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February 05, 1993 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-02-05

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 5, 1993- Page 9
invents cello

Christmas in February
On February 6, 1945, a prophet was born. Rising from the island of Jamaica, Robert Nesta Marley graced the world with some of the most brilliant and life-
changing music ever written. This Rastafarian prince extolled a universal message of peace, activism and spirituality that remains unparalleled.
Marley's poetic songwriting crossed all boundaries. Where so many "political" musicians rely on dogmatic sloganeering, Marley presented the personal as

by Valerie Shuman _
What do you do when your father
hands you a violin? Invent the cello, of
course. At the age of three, Professor
Erling Blondmar Bengtsson refused to
put his violin under his chin and insisted
on playing it between his knees instead.
Bowing to the inevitable, his violinist
father had a miniature cello made, and a
yearand ahalf later, the young inventor
played his first recital.
His career took off from there, and
he performed his first solo with an or-
chestra at 10. At 14, he played such an
impressive recital in Iceland that a fam-
ily decided to sponsor his studies in the
U.S. at the Curtis Institute with the
master Piatigorsky. Bengtsson began
there when he was 16 and was a teacher
himself only two years later.
In 1990, after a 37-year stint teach-
ing at the Royal Danish Conservatory
of Music and touring world-wide, he
decided that it was time for a change,
and came to Ann Arbor on the advice of
friends. He'll be performing with the
Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra for the
first time here on Saturday.
When asked if American students
are any different than European ones,
Bengtsson replied, "A musician is a
musician anywhere ... The fundamen-
tal problems a musician must face are
the same ... but they do work a bit
harder here ... Their approach is a little
more professional." He sees perform-
ing and teaching as a necessary combi-
nation. "Teaching keeps you awake.
You are simply forced to face problems
all of the time. On your own ... you
maybe get too satisfied with yourself. If
you teach you have to have good argu-
ments for what you are doing."
Bengtsson does not believe in im-
posing his own style on students and
instead encourages them to "become
independent as soon as they possibly
can ... Every individual finds his own
strengths and personality ... they
shouldn't be like sausages coming out
of machine." He insisted that students
be true to the composer's vision. "Stu-
dents should feel that they are servants
of the music they are playing."

At the same time, Bengtsson feels
that, "There are two kinds of music ...
some where the music will always, al-
ways be better than the performer, and
music where the performer must al-
ways be better than the music ... so the
final result appears like a master work."
Of his own playing, Bengtsson said,
"I wouldn't play anything if I did not
believe in it. You must love what you
play," and he has worked with impor-
tant contemporary Scandinavian com-
posers such as Holmboe andNielsviggo
Bentzon over the years to help create
such music. "I am lucky enough to
count ... great Scandinavian compos-
ers as friends," he said, and has pre-
miered no less than 13 cello concertos
for them. Along with Piatigorsky,-
Bengtsson feels, "The performer has an
obligation to make the composer write
for the instrument."
One case where the composer has
donejust that is Dvorak's Concerto in B
minor for Cello and Orchestra, which
Bengtsson will be playing on Saturday
in his first appearance with the Ann
Arbor Symphony Orchestra. "This is
the soul of the cello itself. I couldn't
imagine it for any other instrument," he
said. Other items on the program in-
clude "Snake Alley" by David Dzubay,
and "Ma Mere L' Oye (Mother Goose)"t
by Ravel.
But Bengtsson doesn't like to talk
about music much. "I would rather play
it," he said. "Music that needs too much
introduction ... there's something
wrong." Which certainly makes sense
especially considering the cello he plays"
it on. Made by Nicolas Lupot in 1823"
(which is, coincidentally, the same year
Ann Arbor was founded), it is " the
finest French cello existing." Tickets
are still available to see it, Professor
Bengtsson, and the AASO on Saturday.
conducted by Samuel Wong, will
perform Saturday at 8p.m. at the
Michigan Theater Tickets are $12'to
$18, with discounts for students, at
the Michigan Theater Box Office.
Call 668-8397.

the political; achingly beautiful love songs such as "No Woman, No Cry," also
unity, and the uprising of the oppressed, Marley created true rebel music.

Michelle Citron's "Daughter Rite" explores mother - daughter relationships.
Citro S Rite S of passage

by John R. R ybock
Hollywood is apredominantly white
male industry. A prime example of this
is the recent Golden Globes, in which
none of the nominated Best Directors
were minority or female. Even the "femi-
nist," "male-bashing" film "Thelma &
Louise" was directed by a man.
The cost of such exclusiveness is
that many fine filmmakers do not get
the exposure that they deserve. One
such filmmaker, Michelle Citron, is a
guest of the Film & Video Studies'
Women in Film Series tomorrow night.
She will speak following a showing of
her 1978 film, "Daughter Rite."Citron's
film, though a short 55 minutes, delves
into the involved subject of strained
mother-daughter relationships.
The film is highly personal to
Michelle Citron. She interviewed thirty-
five women, and using their stories along
with her own background, she creates a
very real composite of the generation
gap, as told from the point of view of the
Tocreate the genuine feeling that the
film depends on, Citron filmed actors in
a documentary style, giving their ac-
counts an intensely personal, one-on-
one feel. Interwoven with these "inter-
views" is home-movie footage which
had been taken by Citron's father, along
with a voice-over of Citron's own jour-
nal entries. The end result is a very
emotional film, not simply because Cit-
ron brings the specific stories to life in
an extremely moving manner, but also
because anyone watching "Daughter
Rite" has had, at one time or another,

