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February 03, 2012 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-02-03

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The Michigan Daily - michiganclaily.com

Friday, February 3, 2012 -- 5

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, February 3, 2012 - 5

WCB
Student-run station
balances tradition
and the Internet
By GEOFF MARINO
Daily Arts Writer
In the basement of the Stu-
dent Activities Building, nestled
alongside that dreaded area 'U'
students visit only after losing
their MCard, is the student radio
station, WCBN.
The station defines itself as:
"A student-run community free-
form radio station" that broad-
casts to the "University and its
surrounding communities." Of
course, what exactly freeform
entails is up to interpretation,
but in the world of radio, the
term brings to mind the model
of the longest-running freeform
radio station, New Jersey-based
WFMU. WCBN and WFMU pro-
vide DJs with total control over
the content of their shows.
WCBN has been operating
for about 40 years, and today's
increasingly Internet-based
music culture has put its philoso-
phy under pressure. With the
emergence of streaming services
and the music blog, the utility of
traditional radio is brought into
question. The average music lover
might think: Why should I have
music fed to me through radio
when my favorite blog and Pan-
dora can help me find what I like?
Rackham student Ben Yee,
general manager of WCBN,
revealed that he thinks Inter-
net music services such as Pan-
dora, Spotify, Grooveshark and
Turntable.fm aren't necessar-
ily competitors with WCBN and
that Internet music services and
freeform radio have separate
utilities.
"There's two different mind-
sets," Yee said. "I'll be honest,
there are times when I'm doing
work and I can't listen to WCBN
because it commands my atten-

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WCBN is a freeform radio station, allowing student DJs to play whatever they want.

ADAM GLANZMAN/Daily

tion. On the other hand, I can
go on Pandora, put in the names
of a few ambient artists, and let
it roll for five hours and I don't
even notice it's there."
Yet it's hard to know when a
listener might prefer the active
listening experience that the
station provides. Those Internet
services may be easier to shut out
than the unusual tracks found
on 88.3 FM, but individuals who
crave active listening can turn
on Pandora and be satisfied. In
clarifying its role, WCBN seeks
to offer more.
"We are the original music
blog," Yee said about the station's
role as he elaborated upon the
differences between freeform
radio DJs and music blogs. He
highlighted the personal aspect
of music discovery and its impor-
tance in balancing out the more
depersonalizing effects of the
Internet, citing a real-life encoun-
ter with a fan of a particular DJ,
Heidi Madagame, from WCBN.
"I went to Little Caesars Pizza

the other day, and someone
looked at my shirt and said, 'Hey,
you're with that radio station?
Yeah, that Heidi girl, she had a
great show the other day. I really
liked it.' The guy talked about
her for five minutes," Yee said.
WCBN prides itself on those
kinds of connections, valuing
the community aspect it can pro-
vide. Unlike Internet music sites,
in which the listener interacts
with a computer, WCBN wants
to foster the experience of com-
munal music listening.
But when asked whether
WCBN will embrace the Internet,
he stuck to his philosophy of inte-
gration rather than competition.
"A radio station isn't real-
ly going to succeed unless it
embraces the Internet," he said.
Ambitious developments
are planned. The station has
been authorized by the FCC to
increase its terrestrial transmit-
ting capacity from 300 watts to
2,000 watts, an effect that will
expand its reach to cover areas

such as Dexter, Ypsilanti, Celine
and even part of Chelsea.
This spirit of development
will be carried to the Internet. A
new website will allow listeners
to interact with the DJ and oth-
ers who are listening, fostering
interaction and group explora-
tion of music.
"Back in the day, listening to
music was a group experience,"
he said. "Being able to recreate
something like that, where peo-
ple can stop by, talk about the
music, and be able to figure out
from other people what's similar
out there, would be a way of cre-
ating a community around the
radio station."
These developments intend to
offer the greater Ann Arbor area
another option to explore music
interactively, and the zeal for
further expansion is certainly
there. When asked about the
future of WCBN, Yee expressed
optimism.
"We want to take over the
world," Yee said. '

y DHRUV MADEKA group was met with praise for its
Daily Arts Writer performance and for its embrace
of cultural boundaries between
the School of Music, The- the countries.
Dance, no band is more MT&D senior Alex Akin
etitive for undergraduates describes the thought of per-
the Uni- forming with the famous sym-
y Sym- Un*,er ' phony band as "intimidating."
r Band, "They're really great," Akin
will be of Michigan said. "It's intimidating going into
asing its Symphony rehearsal, trying to collaborate
for the with so many people and getting
time this Band the piece to work. We just came
onight at Tonight at together to produce this great
Audito- 8P~m work."
with four The band will first perform
Hill Auditorium selections from Mozart's Sere-
show Free nade No.10. The piece, composed
be con- between 1781 and 1782, consists
d by of seven movements of varying
tor of Bands Michael moods and themes.
cock, who conducts the The second piece in tonight's
hony band and guides the performance, Persichetti's
med graduate band-and- "Divertimento," was written
ensemble conducting pro- with Mozart's work as the basic
Haithcock, who is only the point of reference. The composi-
d person in the last 80 years tion, originally conceived in 1949,
d this position, is coming consists of six movements and
summer during which he features a vast array of instru-
cted the band's perfor- ments. The third and fourth piec-
es across the world. es to be played at the concert are
works by University alumni Syd-
ney Hodkinson and Roshanne
The band Etezady. Hodkinson's "Duae
Cantatae Breves" and Etezady's
performed "Points of Departure" will be
played by the band. Before the
vows in China concert, a lecture will be given
by Hodkinson and Etezady, along
his summer. with Professor Haithcock.
Etezady, who received her
doctorate in 2005, is known for
her effort in exposing audiences
band spent the summer on to new music. The performance
oric tour of China as a com- of her piece will be a departure
ration of the 50th anniver- from the norm because it will
f the band's travel to the showcase the Soprano Soloists
Union, Eastern Europe the Musical Theatre Depart-
e Middle East. In 1961, they ment, who will perform in dif-
chosen, along with the New ferent movements of Etezady's
Philharmonic, by the U.S. piece.
Department as emissaries "It's melodically challenging,"
height of the Cold War. said Alex Akin, who will be per-
e band played its tour forming in the second movement.
gh China - including Bei-F'It's classical music but it tells a
hanghai, Shenyang, Hang- story. The most challenging part
tnd Xi'an -before traveling of the song was ... being musically
Angeles to perform at the precise and leaving the song open
Disney Concert Hall. The to interpretation."

