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October 30, 1992 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-10-30

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Friday, October 30, 1992

Hiroshima's multi-
cultural message

Passage to
a Forster

by Kim Yaged
"What's more obscure than an
Asian American multi-cultural
group playing an unclassified
music in America today?"
That's the question posed by
ban Kuramoto, one of the four
core members of Hiroshima. Ku-
ramoto plays keyboards, synthe-
sizers, saxophones, flutes and
sings background vocals, as well
as provides some production on
the band's latest release, "Prov-
idence." On this, their sixth LP,
the music and the band members
are still as eclectic as Kuramoto is
.une Okida Kuramoto is a
world-renowned koto player. As
,Dan Kuramoto described it, a koto
is a "Japanese harp about a little
over six feet long and about a foot,
and a half wide and strings that
run the length of it. And it's tuned
by bridges that are movable so that
} every time we change keys (June)
has to move all the bridges, and
there's thirteen strings. She plays
it with three picks on the right
hand. It's a very unique sound," he
The taiko is another Japanese

instrument used by the band. It is
"a Japanese festival drum proba-
bly in its origins the biggest of all
drums," Kuramoto explained. "We
don't record it that much because
it's almost unrecordable because
the sound of it. The overtones are
so loud that it builds up so much
sound pressure that most of the
studios in L.A. are not big enough
for the sound pressure to escape,
and so the microphone capsule
starts to collapse, and it doesn't
even sound at all hardly. It just
makes a plinking noise. So you
kinda have to be there. It's just a
gigantic drum, and it's Johnny
Mori who plays it.
"It's both drum and dance and
everything kinda all at the same
time," Kuramoto said. "It's kinda
performance art thing. (Johnny)
does something at a certain point
of the show with our drummer
Danny Yamamoto that's its own
kind of institute in itself."
Clearly, Hiroshima is an expe-
rience best felt live. The band
members acknowledged this fact
by recording a number of the
tracks off "Providence" live in the
studio with few takes.

by John R. Rybock

Dan Kuramoto (third from left) and the

rest of Hiroshima bring their obscurity to the Fabulous Fox tonight.

To enhance their diversity
when performing, Hiroshima is
joined by a variety of other musi-
cians on flutes, saxophones, con-
gas - anything is possible. This
time around, new lead vocalist
Jeanette Clinger is included in the
entourage. The varied racial and
ethnic backgrounds of the band
contribute to the uniqueness of the
music. Kuramoto described the
sound as ranging from "like a
Miles Davis vibe to a hip hop vibe
to sambas and salsas and to

straight ahead rock and roll, be-
cause those are the influences that
we have, and the way that they
work together I guess it's just pe-
culiar to the way that we grew up,
because it seems normal to us. I
mean, really, we don't even trip on
it. It's nothing that's contrived be-
cause it's just what we hear."
Encapsulated, Kuramoto said:
"There's a focus in what we do in
the band Hiroshima, and that's to
make the statement that the rich-

ness of America is inherent in its
cultures. And so, our multi-cul-
tural blend, that mix, that respect,
and the strength that we get from
the diversity of our cultures is
what I think makes America sin-
gularly great ... This is a multi-
cultural planet ... and that's the
message that we want to take to
the world, but we have to start at
HIROSHIMA will perform tonight
at the Fox Theater in Detroit. Call
645-6666for more info.

Continued from page 11
music wouldn't exist. There'd be no
Helmet, no Ministry, no grunge, no
real metal, no cheesy-ass pseudo-
metal, no self-indulgent metal, no
nothing but Led Zeppelin clones.
Therein lies the importance of
Black Sabbath in "The Black Sab-
bath Story, Volume I." Though the
Miist Sab (which included Ozzy Os-
bourne on vocals, guitarist Tommy
Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, and

Bill Ward hitting the skins) took
their cues from blues, and pro-
gressed into one of the most influen-
tial metal bands ever, they weren't
glitzy, they were gutsy innovators.
Looking at an open-shirted Ozzy
even in 1970, one sees flab and not
the carefully honed handsome preen
of Robert Plant - an analogy which
can apply to their music as well. Ap-
pearances weren't important, and
even in the current interviews with
Iommi and Butler the band focused
on the music.

