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January 29, 1997 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-29

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8 The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 29, 1997

Verve Jazz Fest swings into the Michigan
Y }
in one form or another, all Jazz
musicians give their nods to a mas-
sive and dominating tradition. To
even the most revolutionary and
avant-garde performer, the history
of the music that has come before
him is always in the room. The
Verve Jazz Festival will be swinging
into the Michigan Theater tomorrow
and bringing with it a roll of holy
thunder not heard since Count
Basie sat on the throne of Kansas
City. The show features trumpeter
Nicholas Payton, guitarist Mark
Whitfield and bassist Christian
McBride with the Kansas City All-
Stars (as seen in the Robert
Altman film "Kansas City") as well
Te Kansas City gang (top) and Joe as the Charlie Hayden Quartet and
Henderson (above) are appearing the Joe Henderson Trio. The show
tonorrow at the Verve Jazz Fest at begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are
the lichigan Theater. $20-$25.
toC and plaY
Cp -."

Jamison reads about depression tonight*

By Dean Bakopoulos
Daily Arts Writer
Imagine a scholar, a world authority on a mental ill-
ness that affects millions. She stands atop her field, at
the forefront of medical research about the disease.
She teaches at UCLA and Johns Hopkins University.
She spends time as an Oxford fellow, with innovative
research into the links between
manic depression and creativity.
And then, after nearly 30 years* P9



of suffering, she comes out and
says that she is one of the millions
affected by the disease. Meet Kay
Jamison, manic depression schol-
ar and sufferer.
Jamison went public with her struggle with depres-
sion in 1995, with the book "An Unquiet Mind: A
Memoir of Moods and Madness." Though Jamison
had published scholarly works on manic depression
before, this marked the first time she published a book
that delved deep into her personal struggle with the
condition. .
Jamison will read from that book at Borders tomor-
row night to promote the Vintage Books edition of
"An Unquiet Mind."
Jamison's memoir has been a smashing success,


soaring onto and up best-seller lists, perhaps a testa-
ment to the widespread effects of depression on people
in all stages and corners of society. Other books in
1995, like the sleekly marketed and hyped "Prozac
Nation" by Elizabeth Wurtzel, called attention to
"Generation X's" widespread depression plague. But
Jamison's book was particularly powerful in its magni-
tude. This was a tremendously
honest and straightforward
E V I E W account of depression, and it came
from one of the world's foremost
(ay Jamison authorities on the subject.
Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The honesty of "An Unquiet
Borders, Free Mind" is what makes the book so
stirring. True, Jamison gives
accounts of a life she almost ended with her own hand,
a life that saw the ruin of her finances as well as her
first marriage. She does not glamorize depression (as
some critics will accuse her and other "manic depres-
sion memoir" authors of doing).
But she is honest. She notes that there were some
manic phases, huge "highs" as she calls them, in
which she felt invincible. These manic phases fueled
her with energy and an unbridled creativity; they fired
her imagination and sharpened her senses. During
these phases, she writes, "I could fly through star

fields and slide along the rings of Saturn."
In all, the horrors and hardships of her condition fr
outweighed the brief and intense manic highs. In "An
Unquiet Mind," Jamison admits that she had phases in
which she did not want to take her medication. She
didn't want to lose those highs.
Today, Jamison takes her medication. She has a suc-
cessful second marriage. She continues her work as
professor and clinician at Johns Hopkins, and her lit
remains relatively stable. With the help of a lithium
prescription and regular psychotherapy (which she
believes is essential to the treatment of depression),
Jamison remains a respected researcher in the field of
mental illness, but one who has been able to share her
own painful and moving story.
At the beginning of "An Unquiet Mind," a quote
from the poet Byron serves as an epigraph: "I doubt
sometimes whether a quiet and unagitated life would
have suited me - yet I sometimes long for it."
So goes the struggle for manic depressives. The il*
ness becomes part of the personality, part of ones
identity and it can be, strangely enough, hard to imag-
ine one's life without it. And at the same time, life
without seems like it would be wonderful.
This is the struggle Jamison chronicles. And she
does so wonderfully.

