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February 14, 1995 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-14

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 14, 1995

Women painters
offer local color

Mutter enchants the crowd ,

By B. Tubbs
For the Daily
High in the third floor loft at 122
S. Main, the Washtenaw Council for
the Arts held its annual reception for
Ann Arbor's Women Painters. Ac-
companied by pretentious hors
d'oeuvres and fancy conversations,
the myriad of paintings revealed two
primary strategies. One was being
decorative - easy compositions of
simple colors. These undermine the
quality and intellect of the fine arts. A


of Ann Arbor
Women Painters
Where: Washtenaw Council for
the Arts Loft (122 S. Main)
When: Monday - Thursday, 1-
5; Friday, 1-9; Saturday, 10-5.

few painters, on the other hand,un-
derstood the complexities of their
medium. Critical aesthetics of the arts
interceding with physical and mental
components provoke stronger images.
The curator, Ellen Moucoulis, con-
veyed a strong understanding of these
criteria in the awards she presented.
The Grumbacher Award, for best use of
materials, went to Janice Botsford with
Honorable Mentions going to Nancy
FeldKamp, Michelle Hegyi and Connie
Lucas. Third Prize went to Susan
Nordlinger while second best went to
BarbaraAnderson. For theLucy Pearson
Award-Best of Show, the winner was
Joan Painter Jones (no pun intended).
These painters have pieces that re-
ally convey a strong sense of personal-
ity and experience. Anderson's untitled
painting on wood panel prompts a strong
vertical image akin to those of the Ma-
donna. There are two life-size portraits,
apparently a mother and daughter, em-
bracing. The painting displays a certain
antiquity in both its muted colors and
flat stylization.
Offering a challenge to viewer,
Joan Painter Jones, uses painting as
an essential element of here mix-

media constructions. Her prize-win-
ning piece, "House Divided" was a
bold jump apart from any others in
this exhibit. The assemblage of
found wooden panels form a stylis-
tic resemblance to a house that con-
tains simplified portraits. On one
side of the house are a mother and
daughter, whereas on the other side
is the father. In-between, some
planes give away to unstable floors
while others create insurmountable
walls. This construction contains a
social commentary provoking com-
plex images. Around the "House"
old wire binds the structure convey-
ing protection coinciding with cor-
rosion. To further state this tension,
paints of pale blue and pastels ag-
gressively punctuate the surface into
a frenzy of activity that is then carved
with scribbled pencil gestures.
Jones feels that her work compli-
ments the other paintings. It is a con-
tin uum. As a graduate of Eastern Michi-
gan University she explains "Watercol-
ors became boring." She moved on to
acrylics and oils to experience more
texture. Eventually, the expressive ac-
tion became vital to her art. Paper and
canvas expanded to constructions that
required aggressive elements. Jones
says, "The physical nature of the art
became more important, conforming
discarded materials into personal feel-
ings. The monochromatic colors are
deliberately sad, drawing people in-
side." She is going to defy the notion of
"growing old" with her art and, with
support from her peers, Jones is ambi-
tious enough to enter the national gal-
lery scene.
Some other women painters that
deserve some recognition for their skills
are Leslie Masters, for painting on areal
fish; Sandra Sedlack's photo-realist
watercolors; and the intensely textured
paintings of Joan Shields, Ann G. Rea
and Bev Walker. Most of the paintings
in the loft exhibit portray excellent
craftsmanship and contain a pictur-
esque sense of elegance. You will be
able to see Ann Arbor Women's Paint-
ings until February 26.

