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March 31, 2004 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-31

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Wednesday
March 31, 2004
arts.michigandaily.com
artseditor@michigandaily.com

ATusMOa

5

EVEN-STEVENS
INSTRUMENTATION TAKES CENTER STAGE

By Andrew Horowitz
Daily Arts Writer
Music REVIEW *
Less than a year after establishing himself with
Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lakes State,
Sufjan Stevens returns with the introspective
Seven Swans. Produced by Daniel Smith of the
Danielson Famile, Seven Swans is a much barer
effort, showcasing Stevens
without any of his usual Sufjan
exorbitance (on Michigan,
Stevens is credited with play-
ing nearly 20 instruments). Seven Swans
This pared-down approach is Sounds Familyre
a welcome change, bringing
greater lucidity to Stevens's spiritually centered
lyrics. Seven Swans, tender from start to finish,
reinforces the honest voice of a first-rate talent.
The album is so honest, in fact, that it's easy to
ignore the fact that this release isn't just Sufjan
and his banjo. As on Nick Drake's Pink Moon,
there's a certain vulnerability in Stevens' bare-
bones approach. The vocals are delivered with a
nonchalance and sincerity strong enough to solidi-
fy an instant listener rapport. And like Pink Moon,
the sound is so captivating that it creates an entire
world in which all other sounds exist unnoticed.
Album opener "All the Trees of the Field Will
Clap Their Hands" is as poetic as its title implies.
The repeated banjo motif is layered with simple

melody and a single-note pianodfigure, and it
builds with minimal drums and doubled female
vocal harmonies. After climaxing, the sound
immediately fades into "The Dress Looks Nice on
You." Similarly, this tune begins with just Stevens
and his guitar and crescendos to a peak.
Stevens enjoys taking unadorned backdrops -
usually banjo or guitar - and building complex
polyrhythmic structures. This compositional
approach works on each individual song and on
the album as a whole. Each song is crafted to gen-
tly expand on an initial concept, and many times
Stevens chooses to muse on certain phrases. By
the album's conclusion - the quirky, elevating
"The Transfiguration" - something intangible
has happened. Stevens's vocal presence seems all
the more present, even with intensified symphon-
ic texturing.
Thematically, Stevens draws inspiration from
various sources. The Flannery O'Connor-
inspired "A Good Man is Hard to Find" reveals a
dark unease inspired by the story of the same
name. The biblically referenced "Abraham" pon-
ders the Hebrew patriarch and his test of faith.
Religion takes a backseat to faith, and this, when
it comes down to it, keeps the album from isolat-
ing listeners.
This music has the power to transcend and
inspire. It's honest, affirming, truthful, hurtful and
beautiful. Stevens has created a testament of faith
so breathtaking in its simplicity that we're stuck
wondering: What's more to say?

THE HOTTEST PICKS IN ENTERTAINMENT
FROM A DAILY ARTS WRITER
"Reno 911!" and "The Apprentice" - "Reno 911!" is pure bril-
liance and it airs during dinner, which is a definite plus. "The
Apprentice" ... well, admit it: Reality TV is addicting. Someone
needs to make it stop.
The Federal Communications Commission - Thank God some-
one's putting a stop to nipples, deplorable violence, naughty curse
words, Howard Stern and everything else that's wrong with our
country. For fuck's sake, it's about time.

3

"Songs of Innocence and Experience" - Pulitzer Prize winner
and Music Prof. William Bolcom is one week away from having his
New Yorks Times-labeled "masterpiece" return to Hill Auditorium
for the first time since its U.S. premiere in 1984. The roughly 450
musicians required to pull off the William Blake song cycle include
a full chorus, orchestra, reggae band, rock group, multiple soloists,
maestro Leonard Slatkin and hell knows what else. It doesn't get
much bigger than this.

2

Remember that scene In "Deliverance?"

Shakespeare's first drama 'Titus' performed at 'U'

Arthur Miller on campus - How
often is it that one of the greatest
living playwrights attends his
alma mater to speak during "An
Arthur Miller Celebration?"
Jon Brion - With his recent score
for "Eternal Sunshine of the
Spotless Mind," an upcoming
album from Fiona Apple, an
experimental rock
group,and a follow-up to
the pop masterpiece Mean-
ingless, producer/compos-
er/musician-extraordinaire
Jon Brion will continue to
conquer the world.

By Rachel Berry
Daily Arts Writer

ful is to be noble and one doesn't
always have to substitute one hand for
another. With this play she hopes to
send the message that, "In the post-9-
11 world there is another way besides

Senior Megan Marod will con-
clude her directing career at the Uni-
versity with William Shakespeare's
first tragedy, "Titus Andronicus,"
and an equally powerful political
message. Notorious for its morbidity,
psychological games and characters
pushed to emotional limits, "Titus
Andronicus" deals with the conse-
quences of violence.
The play begins and ends with the
words "Noble pity." Marod believes
Shakespeare is saying that to be piti-

violence."
Poet Ben Jon-
son once said that
Shakespeare "was
not of a time, but
for all time."
Marod hopes that
the audience will
see that "people
have been having
the same problems

Titus
Andron icus
Thursday - Saturday
at 7 p.m. and
Sunday at 11 p.m.
Free
At the Arena Theater
for basically all

"Titus Andronicus" prove especially
timely in today's world. By taking the
classical works that aren't about Iraq,
but that deal with the issues of "war,
media, politicians and violence and the
loss of loved ones ... by presenting the
message in a more allegorical way,
hopefully the message becomes an
even more powerful one and reaches a
larger audience," Marod said.
Consequently, she has eliminated a
distinct time period in order to accen-
tuate the timelessness of the story's
themes. The cast will be outfitted in
mainly Roman togas, and the females
will be wearing Elizabethan dresses to
represent the influence of the Shake-
spearian era on the story. The audience

can see how the Roman story inter-
sects with modern life and is flavored
by Shakespeare.
Marod's advice to perspective audi-
ence members is to pay special atten-
tion to the "dinner scene, where Tamara
is fed a pie with her two sons baked in
it, and to Marcus's monologue to
Livinia after her hands and tongue have
been cut off." These exemplify the
power struggle in the play and are
among two of her favorite scenes.
"It is important to do this play right
now because it lets us see the conse-
quences of the morbidity," Marod
said. "It also shows how as people
push past the violence, they create
these amazing bonds."

