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October 18, 1991 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-18

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The Michigan Daily- Friday, October 18,1991 - Page 9

Sitarist
Shankar
*appears
in benefit
by Sunil lyengar
Few people can claim to have ever
seen a -master sitarist in action.
Somehow this brand of musician
tends to evade your local Blind Pig
or Club Heidelberg. None the less,
virtuoso sitarist/composer- Ravi
Shankar will bring a little of India
to the University, when he performs
in Hill Auditorium on Sunday.
Of course, Shankar himself is no
newcomer to the Western world.
While still a teenager, he toured
with his brother Uday's dance
troupe, spending much time in Eu-
rbpe, where he heard and met famous
classical musicians (i.e. Segovia,
Toscanini, Heifetz), and in the U.S.,
where he received first-hand ex-
posure to the jazz greats (i.e. Cab
Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Duke
Ellington).
"(The experience) was really
fantastic,".he says. "It made me rich
in my musical appreciation as well
as my mind... This helped me as a
composer.
Then, in 1956, after several years
of intensive training with Ustad
Allaudin Khan, a renowned Indian
classical musician, Shankar again
toured the West, but this time as a
sitarist. Although he filled up con-
cert halls and received much critical
acclaim during this period, it was
the 1960s which made. Shankar
known to a younger generation of
fans, who were fascinated by the
versatile pitches and exotic me-
lodies the sitar can produce.
Indeed, Indian classical music
greatly varies from music of the
West. Shankar explains the key dif-
ference between two forms: "Be-
cause Indian music is part of a deep
oral tradition, it is constantly de-

who what where when

Want proof that there's more to
New Jersey than highways and nu-
clear dump sights? Hold on to your
Spandex, 'cause Overkill is gonna
splatter your brain cells. Tonight at
Harpo's. Galactic Cowboys and
Anacrusis open. Tickets are $6, but
beers are only 50ยข! Doors open at 9
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Just announced: Brit pop liars
EMF play tree town's own Hill
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with the fashionable and socially
conscious... Billy Bragg! Not.
Actually, Carter the Unstoppable
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funky hats, 'cause we will be in-
vaded by teenybops. Tickets go on
sale Saturday at TicketMaster, for
only $18.50 floor, $16.50 balcony,
p.e.s.c.
George Michael's pop career has
been varied, to say the least. From
teenage heart-throb in Wham! (You
didn't high school slow-dance to
pseudo-solo single "Careless Whis-
per"? Loser!) to pseudo-noir Sex
God (check out Faith in its
entirety), Michael has remained the

entertaining showman, all the while
edging towards serious artist status.
Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1,
Michael's latest, greatest plea for
pop credibility, actually works.
"Freedom," especially, sees the
truth in Michael's own life, setting
the Man free from all restraints.
Wow! Catch the amazing King

Ravi Shankar cuts an imposing figure with incense and his sitar. The artist has been hailed for his diverse
compositions and unique collaborations, as well as his performance of Indian classical music.

Michael
George at the Palace of Auburn
Hills tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are
$22.50 for the normal seats, or $50
for some special ones (p.e.s.c.), at
TicketMaster.

veloping. The melody and rhythm
are most important.... Harmony and
other niathematical aspects (of mu-
sic) aren't set in stone."
But while Indian music allows
much room for improvisation, "this
freedom comes after years and years
of mental discipline," says Shankar.
"You can't just play any notes or
a series of chord changes," he says.
"There are set melodic patterns
(ragas), and very complex rhythmic
cycles (talas)... There are hundreds
of ragas, all related to morning, af-
ternoon, evening and so on. All have
to be memorized."
Although he works within this
ancient art form, Shankar has man-
aged to communicate his music
through Western mediums as well.
The sitarist has composed pieces for
virtuoso flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal
and master violinist Yehudi Me-
nuhin. In addition, he has written
several scores for film and ballet,
and sitar concertos for the New
York Philharmonic and the London

Symphony Orchestra.

boura, which produces the constant
droning effect during a sitar per-

On his more recent albums, Shan- formance.

m UMON

kar has collaborated with popular
Western musicians. George Har-
rison, who studied under Shankar
back in '66, plays autoharp and syn-
thesizer on Tana Mana, which was
released in 1987. The following
year, Shankar co-wrote and per-
formed with minimalist Philip
Glass, on Passages.
"In composing, I am interested
in sound... so I have even tried elec-
tronics," Shankar says. "But in per-
forming, I try to keep it as Indian as
possible."
Evidently, Shankar will be ac-
companied by all the traditional
Indian classical instruments during
Sunday's concert. His son, Shubho
Shankar, will also perform on sitar,
and Abhiman Kaushal ("a brilliant
young player," Shankar says) will
play the tabla, a sort of drum. A lo-
cal player will assist on the tam-

"The tamboura is really an es-
sential part of the performance, but
it's relatively simple to master,"
Shankar says. "It's rather like the
job of a page-turner during a piano
recital."
The sitarist doesn't have any par-
ticular compositions pre-selected
for Sunday's concert. "I usually
wait three or four hours before the
performance, and then make the fi-
nal choice in the concert hall," he
says. "But naturally, (this concert)
will mostly consist of evening or
nightly ragas."
RAVI SHANKAR will perform on
Sunday at 4 p.m. at Hill Auditorium.
This concert is a benefit for the
Indus Medical Foundation. Tickets,
are $35, $25, $20 and $15 at
TicketMaster (p.e.s.c.).

In
Vt]

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Ann Arbor
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(upstairs)
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On October 19 don't
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by Kevin Stein

, %

E than Canin is somewhat discon-
certing. He is an author with two
books to his credit, a Harvard
Medical student, and, at 31, he has
attained a level of prestige that is
rare among young writers. Canin's
first book, Emperor of the Air, a
collection of short stories, was a
New York Times best seller that re-
ceived wide acclaim, and he has just
finished his first novel, Blue River,
which is based on "American
Beauty," a short story from
Emperor: The novel deals with a re-
lationship between two brothers
who are joined by nothing but a
common past.
KS: What problems did you have
with \writing a novel versus a short
story?
EC: Well, it's a hell of a lot longer.
Writing a novel is like turning an
oil tanker. With a story, you can

break its back in an afternoon with
one good paragraph. (A novel) is
this thing you struggle with, it is
this beast whose back you have to
break.
KS: You have moved around a lot,
from early childhood on. How did
living in so many different settings
affect your writing?
EC: I'm amazed at the number of
writers who moved around a lot as
kids. They learn to read books, be-
cause you're yanked out of school in
the middle... and you have to make
all new friends.
KS: How much of your writing
comes from experiences you have
had at medical school?
EC: None of it comes from ex-
periences J've had, but a lot of the
motivation to write comes from
seeing people at the cornerstones of
their lives... It makes you... think
about what's important, and the
human experience, the sadness and
bewilderment of what life is, and

(that) it can be taken away so easily,
quickly, without warning.
KS: What do you think of your new
novel, Blue River?
EC: I actually like it more than
Emperor of the Air. It's a more hon-

est novel. It uses fewer literary
tricks. I think it has a more intelli-
gent vision. It's probably a quieter
book. I could defend every state-
ment in it if challenged, where I'm
See CANIN, Page 10

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