Choral Union, DSO
play captivating show

Get off your keester and head for
the nearest computer with Web access.
Enter H&R Block's "H&R Rock" Sweepstakes
at www.hrblock.'com/tax/college
CD'SM DA from one of the college c'rcut's
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zu mrtov'e AWRD DAILY.
as ythore adp enugh to have your name drawn
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Let's go. H&R Rock ends 3/10/97. Enter today!

By Jack Schillaci
Daily Arts Writer
What do you get when you mix 180
singers, 100 instrumentalists and two
soloists with completely unpronounce-
able names? You get last Sunday's
University Musical Society Choral
Union concert with
the Detroit R
Symphony R
Orchestra. The
music of Russian
composers Peter
Ilych Tchaikovsky
and Sergei
Rachmaninoff filled Hill Auditorium as
UMS presented a throng of guest per-
formers as well as its own Choral
Union. The performers did their job
beautifully - capturing every nuance
of the composers' works. The concert's
only drawback was that the music was
not interesting enough to grab the audi-
ence's full attention.
The DSO deserves many congratula-
tions. Their performance was outstand-
ing - not a single technical error
throughout the rigorous and demanding
productions. At the same time, they
captured the spirit and energy of the
composers' works.
The concert opened with
Tchaikovsky's "Overture from the
Voyevode" from his first opera. The DSO
stood out by filling Hill Auditorium with


the accuracy and dexterity that the com-
poser's work requires. Some especially
complex string and woodwind sections
made the work particularly trying, yet the
group came through.
The work, however, is formulaic
Tchaikovsky: quick string runs, piccolos
flitting above the
E V I E W rest of the orchestra
and an upbeat
JMS Choral tempo. Following
Union the formula has cre-
HilI Auditorium ated an exciting, if
Jan. 26, 1997 not uninspired,
Vladimir Popov filled the cantata's
tenor solo role well. He sang strongly
over the sound of the orchestra, show-
casing the strength and breadth of his
The cantata is at times somber and
uplifting and at still others it sounds like
the orchestral interludes from the movie
"The Goonies." On the whole, it is a
departure from the composer's estab-
lished method and it reminded me of one
of Mozart's quiet concertos rather than
the fury-driven power of Tchaikovsky.
Tchaikovsky wrote the piece in less
than four months and was forced to bor-
row heavily from some of his sym-
phonies. This shows greatly in the lack
of the music's depth - occasionally, the
music is almost reduced to a four-part
chorus with nearly no instruments play-

Neeme Jarvi conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at Sunday's performance.

ing that don't just mimic a sung part.
The final scheduled piece, "Conerto
for Piano and Orchestra in D Minor" by
Rachmaninoff, brought the audience
the skill and musicality of pianist Leif
Ove Andsnes. His performance was
phenomenal - capturing the beauty of
his instrument while balancing well
with the orchestra.
However, the choice of music is at
question once again. The melody is
beautiful, but at times the song turns
into a mind-numbing repetition of
arpeggios and broken chords on the
piano. Rachmaninoff uses some clever
tricks to connect the parts of the work,
like changing one note in the main
theme to lead the listener on.

Unfortunately, that change is nears
undetectable and it sounds like the same
thing over and over.
The dream-like quality of the music
and Andsnes' playing made the music
gorgeous but hard to listen to at a stretch
And a stretch the song was - the thrio
movements took more than 20 minutes.
All in all, the performers were exc5I-
lent. They captured and expanded on
the composers' genius. The problem
with this performance, however, w
that the music selection left too much t
be desired. A more captivating selection
of music would have held the audi-
ence's attention far better and made the
performance quite a bit more memo-

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_ . _ _ _ ,_ _ _ _ bII


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