By Nick Chawla
For the Daily
When German violinist Anne-Sophie
Mutter appeared on stage last Saturday
night at Hill Auditorium accompanied by
pianist Lambert Orkis, someone in the
audience whispered "I think we are in for
a real treat." Indeed, that was the case, as
Mutter went on to charm the packed house
with music by Stravinsky, Beethoven,
Currier and Schumann.
She began with a suite adapted from
the score to the ballet Pulcinella, by
Russian composerLgorStravinsky. This
- Anne-Sophie
Hill Auditorium
February 11, 1995
composition attempts to relive the tonal
and stylistic color of another period. In
this case, Stravinsky adapted several
themes of 17th-century Italian com-
poser Giambattista Pergolesi. Mutter
used long bow strokes that gave a nice
fluidity to the double stops in the first
movement, but most impressive were
her sultry harmonics and nifty off-the-
string playing. The Italian flavor of the
piece was brought out nicely, and the
piano accompaniment was for the most
part sympathetic to the violin.

The piano had an equal role as a-
partner in the Archduke sonata by
Beethoven. With delicate and subtle
interplays, Mutter and Orkis explored a
wide dynamic range. The real
Beethoven character came out in the
dance-like scherzo which was followed
by an intense and passionate finale.
Early in her career, Anne-Sophie Mut-
ter was somewhat criticized for show-
ing placidity in works that required
passion. That was not the case in Ameri-
can composer Sebastian Currier's
"Aftersong." Written in two move-
ments, the work was dedicated to Mut-
ter, and she returned the favor by attack-
ing the strings wi.th a vengeance and
displaying some nice effects with rico-
chets of the bow.
The program ended with Robert
Schumann's Sonata No. 2 in D minor.
Here again, violin and piano played
equal roles in a sometimes too aggres--
sive rendition of this piece. The concert
ended with two encores, including the
famous Hungarian Dance'No. 2, by
Johannes Brahms, where Mutter used
gradual changes in tempo and displayed
her virtuosity in a variety of passages.
In terms of the setting for this concert,
Hill Auditorium was perhaps not the
best setting for an intimate recital, but
judging by the audience turnout, the
level of music being played and the
long line of autograph seekers at the end
of the concert, the performance was
quite an adequate trade-off.

Rhino's four-disc collection of smooth soul is a virtual babe magnet.
'Smooth' romantic listening
Collection is ideal for Valentines


By Tom Erlewine
Daily Arts Editor
Romantic music comes in all styles,
but if you're looking for something a
little different this Valentine's Day, try
Rhino Records' four-disc "Smooth
Grooves" collection. Arriving in stores
today, the series compiles soul songs
from the late '70s and early '80s, a
period of time which is usually ignored
in rock and soul history books.
Listening to the music on "Smooth
Grooves," it's hard to see why this era
of soul is neglected. It is true that the
soul here is slicker and more produced
than anything that came before it; nev-
ertheless, there's an abundance of great,
forgotten songs on this series. Many of
the songs are also featured in their long-
form versions, which gives the discs the
sound ofa late-night radio station, which
makes sense, considering that this genre
of soul music was born on the radio.
Originally, the music on "Smooth
Grooves" was named after Smokey

Robinson's 1975 album, "A Quiet
Storm," since the lush, seductive bal-
lads were relaxed yet intense with pas-
sion. AfterRobinson's album became a
radio hit, many other Black artists fol-
lowed with their own versions of the
Quiet Storm sound. Some artists -like
the Isley Brothers, the O'Jays and
Marvin Gaye-were quite popular and
creative in their own right. Most of the
artists that form the core of the series
were never well-known yet their music
has aged as well as the popular artists on
the collection.
What makes "Smooth Grooves"
interesting is how it captures a period of
soul music that nobody has bothered to
chronicle before. During the '70s, soul
fractured into disco and Quiet Storm.
Disco had pop hits, but Quiet Storm
stayed on Black radio stations, only
occasionally crossing into thepop charts
("Shining Star," "Something He Can
Feel" and "Sexual Healing").
During the'80s, Quiet Storm trans-
formed into Urban Contemporary
R&B. By the beginning of the '90s, it
was one of the most popular forms of
pop music, as evidenced by the suc-
cess of Boyz II Men. The continued
popularity of Urban R&B makes
"Smooth Grooves" an important his-
tory lesson. Yet treating the music on
"Smooth Grooves" as merely a his-
tory lesson does it a disservice -
there's no finer music for Valentine's
Day than these discs, and that's what
makes them valuable.