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Canterbury to host 24-hour
" improvisation fundraiser

By LAUREN CASERTA
Daily Community Culture Editor
She's known about this musical
performance for months, though
she hasn't practiced a single
piece or even
brought a Canterbury
single page of
sheet music House
with her. ConCert.24
While she Hours of
unpacks her
instrument Improvisation
on stage, she
nods and Tonight at 6
chats with p.m.through
the other tomorrow
musicians at 6p.m.
who will Canterbury House
soon play From $10
alongside
her. They too
have foregone the pre-composed
music and formal rehearsals that
many people instinctively associ-
ate with a musical life in the lime-
light.
once she's ready, she takes a
deep breath and remains poised,
instrument held aloft. A hush falls
over the crowd, and their eyes fix
eagerly on the performers. The
audience has no idea what they're
about to hear.
Then again - as an artist of
improvised music - neither does
she.
Tonight, the International
Society for Improvised Music
will pull together some of Ann
Arbor's most talented musicians
for a fundraiser as unpredictable

as the songs the artists will cre-
ate on a whim: a 24-hour impro-
vised musical extravaganza at
Canterbury House. The event
will feature spontaneous per-
formances by local professors,
students and residents, whose
unorthodox artistic passion
springs from their one-of-a-kind
musical methods.
"There's no pretense that this
is high art music," said Matt
Endahl, Canterbury House
musical director and a School of
Music, Theatre & Dance graduate
student. "This is music for which
the process is the interesting part
... because it's more of a direct
creative process than learning a
piece of music and then perform-
ing it."
The first and last performanc-
es of the fundraiser will be given
by members of MT&D's Creative
Arts Orchestra, while the rest
of the event will showcase the
colorful collection of Ann Arbor
improvisational talent, uniting to
create a truly eclectic experience.
"People will have a very wide
variety of instruments and also
a wide variety of opinions about
what it means to improvise
music rather than play composed
music," Endahl said.
Though the standards of
scripted music may dominate the
world of musical performance,
many devotees of get-togethers
and concerts that celebrate music
made on-the-spot enjoy exploring
the inner source of their artistic
inspiration.

"Improvised music strives a.m. performance - Sarath will
to tap into that wellspring of perform alongside fellow MT&D
whatever creative impulse is in Prof. Stephen Rush in an impro-
people," Endahl said. "It kind of vised piano and flugelhorn duet.
directly harnesses that, whatever Even with all of the willing-
it is. You can choose any word and-able talent involved, the
for it, and you can get spiritual if event needed - and found - a
you want, but there's no denying place to call home. The fundrais-
that same thing exists across our er is hosted through the Concert
entire species." Series at Canterbury House, Ann
It was the presence of this per- Arbor's Episcopal student cen-
vading inventive spirit that led ter. Canterbury House has long
MT&D Prof. Ed Sarath to found used the series to support music
the International Society for of all sorts, including ISIM's
Improvised Music in 2006 and improv-inspired fundraisers.
unite a fragmented but passion- "We've booked numerous
ate community of artists. well-known acts for this concert
series over the years," Endahl
said. "The Concert Series has
'U' nrof and been running for at least a decade
in its current form. There's been
founder of ISIM a long history of Canterbury
House supporting the arts, both
Ed Sarath will local and touring."
Though the fundraiser has not
also perform. been held since 2007, its reviv-
al has already garnered eager
attention from Ann Arbor's
music lovers. Above all, it's the
"(Sarath) founded the organi- freedom and unpredictability of
zation because he felt that there improvisation that makes each
were a lot of people around the performance different and keeps
world who were making impro- artists and audiences coming
vised music," Endahl said. "They back for more.
had numerous small organiza- "It can be both (fun and con-
tions, but there wasn't any inter- fusing)," Endahl said. "Even the
national group with a conference performer doesn't know exactly
and that sort of thing, and he kind what's going to happen. They
of saw a need for that, so he put go in there with kind of a rough
(ISIM) together." sketch about who they're going
Attendees eager to meet the to work with, but no one knows
man who started it all should the precise music that will be
be sure to stay for tomorrow's 9 played."

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