ideal for a carilloneur. The
performer can hear all the bells, and
there are plenty of places to sit and
listen down below. The carillon
also has an unusually wide range of
four-and-a-half octaves that gives it
a rich sound. This gives the Univer-
sity's carillon a larger potential
repertoire than many others.
If you recognize the tunes that
reverberate overhead each day, that's
no accident. "You try to play for
your audience," says Halsted. "I try
to do something familiar every
day." She'll play love songs on
Valentine's day, "The Victors" be-
fore football games and carols at
Christmastime, saving the latest
modern compositions for special
audiences like the Guild of
Carilloneurs.
In addition to Halsted, quite a
variety of performers play the caril-
lon, from a professor of aeronauti-
cal engineering to a waste control
officer in the Chemistry Depart-
ment to a lecturer in the School of
Public Health, as well as three
graduate organ students and
students from departments as far
from music as economics and biol-
ogy. The only thing that limits

Halsted from taking on more stu-
dents is the fact that there is only
one practice keyboard. No one wants
keyboard exercises inflicted on the
entire university community!
Just about anything can be and is
arranged for the carillon. "Of
course, music that's written espe-
cially for carillon sounds the best,"
says Halsted. The instrument has.
some peculiarities, such as the

unique overtone series - intervals
that sound together with each note.
"All carillon bells have a minor
third in (the overtone series), so
they sound slightly out of tune,"
she says. "If you play major thirds
down low, then they sort of fight
each other, so certain minor keys and
modal music sound better."
Still, there is an increasing
See BELLS, Page 8

II

MORGAN STANLEY
invites seniors of all majors
to a presentation on
Opportunities in Investment Banking
Monday, October 21, 1991
Michigan Union Kuenzel Room
7:00 P.M.
Representatives of Morgan Stanlev

COOKIES
Sweeten your sweetie with

Order your college ring NOW.
JOST ENS
A M E R I C A S C O L L E G E R I N G"'

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