Courtesy of International Creative Management

eternity and maybe we can find better
solutions." The issues and message of

- 1

21-

wk../

DANCE
MARATHON
strives to engage and empower the campus and community
by building support and raising funds for children in need of
pediatric rehabilitation programs.
For more information please visit us at:
www.umdm.org
Dance Marathon 2004 would like to
Thank Our Generous Sponsors!

Congratulationsto the
2004 DANCERS!

Catering Sponsors and their
Sponsorship levels
Restaurant Level
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A ---- C ( o AI

Tio's
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Services
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Oasis
Weber's
Exotic Bakeries
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Platinum
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Dance Marathon 2004 Dancers
Lindsay Achs
Mychael Ackerman
Beth Adelson
Anna Leena af UrsinMonza
Nichole Ahnen
Melanie Aho
Matthew Aldridge
Annie Amin
Vinod Anandarajah
Brooke Anchill
Karen Andrews
Jennifer Anzo
Alexandra Axell
Colleen Badgero
Rajesh Bandla
Megan Banka
Ashlee Baracy
Laura Barkley
Megan Bartula
Surair Bashir
Joanna Beck
Rajbir Bedi
Katie Benedetto
Nicole Benmen
Justin Benoit
Elizabeth Berk
Kelsey Berndt
Christopher Best
Pavan Bhargava
Humaa Bhatti
Deepali Bhavsar
Miriam Bhimani
Megan Bidgoli
Jessica Blose
Selim Bogdanowicz
Karlee Boike
Valerye Boles
Andrea Bolterstein
Cassie Bornemeier
Emily Borushko
Andrea Bosco
Michaela Bosshard
Bharti Bothra
Elizabeth Bovair
Trisha Boyd
Erin Boyle
Julia Boyles
Sarah Bradbury
Emily Bretz
Susanna Brinkerhoff
Michelle Broderick
Rachael Brody
Cian Brogan
Meredith Brooks
Holly Bruce
Abby Buchwach
Jennifer Burke
Heather Burney
Elizabeth Burpee
Mary Byenka
Andy Capanyola
Beth Caplis
Constantinos Caramondanis
Jacob Carlson
Angela Carrier
Layla Carson
Jessica Carver
Cesarina Castellanos
Andrea Catau
StaceyaCauley
Tia Chakraborty
nnrf r ha

Marisa Crane
Alissa Dandalides
Angela Darket
Catherine Darnell
Charlotte Davis
Brittany Davis
Mita De
Sarah DeFrain
Kara Dendrinos
Meera Desai
Nipa Desai
Kristina Diamantoni
Jessica Dickson
Sarah Diefenbach
Nathaniel Diego
Erin Dietrich
Luliana Dit
Melissa Donovan
Jennifer Dooley
StaceyDorozenski
Lauren Dosik
Lauren Dritz
Benjamin Dryden
Meghan Dubois
Megan Dunagan
Janine Dupree
Carly Ehrenberger
Heba EI-Essawi
Sarah Elgin
Jennifer Elliott
Anthony Endress
Lauren Epstein
Carlos Escoto
Maristella Evangelista
Nicole Exe
Alok Ezhuthachan
Cristina Faiver
Erica Farrell
Jenna Felczak
Jennifer Feld
Lauren Fell
Emily Fenbert
Deborah Feng
Emily Findley
Shannon Fink
Laura Fischer
Matt Fisher
Adam Fishman
Stacey Flagstead,
Christina Flanagan
Amanda Fletcher
Sarah Fogoros
Megan Foley
Lauren Freyermuth
Lauren Furlong
Larissa Galan
Angela Galardi
Carlos Galaviz
Jessica Galimore
Aastha Gandhi
Kim Garelick
Lev Gartman
Tara Gavioli
Kristie Gaynier
Michael Georgoff
Jennifer Gerteisen
Michael Ghannam
Elizabeth Gilbert
Eric Gilpin
Sam Goldberger
Allison Goldstein
Clarita Gonzalez

Janel Hasse
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Byron Hauck
Blake Heidenreich
Adam Hellebuyck
Devon Heltsley
Samantha Hensley
Katie Hentkowski
Katie Herrmann
Mary Hillemeier
Emily Ho
Timothy Hodes
Katherine Hoeg
David Hoffman
Andria Hoffman
Sheila Hogan
Scott Holzwarth
Samantha Hosenkamp
Sabrina Hovious
Sonya Hovsepian
Werlson Hwang
Audrey Irawan
Summy Jafri
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Amber Janis
Maha Jawad
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Bentley Johnson
Katherine Johnson
Sophia Johnson
Brandis Johnson
Adam Johnson
Sarah Johnson
Erica Johnson

Corporate Sponsors
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Starbucks Gift Certificate
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Amit Kapoor
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Stevens Kelly
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Anju Khetan
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Lauren Kraus
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Elizabeth Oswald
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lana Rapoport
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Jori Robbins
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Marcella Roney
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Eric Rosenberg
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Julie Ross
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Theresa Rothove
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Michele Sarb
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