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February 14, 1997 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-14

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 14, 1997- 11

-Main St
Fnrmer 'Con
AtBy e IsAckles
F1or ealy
Gayne Cotter on drugs:
* "t ven quit drinking coffee for a
white. I'm relatively drug-free. Wait,
doe$ rack count? I never go anywhere
witit my pipe."
C ter, the former host of Fox's
" Ic Strip
Live,"and his pipe PR
will be performing h
in Ann Arbor this V
weekend. He
prefers doing
and-up tours to Mainstreet
osting television
shows, and he expressed anxiety about
being "90 and still doing television."
Cotter's warm-up ritual consists of
racing from the airport at 90 mile per
hour to get to the show on time and
reviewing his notes if time permits.
Cotter's routine doesn't include a lot
of sexually perverse humor, although
he admits that, uncensored by advertis-
*s, he may be "a bit more risque" in
person. Cotter has concerns about
being billed as a "safe" comedian; he
said it's easier for comedians with more
crass repertoire to draw a crowd in a
college town.
'"I have funny observations about
life' sounds like such a lame way to
describe yourself," Cotter said.
Woices br
By i ly Lambert
D4 rts Writer
,story behind "Voices of Light" is
thb^iuff of legend - and of good pub-
licitfy material. Sunday's "Voices" per-
formance, at the Michigan Theater
narks the latest
chapter in a tale
packed with wild P1
coincidence. VO
The story begins
in 1492 with the
bit& of Joan of $24-$36; $1
A ,then winds its
way through a revolution, a capture, an
excommunication and a death by fire.
Several hundred years later, in 1927,
renohman Carl Dreyer filmed "The
assion of Joan of Arc" about the trial
of the girl-warrior. Dreyer's silent film
met with immediate acclaim, but all
went up in smoke in a 1928 warehouse
fire.
Dreyer reconstructed his elaborate
undertaking from outtakes. But in one
of thiN story's many bizarre parallels,
the second version was also destroyed
in a fire. Dreyer suffered a mental
#reakdown soon after and checked into
a hospital, the Joan of Arc Clinic.
"Passion" was believed lost forever,
until it turned up in 1981 - in the jan-
itorial closet of a Norwegian mental
institution.
And then, seven years later, Richard
Einhorn happened upon the film while
exploring the archives of New York's
Museum of Modern Art.
Einhorn, a composer and a 1975
graduate of Columbia University, was
esearching an entirely different project
: at the time. An under-recognized artist,

he supported himself by producing and
writing scores for television programs
and movies - some better, some
worse. But Dreyer's film and its subject
captivated him.
"What's a nice Jewish boy doing with
a crazy Catholic female saint?" asked
Einhorn last week in an interview with
;he Michigan Daily.
Religion was an idea largely ignored
in his artistic circle, and Einhorn want-
ed to probe. Years before, a friend had
suggested Joan of Arc as a subject for a
composition, but Einhorn thought the
idea a lousy one - until he saw
Dreyer's film.
"It blew my mind, just totally blew
my mind," Einhorn said. "So I dropped
everything and started to work on this
roject."
4 This project included years of
research, which took Einhorn to France
and back. Fascinated by "Joany" (he's
on a first-name basis with the saint,
'I these days), Einhorn visited historical
sites and pored over books. The final
composition took just 3 1/2 months to

reet to welcome Cotter
nic Strip Live' comedian comes to A2

C
c

Cotter is a simple, straightforward
comic, engaging in few stage antics.
While he grudgingly doesn't advise
audience members to bring raincoats to
the show (Cotter, like some other funny
people, is not a prop comic), he said he
wishes they would wear them as a sym-
bol of support.
As for major
E V I W EWinfluences, Cotter
cited comedian
ayne Cotter Robert Klein. His
Friday and Saturday fascination with the
8:30 and 10:30 p.m. older comic stems
medy showcase: $12 from a similarity in
their styles.
"I had one bit that I did about people
opening up their Christmas presents
and everyone acting like it was a com-
mercial for the products they were
receiving and talking in announcers'
voices. Then I was watching (Klein)
and he did the same thing" Cotter
reflected.
He also mentioned a story about meet-
ing Klein when Cotter was 19. Klein told
him that about 95 percent of what come-
dians do deals with "getting up there in
front of people and just doing it.
"I wish I knew what that other five
percent was," quipped Cotter.
Cotter also said that one of his most
interesting experiences on stage
involved the fascinating tale of a heck-

Ier gone awry.
"I was at this huge club in Chicago,
and this guy - front row center - was
just babbling the whole time, you know
(incoherent mumbling). So finally, I'm
in the last five minutes of the show, in
the final stretch, and this guy jumps up
on stage, grabs the mic and starts
telling a penguin joke. He was a big
guy, so I just sort of let him, and I
picked up a chair and sort of tried to
tame him like a lion, he said.

"God forbid that they should ever
play a friendly crowd. What if you
asked someone what they do and they
said 'I sell lighting fixtures?"'
When asked about comedian rival-
ries, Cotter joked that he was peeved at
Carrot Top for stealing his act, but he
said that stand-up comics generally tend
to stick together. "There's really no 'I'll
kick Arsenio's ass' or anything," he

added.
Playing Ann

Questioning
the club's crite-
ria for ousting
patrons, Cotter
remarked: "The
bouncers only
escorted the
man back to his
chair.
"How much
physical danger
do I have to be
in before they
kick someone
out?" he won-
dered.

