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November 09, 1999 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Larissa Szporluk reads at Rackham Ampitheatre. Szporluk is
te author of "Dark Sky Question," winner of the 1997 Barnard
New Women Poet's Prize. 5 p.m.

(be Litrigmi 1Mg

Tomorrow in Daily Arts:
* Check out a review of the new ABC film version of "Annie."
November 9, 1999




'it Kerry
By John Uhl
Daily Arts Writer
Sting once sang of "the sacred
geometry of chance" in reference to a
gambling addict who found meaning
in the probabilities of the random.
,night, when the performance of an
international trio (German pianist
Georg Graewe, Dutch cellist Ernst
Reijseger and American percussionist
Gerry Hemingway are on their first
tour in several years), is recorded at
Kerrytown Concert House, a similar
anticipation of unexpected outcomes
will play a pivotal role in shaping the
group's performance.
"The music you're hearing in the trio
is entirely impro-
v i s e d "
4 Hemingway said
in a recent inter-
Graewe, Rejseger view. "There's no
and Hemingway written music
Kerrytown Concert House whatsoever in this
Tonight at 8 ensemble; there
never has been."
Not only does
the force of
Jchance guide the
music that the trio
produces, but it
has helped config-
ure the group
itself Originally a quartet, an absent
musician forced the ensemble to reimag-
ine itself for a performance date. "We
did it as a trio and something just
clicked," said Hemingway. "Sometimes
that's how groups find themselves,
through a series of happenstances."
I ikewise, as the trio's performance is
to be professionally recorded, the possi-
bility of the event becoming a complete,
produced compact disc is uncertain. "it
depends;' said Hemingway, "Maybe
wve'll have a terrible night, just play
awful, the recording will have a buzz all

Instrumental ensemble
performs baroque 'Arthur'

By Jennifer Gates
For the Daily
When the lights dim tomorrow
night at Hill Auditorium, Les Arts
Florissants promises not only to send
its audience back in time to the
medieval time period through its
subject, but to the Baroque time peri-
od through its presentation of Henry
Purcell's "King Arthur."
Les Arts Florissants is a vocal and
instrumental ensemble based out of
France that specializes in 17th and
18th Century music. The group does
its own research in order to recreate
historically accurate productions.
They perform all over the world and

Courtesy of Graewe-Reijseger-Hemingway
Ernst Reijseger and Gerry Hemingway will perform at Kerrytown Concert House.

the way through it; there's anything that
could happen."
Graewe is a little more optimistic.
"I'm excited," he said from a Vancouver
hotel. "That's about it."
Indeed. Graewe seems to place less
stock in the power fortune holds over the
ensemble. When asked about the trio's
creation, he answered, "Well, I just
called 'em up. I had seen them play with
other people and I thought they would fit
perfectly well with what I wanted... after
one or two minutes (of playing), it was
Even the completely impromptu
music the group creates carries a sense
of predictablility to Graewe. The pianist,
who has composed works for solo piano,
chamber ensembles and symphonic
orchestras, feels that improvisation is
simply the art of composing sponta-
neously. "Improvisation is a discipline of
composition, he said. "There's no pre-
arranged structure, but basically it's all
about structure."
This balance between organization
and complete freedom of expression is at
the heart of improvisation. At first, the
music of this trio can sound dissonant or
even aimless. But a serious listen will
reveal dynamic contrasts and themes
emerging over the course of many min-
utes of abstract sonic experimentation.
Moreover, there are specific moments

when the group sounds as if it is thinking
in unison: Reijseger's slide from
pointilistic cello plucks to a walking
bassline compliments Graewe's piano
phrase shift like socks on linoleum; the
group often simultaneously executes
abrupt stops and starts.
"I'm involved in looking at music in a
certain kind of way, through the eyes of
a composer," said Hemingway, who, like
Graewe, writes for numerous contexts.
"When I look at this music and I look at
the results, I'm envious. It's very hard to
fashion something like this, as a com-
poser, that's so organic."
Aside from years of musical train-
ing, practice and performance, the
sophistication of the trio's work is per-
haps most possible because of some-
thing Hemingway mentioned about the
improvising world. "You could maybe
generalize that the Europeans have
some stance that is uniquely theirs,
that differs, to some degree, from the
Brooklyn crowd and the New York
crowd," he said, "but all these things
feed each other ultimately, because
we're all interracting and playing with
each other all the time."
There exists a level of familiarity
between almost all improvising musi-
cians that can allow these three, who've
not played together in years, to produce
some beautiful music.