problems in dealing with a parent. The
entire audience can find something to
relate to in this film.
Michelle Citron herself has been on
the scene since 1974, when she made a
seven-minute film titled "Integration"
(which will be shown with "Daughter
Rite" tomorrow night). Since this de-
but, Citron has directed several award-
winning films and her works have been
shown at the New York, Berlin and
London Film Festivals and at the
Kennedy Center and Museum of Mod-
em Art. With such impressive accom-
plishments on her resume, one would
think that she could get past Hollywood's
glass ceiling.
"It is tough, not just for women, but
for Blacks and Hispanics; anyone who
is not a white male," Citron said. Due to
such roadblocks, many minority and
women directors work independently
of the large studios. Unfortunately, the
result is that while they are allowed to
maintain more control over their films,
they are left out of the all-important
exposure that the large studios provide.
Michelle Citron describes her next
film, "Pandora," as a "Daughter Rite
II." Hopefully, with Working Title Pic-
turesbehindher(the company thatmade
"Bob Roberts"), she will get the recog-
nition that her distinguished career de-
serves, and finally make it through the
glass ceiling.
speaking Saturday at 7:30 in Angell
Hall Aud A. Her flmins DAUGHTER
shown. Admission is free.

chronicle the endurance of a community. A powerful proponent of Black
Monstrous voices
by Melissa Rose Bernardo
For many ofus, it may be impossible toconceive of music without instruments.
Music is supposed to be screeching guitars, booming percussion and wailing
vocals, right? Wrong, according to the Friars, the Harmonettes and Amazin' Blue.
Their third Annual "Monsters. of A Cappella" concert proves that a cappella
sounds have hit the campus like a whirlwind, and swept up a countless number of
listeners along the way.
All three groups are comprised of students. Amazin' Blue is a 13-member co-
ed ensemble, while the Friars and the Harmonettes are each eight-member
ensembles, selected by audition from the Men's and Women's Glee Clubs
(respectively). The differences among members gives each group a distinctly
different sound.
Amazin' Blue's music usually involves seven-partharmony, encompassing all
of the male and female vocal ranges, explained Sheetal Bhaghat. "We don't have
any arrangements that are basic four-parts," she said. According to Jason Menges'
the Friars' selections are "mostly (male) four-part harmony, and once in a while
we'll throw a solo in." Harmonette Keka S ircar described theirmusic as "anything
from four to eight-part harmony, with lots of solos."
Each group has an extremely varied repertoire, chosen and arranged by their
members. "Our repertoire ranges from whiny '60s love songs to current hits -
from 'YMCA' to 'Mysterious Ways,"' said Jason Menges. Harmonette Keka
Sircar added, "Pop, country, barbershop, oldies, anything but classical and heavy
metal." Sheetal Bhaghat described Amazin' Blue as "basically a pop and jazz
group." None of the groups would reveal their concert programs.
The "Monsters of ACappella" concert was initiated by Amazin' Blue. Sircar
explained, "They wanted to sing with some of the many a cappella groups on
campus, and we (Friars and Harmonettes) are considered the most popular and
As with past concerts, all proceeds from the concert will go to the Ann Arbor
Homeless Shelter. Of all the charities in need of help, one may wonder why the
issue of the homeless was chosen.
"(We talked about) AIDS, cancer, etc., but we felt that they were way too big,"
Sircar said. "The amount of money given nationally would be a spit in the bucket;
our money could have more influence locally."
In addition to the three groups, the concert will also feature Top Priority, a 12-
member, co-ed Christian a cappella group which sings contemporary Christian
music. The MC for the evening is Professor of Musicology James Borders (past
MCs have been psych profs Drew Westin and Chris Peterson).
Because of the popularity of the Friars, the Harmonettes and Amazin' Blue, a
cappella music has become a campus sensation, as well as an established art form.
You should experience it for yourself at least once in your lifetime.

Ann Arbor Ci
RE-AD IT Second StageF
directed by Ja
Lookf ort intheJAN. 21- FE
Thurs. thru S4
Tickets are $7, Th
Ann Arbor Civic 1
:. 2275 Platt Road
Tickets & reserva
1I 1 call 971-AACT
theyread r!for mature

iic Theatre
n Koengeter
B. 6, 1993
at. at 8 p.r.
ursdays 2-for- I

Aloha Entertainment's 994-4024
-ITT T r A [r 24 HOUR
on State St. at Liberty MOVIELINE

MONSTERS OFA CAPPELLA, featuring the Friars, the Harmonettes and
Amazin' Blue wsg. Top Priority will be perfonned tonight at 8 p.m. at
Rackham Auditorium. The concert is sold out.


I -

Cyr s

from $19
FOne Session

*PLEASE NOTE: 2:00 Show SaUSun Only o 12:00 Show Fri/Sat Only




off yourI
placed by
Feb. 11,
Valuable cou~pon J

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109 E Lihert Ann Arbor 48104 662-1593


1220 S University

Limit one per person one time only


C*mpbmpon Qrchestra
welcomes back
Samuel Wong, Music Director
Sat. Feb.6,8:00 p.m.
Michigan Theater


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