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February 15, 2000 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-15

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FEBRUARY 15, 2000t

michigandaily.com /arts

Choir bridges
By Robyn Melamed labeled as such. It's more
1pr the Daily ern chant that is individua

New Floyd pays
Pink classic tribute

By Andrew Eder
For the Daily

e like mod-
1. Although

On Sunday evening, an enthusias-
tit audience filled the St. Francis of
Assisi Catholic Church to listen to
the enchanting sounds of the
.stonian Philharmonic Chamber
Choir. The
singing group,
a founded as an
amateur choir in
Estonian 1966 by Heino
Philharmonic Kaljust(, con-
Chamber Choir sists of 25 men
oAssisi and women.
St. Francs of Asss Often an orches-
Feb.13, 2000 tra accompanies
the group, how-
ever this perfor-
mance was
entirely a cap-
pella. It's a bit
difficult to cate-
gorize this type of music because it
carries such a fresh sound. Some
have called it contemporary classi-
cal, yet it may be a bit too hip to be

the text came directly from the
Russian Orthodox Church, its spiri-
tual nature is universal and is able to
cross religious boundaries.
The choir performed Arvo Part's
Kanon Pokajanen (Canon of
Repentance). This canon was per-
formed in Church Slavonic, an
exclusively ecclesiastical language,
and was broken up into seven odes.
In the English translation of the text,
the speaker becomes aware of his
sin, begs for forgiveness from God
and tells why he is unworthy. As the
speaker moves through these realiza-
tions of imperfection, Part used male
voices in the low registers to demon-
strate change of emotion. Although
most of the audience did not under-
stand the words, the mood and tone
of the odes made it relatively simple
to relate. This music was completely
moving and kept the audience mysti-
fied throughout the performance.
The first ode began with the entire
choir singing very robustly and then

While Pink Floyd's songs never really
sounded like the blues, the influence of
the blues on Floyd is undeniable. While
the band derived their name from two
American bluesmen and their lyrics of
alienation, fear and despair coincide the-
matically with the blues. Floyd's music
transcended the simplicity of blues pro-
gressions in favor of complex song
structures, psychedelic sound effects and
an almost classical precision.
The all-star cover band Blue
Floyd, which rolls into Detroit's
Majestic Theater tonight, returns the
songs to their roots in the blues. The
brainchild of manager Michael
Gaiman and gui-
tarist Allen
Woody, Blue
Floyd consists
Blue of Woody and

Courtesy of New World Classics
No this isn't Qui-Gon Jinn, it's Estonian Chamber Choir director Tonu Kaijuste.

each part was given the limelight.
Throughout the seven odes, the
ensemble made terrific use of
crescendo and decrescendo, making
it easy to detect the most powerful
points of each ode.
Artistic director and conductor
Tonu Kaljuste was completely accu-
rate, expressive and in synchroniza-
tion with the choir. He kept control
of the choir as a whole, and was a
key figure of the performance. Part

expressed the beauty of simplicity in
this canon, and placed a great deal of
emphasis on silence between the
notes. This had a calming, yet
intense effect in the overall sound of
the music.
Interestingly enough, classical
music might just be the next hit with
the younger generation. With the
new, mesmerizing sounds of The
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber
Choir, it is very possible.

Majestic Theater
Tonight at 8 p.m.
boardist and singer

drummer Matt
Abts, both from
Gov't Mule
(whose new
album, "Life
Before Insanity,"
hits stores
Tuesday), for-
mer Black
Crowes guitarist
Marc Ford, key-
Johnny Neel and

tising. Woody also pointed to the influ-
ence of the Internet: The band hash an
extensive website, www blueflovd. com
and they have an entire show available
for download at wwwtapetree.comn.
Blue Floyd hopes to release n
material over the Internet soon.
The band covers Pink Floyd
favorites like "Have a Cigar," "Wish
You Were Here" and "Money," while
also dusting off older tracks like
"Interstellar Overdrive" and "Set :the
Controls for the Heart of the Sun."
Their versions remain relatively faith-
ful to the originals, but they are punc-
tuated by Southern rock flourishes,
soulful vocals and a jam-band men
Blue Floyd's performances su tly
emphasize the presence of the blues in
Pink Floyd's music. "They're not inthe
blues category," Woody said. "But they
use many of the same chord changes as
the blues. And the overall attitude is
the same.
Some Pink Floyd songs would sdem
to lend themselves to a blues treatnment
more than others, but Woody said I
the songs were chosen on their
merit. He named two, classics from
"The Wall," "Young Lust" and "In the
Flesh," as favorites of his to perform,
along with "Set the Controls for :the
Heart of the Sun" from "A Saucerful of
Blue Floyd is full of surprises -the
band accentuates its shows with snip-
pets of songs from other bands, sucO as
the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby"
Stevie Wonder's funk -classi
"Superstition." The band even did a
show backed by a complete showing of
"The Wizard of Oz;" adding to the
"Dark Side of the Moon"/"Wizard of
Oz" synchronization legend.
Though little over a month old, Blue
Floyd performs with a group cohesion
that would make most bands drool.
While its enthusiasm for the music of
Pink Floyd shines through, the b-d
doesn't overpower the material. A
result, Blue Floyd is more of a tribute
band than a cover band. They add tothe
already rich legacy of a classic group.

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bassist Berry Oakley. Woody, Abts,
Neel and Oakley have all previously
worked with the Allman Brothers
"We didn't want to be one of those
lounge acts that apes the band
they're covering, Woody said over the
phone from his New Orleans hotel
room. "We know we can't be a better
Pink Floyd than Pink Floyd."
Blue Floyd was born this past
Christmas after Gaiman telephoned
Woody with the concept. The two set-
tIed on the current lineup, and the band
debuted on the 14th of January at the
Sun Theater in Anaheim, California.
Since then, they have gained momen-
tum mainly via word of mouth adver-



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