L~es Arts
Hill Auditorium
Wednesday at 8 p.m.

have won many
awards, includ-
ing an "early
o p e r a"
Award in 1995
for Purcell's
"King Arthur."
The musical
e n s e m b I e
arrives in Ann
Arbor celebrat-
ing their 30th
W i l l i a m
Christie estab-

lished Les Arts Florissants in Paris in
1979. Christie grew up in Buffalo,
New York studying the piano, organ
and harpsichord. Upon graduation
from Harvard and Yale he left for
France and worked with an experi-
mental music group.
After he established Les Arts
Florissants, Christie became the first
American professor at the
Conservatoire National Superieur de
Musique de Paris, directing their
early music program. It was not until
22 years after his arrival in France
that he became a French citizen,
awarded the prestigious French
Legion d'Honneur in 1993.
Recently in 1997, Christie was

William Christie directs Les Arts Floriss
awarded the "Prix Grand Siecle
Laurent Perrier" for his services to
French music.
While Les Arts Florissants' prima-
ry interest is in French composers,
they do works from other nations as
well. For example, their performance
tomorrow will be a historic recon-
struction of the English composer
Henry Purcell's 1691 "semi-opera,"
"King Arthur." As Purcell aged, he
became very fond of these "semi-
operas;" or multi-media collabora-
tions between composer, playwright,
producer, choreographer, actors,

Courtesy of ICM Artists
singers, scene painters and machio-
Les Arts Florissants' performance
of "King Arthur" will be semi-staged
as it would have been seen in 1691 in
London's Dorset Garden. It will
involve 18 instrumentalists, nine
vocalists, three dancers, and two
actors. University Professor of,
Music Ellwood Derr will give a free
pre-concert lecture at 7pm in the
League's Vandenberg Room.
For more information call
UMS at 764-2538. Tickets are
priced at $14, $20, $30 and $40.

MTV'sxsHeadtrip' is a sorry
exercise in mindless futility

Read the Daily online! wwvw.michigandaity.com

By Peter Cunniffe
For the Daily
In a turn of events surprising to no one, yet another new
cartoon has debuted this fall. Producers these days seem to
be increasingly enamored of the potential for cartoons to
attract audiences. The like-minded programmers at MTV
m to think that throwing the staple stars of their channel
into these cartoons as well is an even
* 41 |$ better idea. And why not, though
< i dreadful, MTV's Celebrity Death
Match is a hit and it seems like a gen-
Headtrip uinely good idea to base more TV
shows on the heckling of the laughable
No Stars gaggle of stars currently popular with
MTV MTV's audience.
Mon.-Fri. at 9 p.m. Unfortunately, what MTV has given
us is "Head Trip;' possibly the worst
show in the sorry history of failed
MTV television shows. There is no
real point or direction to this show,
each is merely a series of unrelated
scenes that are, without exception,
incredibly unentertaining.
"Head Trip's" basic component, cutouts of celebrity's
heads saying witty things, is even stupider than it sounds.
The photograph heads on badly animated bodies evoke
South Park's rendition of Saddam Hussein, but unlike
Saddam, "Head Trip's" characters don't have anything even

remotely funny to say.
"Head Trip" serves up such wretch inducing scenes as
Ricky Martin trying to convince someone how loco he is
because he runs with scissors, the revelation that Brittany
Spears is a robot and Puff Daddy does really bad standup
comedy. Its like they wanted this show to be funny, but just
in case anyone portrayed might be offended, they limited the
edginess of "Head Trip's" humor to the occasional use of
the word "bitch".
"Head Trip" isn't all poorly written cartoon high jinks
though. There are also music videos with what MTV terms
"funny comments" but which are better characterized as the
most unimaginative, insipid jokes ever written. It's like
8eavis and Butthead, only much more stupid. Doesn't
sound possible? Just try to imagine people with squeaky
voices spending three minutes commenting on the dancing
in a Sugar Ray video.
One would think anyone could come up with amusing
things to say about Brandy and Monica's fun-to-deride
video for "The Boy is Mine," but "Head Trip" fails even at
this seemingly simple task.
There is no break from "Head Trip's" proclivity to
being annoying and unwatchable throughout its unbear-
ably long half-hour. MTV, defying all expectations, has
managed to sink even lower in the quality of its program-
ming. They'd be better off just putting on more Backstreet
Boys videos than leaving the horrendously bad "Head
Trip" on the air any longer

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Collection kicks wit hX' poetry

Generation X
Poetry: In Our
Own Words
Edited by Marlow Peerse
W Enterprises
We are Generation X. Each one of us
is a member of generation labeled by
two crossing lines. Yet we are not one
and the same. Each one of us has a voice
and. something valid to say. Such is
what Marlow Peerse Weaver set out to

are the poems included in the collection.
The subjects of the poems range from
what it feels like to be locked in this gen-
eration, to sex, drugs and death. There is
no central theme to the book, which
serves to produce an all-encompassing
collection to which people of all genera-
tions can relate.
Perhaps not surprisingly, two of the
180 featured poets in the book are
University of Michigan students; no
other university or college can boast
such an achievement.
Weaver expresses her intent of the
book. She writes, "This book is an

aspect remains constant: the ring of hon-
esty throughout. While the poems
encompass moods of joy, anger and sar-
casm, the human quality is ever present.
The book is particularly poignant for
precisely this reason. Generation Xers
are not merely automatons, feeling emo-
tions dictated by another, more insipid
generation. Rather, the collection proves
that those who comprise this generation
are as extremely individualistic as the
label is conformist.
If nothing else, the collection conveys
the- ever present, ever growing rift
between the generation Xers and the

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