Arbor will be a
refreshing
change from the

There's reall
no 'I'll kick
Arsenlo 's ass' os
anything".

numerous cor-
Y porate shows
Cotter has
recently played.
He shared one
r of his tricks-of-
the-trade for
playing in corpo-
rate situations:
otter "If you can
Strip make a specific
Live" reference about
the job, they love

- Wayne C
t of "Comic

Former hos

Cotter also expressed confusion
about some acts he'd seen that involve
a lot of audience participation, particu-
larly those in which comics base their
routines on insulting members of the
audience.

it - like mentioning a certain drug at a
pharmaceutical convention."
Cotter always looks forward to play-
ing in college towns because he knows
the audience will be fairly receptive.
Of course, the eternal questions is,
how will he receive the audience?

Wayne Cotter will perform at Main Street Comedy Showcase this weekend.

ngs Joan of Arc's tale to light

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write.
The 81-minute result is difficult to
explain, Einhorn said, but easy to
understand from the audience. In short,
"Voices of Light" is a simultaneous per-
formance of Einhorn's composition and

REVIEW
ices of Light
Sunday at 7 p.m.
Michigan Theater
10 rush tickets available
Angeles Mozart

Dreyer's film.
Sunday's perfor-
mance of "Voices
of Light" will fea-
ture Anonymous 4
- the acclaimed,
all-female vocal
quartet - the Los
Orchestra, I Cantori

you."
"Voices" was premiered in 1994 by a
small arts organization in Northampton,
Mass.
He hoped for a New York perfor-
mance, and he got more. Einhorn
earned a Sony Classical CD, which
became a bestseller, and a profile in the
Wall Street Journal. "Voices" comes to
Ann Arbor on a national tour.
Einhorn is now working on new pro-
jects. His next is a comic opera about
Freud, which he calls Joan of Arc's evil
twin. Another composition is brewing
about issues of race.

This story of "Voices of Light" has-
n't ended yet, however, and neither
has Einhorn's fascination with Joan of
Arc.
"Joan was excommunicated and
burned by the church, and now she's a
saint. She's the only saint who's been
first burned," Einhorn said.
"Likewise, (Dreyer's) film was cen-
sored by the church, looked at as an
embarrassment. It's now made the
Vatican's list of top 50 films of all
time.
"Isn't that a wild parallel? I love
that."

10,000 Maniacs meets Grateful Dead
EDDIE FROM OH
Tliurs Feb 20 BLIND]I

conductor Lucinda Carver and three
vocal soloists.
Einhorn is generous with his time:
He called back after an afternoon of
interviews to finish answering ques-
tions. But he's also generous as a com-
poser, and he turns "Voices" over to the
audience with no strings attached. The
performance can be seen as a film with
score, a music-theater event or two par-
allel performances, he said. Make of it
what you will.
"The kinds of things that I like are
really multi-layered," said Einhorn. "I
think that everybody who experiences
the piece experiences it in a different
way."
Interpretation is free, but the score
is thoughtfully set. Because Joan of
Arc claimed to be guided by divine
voices, Einhorn included voices in the
score. For the libretto, he used writ-
ings of the bible, of female medieval
mystics and of Joan of Arc herself.
Joan, whose voice type is not known,
is represented by unison soprano and
alto lines.
Einhorn also recorded the sound of
the churchbell in Joan of Arc's birth-
place and incorporated it into the final
score.
Einhorn calls "Voices of Light" "a
piece about female heroism and spiritu-
ality, and particularly about Joan of
Arc." But he's the first to admit that "if
you want to know about a piece of
music, you don't ask the composer."
The music and texts touch on many
disciplines: religion, film, old music,
new music, history and more.
Einhorn is thrilled by performers' dif-
ferent interpretations and by the vari-
ety of responses he receives. He's also
thrilled by the variety of the audi-
ences, which once included a coven of
witches.
Though the piece is not hard to per-
form, Einhorn had trouble finding a
willing presenter.
"Presenters are very nervous unless
you have a track record," Einhorn said.
"Even if you've got an idea as great as
King Lear, you can have a lot of trouble
getting somebody to take a chance with

THROATSING1
Tuesday Feb 25
Dp il
a* i

of TEA
The Ark

"Voices of Light" combines Carl Dreyer's once-missing silent film and Richard
Einhom's composition.

The University of Michigan
School of Music
Sunday, February 16
The Faculty Recital by pianist Martin Katz
has been cancelled.
Tuesday, February 18
Jazz Combos
Gerald Cleaver and Donald Walden, directors
Britton Recital Hall, 8p.m.
Wednesday, February 19
The Faculty-Guest Recital by Richard Beene, Bassoon,
Deborah Chodacki, clarinet and Michelle Cooker, piano,
has been cancelled.
Thursday, February 20
Music Engineering Seminar Series
"Automated Musical Transcription"
by Andrew Sterian, University of Michigan
2039 E. V. Moore Bldg., 4:15 p.m.
Friday, February 21
University Choir and Chamber Choir
Jerry Blackstone and Theodore Morrison, conductors
James Kibbie, organist
" Kodaly: Missa Brevis
" music of Schubert, Dohnanyi and Chatman
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 22

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