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Freiburg Orchestra warms cold night





By Emily Lambert
Daily Arts Writer
At the conclusion of the Freiburg
Baroque Orchestra's concert, the audi-
ence had witnessed a unique experi-
ence. The musicians had played with
style and skill, and famed countertenor
Drew Minter had given appreciative
concert-goers a sample of his amazing
artistry. Yet Sunday evening's perfor-
mance raised a perplexing question: If
Baroque music sounds so beautiful
when played on period instruments,
why are authentic performances such
as this so much of a novelty? While
some of us are eagerly awaiting the big
BaroqueRevival, theFreiburg Baroque
Orchestra isn't holding its breath for
public whim to turn towards histori-
cally accurate performances.
There were other questions raised
as well. For example, who is this ob-
scure composer Lorenzo Gaetano
Zavateri, whose fantastic Concerto No.
10 graced the program's second half?
From the dramatic pauses of the open-
ing bars to the conversational violin
concertino, the piece exuded energy. If
there is a reason this work has been
Are You Going to Eat That
Sub Pop
Before you glance at the label and
location of this Portland, Oregon-
based trio and assume that PACIFIC
about this: would your typical grunge
band employ a full-time interpretive
dancer named Fred?

ignored for 250 years, concertmaster
Gottfried von der Goltz and his col-
leagues proved the reason to be a poor
- Freiburg
Baroque Orchestra
Rackham Auditorium
February 12, 1995
Minter joined the ensemble to per-
form songs from the popular English
opera "Dido and Aeneas" by Henry
Purcell. Although Minter's theatrics and
vocal beauty made this a pleasure to
listen to, his memorable interpretation
ofDomenico Scarlatti's "SalveRegina"
was the highlight of the program.
Scarlatti is best known for his piano
sonatas, but his setting of this llth-
century chant is distinctive and digni-
fied. Minter's grace and austere elegance
sailed over lush string textures, though
it was to a slightly brisk beginning

The ensemble reclaimed center stage
with an energetic performance of'
Corelli's Concerto Grosso in D major.
The Allegro movements were full of
vitality, and the strings' fast passage
work was nothing short of spectacular.
The old instruments were fascinat-
ing but not as much as the beauty of
their music when they wereplayed. The
Theorbo, a close relative of the lute,
was particularly unusual. The voices of
the strings, sans vibrato , reflected the
ensemble's dedication to historical ac-
The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra aug-
mented the program with a work by
"We like Ann Arbor lots, and would like
stay just a little bit longer." The audience,
whose small size I will blame on the
subzero temperatures, responded likewise
by calling the ensemble backforan encore
and numerous bows.
More than an ordinary concert, Sun-
day night's performance was the experi-
ence of Baroque music as it was meant to
be played - a trip back in time to hear
ers created them.
Somehow, those: wild European
blokes called dEUS have managed to
take a few alternating violin notes,
distorted shouting and fuzzy guitar
riffs and turn them into a surprisingly
good album. The first song, "Suds &
Soda," is a musical seizure, featuring
screeching violins and some guy who
just keeps shouting "Friday!" over
and over again. It's unusual and scary
and very fun to dance to.
"W.C.S" lends a jazzy, hip-hop
feel to an album also laced with some

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enougn to oaiance me punk-pop
scale evenly.
Intelligent lost-love lyrics and the
bittersweet harmonies forged by
Krebs and Bleyle (also of the great
Portland chick band Team Dresch)
turn the acoustic folk of "Crowned"
and the adrenaline buzz of "Chasing
After James" into bright, albeit slightly
rough, gems.
Don't just "Eat" this one. Chew it
slowly (it's a little crunchy), swal-
low, and feel the smile spread over


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