Further, the 1978 concert footage
for the 1972-released "Snowblind"
comes before the pre-concept video
for "Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath" from
1973. Most of the segments aren't
particularly exciting, visually or in
Despite the potential of the topic,
"Black Sabbath Volume I" seems
pretty hokey and poorly researched.
"Volume I" is definitely not a slick
MTV rockumentary.
- Annette Petruso





Ehscape te election
by Kathleen Kong
Are you growing weary of the hype surrounding the elections this year?
If so, Late Returns '92 provides an opportunity to escape the election chaos
through performance poetry, music, and dance on Monday night.
Ken King, producer of Late Returns '92, said that the show is his way of
responding to politicians and the decisions at hand. Unsatisfied by the can-
didates and their "prosaic" debates, King said that he created this perfor-
mance in an attempt to offer "an alternative to these guys on election eve.
"(Late Returns '92) is not political in the traditional sense, but a whole
other way to understand this campaign - that's not to argue with them (the
candidates) directly, but to put a little music, a little dance, some eloquent
language and produce something meaningful and important," King said.
This event features original poetry by Matthew Smith and Wolf Knight,
who have been friends with King since the '60s. Their poetry will be put to
all original music and dance against the backdrop of painted sets, "which
will hopefully illustrate and elucidate what we're doing by creating a sort of
visual and emotional impact," King remarked.
Representing a younger generation of performers are Billy and Kenny
King, sons of producer Ken King. Billy, age 15, plays the guitar, keyboard,
"and just about anything, really," according to his Dad. Kenny, age 11,
plays the keyboard and sings. The King brothers made their debut over four
years ago at the WCBN Bash; since then, they have performed at the Ark
and several Ann Arbor Art Fairs.
For the Kings, Late Returns '92 represents a sort of family affair. King's
wife Kate McQueen choreographed the dance pieces and will dance and
sing in the performance on Monday night. "Emotionally, it just feels good
for people tc. see Billy and Kenny and their mom singing together," King
For all those who crave an unconventional alternative to the election eve
activities, Late Returns '92 might be the answer. Look forward to "a
suggestion that the evening news has evolved into a sophisticated if
sometimes macabre variety show."
LATE RETURNS '92 will be performed at Performance Network on
Monday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 at the door. Call 663-0681.

The novel "A Passage to India"
was written in 1924 by the classic
storyteller E.M. Forster, who als
wrote "Howards End" and "A Room
With a View." His novel is brought
to the screen by David Lean, who
was behind such films as "A Bridge
on the River Kwai" and "Lawrence
of Arabia." The result of this collab-
oration is a familiar story (with
many similar tales originating with
Forster's novel) which comes off
fresh, never cliched.
The film takes place in India,
while it was still a British colony.
The story follows Adela (Judy
Davis), who travels to India to visit
her fiance, along with his mother,
Moore. They are disillusioned to
find the British pretty much ignoring
the natives.
But Adela and Moore want to see
India and its people. Through one of
their more tolerant British friends;
Fielding (James Fox), they meet a
Muslim widower named Dr. Aziz
(Victor Banerjee). In his attempts to
be friendly, he takes them on an all
day picnic to visit some legendary
caves. In the caves, Dr. Aziz and
Adela go off on their own. Adela
runs out injured, and Dr. Aziz i
charged with attempted rape. As the
ensuing trial progresses, the tensions
between the Indians and the British
A Passage to India
Directed and written by David Lean;
with Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee and
James Fox
Victor Banerjee is astounding in
the role of Aziz. In a world where he
is often treated with indifference by
foreigners, he maintains an eager-
ness to be friendly with them. He is
wonderfully childlike when shown
the smallest bit of attention. He is, in
fact, overeager to be friendly, a trait
which leads to his arrest.
All of the acting is strong. Actu-
ally, "natural" may be a better word.
The audience never feels that these
people are acting, but rather that
they are just being themselves.
David Lean is at the top of his
game, recalling in this 1984 film his
earlier classics such as "Lawrence of
Arabia." In adapting the novel for
the big screen, Lean is careful in hs
measurements. He gives us just
enough of India's lovely scenery to
provide a real taste for the country
without turning it into a picture post-
Did Aziz do it? Was she halluci-
nating? The answer has been debated
over the years, with the "right" one
dying with Forster over 20 years
ago. Director Lean leans in one di-
rection, but keeps to the novel.
Another question left unanswered
is exactly what was the film about. A
theatrical review of a stage adapta-
tion stated the story was of the
"incompatibility of East and West."
Forster cahed that absurd, that the
real story was of "the difficulty of
living in the universe." I suppose it
is up to the interpretation.

tonight at 8:45 in Angell Aud A.




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