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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 23, 1999)
Lincoln celebrates the
celestial music of George Crumb
By Danell McCoy
Titled after poems and distant stars, the compositions of
George Crumb have served as the instrumental version of
the psychedelic culture of the 1960s and ’70s.
By scoring a soundtrack to that
spacey time in American history, George
Crumb’s music is considered a major
voice of 20th-century musical culture. On
Thursday, Lincoln will pay tribute to the con
temporary composer and his works.
Titled “A Celebration of the Music of
George Crumb,” activities will include day long
broadcasts of his music on Nebraska Public Radio,
a lecture and an evening concert. The celebration ^
was planned for the visit of Crumb scholar Steven ^B
Bruns from the University of Colorado. V
Burns will spend his day in Lincoln giving talks and 1
playing the music of the legendary composer, now age 70. ^
Crumb’s compositions throughout his career contain ^
many poetic references. His biggest influence was the
Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca. |
“Poetry is central t6 practically all of his pieces,” said
Joseph Kraus, an associate professQr of music theory at NU.
Many of his pieces contain extracts from the
Bruns, who is currently working on a
book analyzing Crumb’s works, was
studying the artist’s composi
tional processes when Kraus
visited him in Boulder,
“Bruns was the
one who basically
tuned me into
Crumb’s work,” Kraus
said. “In my
class, we only
cover Crumb for
one day. Bruns
worked with me to
create a day to rec
Bom in West
Virginia, the compos
er received his bache
lor’s in music from
Mason College of
Music in Charleston, £ A
W.Va. in 1950, and
received his master’s
at the University of ^
He soon left the United
States to study under Boris
Blacher at the Hochschule fur Musik
After returning, he found work as a
pnnessor oi music ai me university ot
Colorado, where he taught until his retire
ment two years ago.
Thursday’s celebration begins at 10 a.m. when Bruns
appears as a guest on NPR (KUCV-FM 90.9). Bruns will
play a variety of Crumb’s music throughout the day and the
station plans to broadcast a previously conducted interview
with the composer.
At 2 p.m., a lecture titled “The Evidence of Things Not
Seen: Analysis, the Creative Process, and George Crumb’s
‘Apparition’” will be given by Bruns in Room 110 of
Westbrook Music Building.
In the lecture, Bruns will analyze
Crumb’s works, using sketches and
sketch materials that Crumb had used
while composing his music. These
sketches are used in order understand
the graphic scores of Crumb’s
“His scores are very interest
ing,” Kraus said. “Instead of being written from left to
right, the staffs have instead been written in a circle, like a
The celebration’s finale starts at 8 p.m. in Kimball
Recital Hall, 12th and R streets.
Julie Simson, mezzo-soprano, and Tanye Gille,
piano, will perform Crumb’s famous piece
Composed in 1979 for Jan DeGaetani and
Gilbert Kalish, this was Crumb’s first work
made for solo voice and piano. The text
and music for the works are based on
Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs in the
Dooryard Bloom’d,” a set of poems
written during the weeks following
the assassination of Abraham
it s a renection on tne tneme oi
EJ ‘h and dying ” Kraus said. “But
looks at death in a mystical
The second piece will be
erformed by Mark Clinton and
icole Narboni, duo-pianists at
e NU School of Music. The
piece, titled “Celestial
^^Mechanics” was com
Iflp posed in 1979, and is
the fourth in a series
v \ “Celestial Mechanics”
'i V contains four parts,
named after stars of the
first through the fourth
“This piece is kind of mys
tical,” Kraus said. “Crumb
likes to experiment in untra
ditional colors in terms of
piano and voices. He uses dif
ferent instrumental combina
tions that create new effects
| for the listener.”
Both pieces will be per
formed using an amplified
“The music that is produced is
very interesting,” Kraus said. “It’s very colorful.”
Both the lecture and the concert are free and open to the
Mark Wahlberg (left) and Chow Yun-Fat star in the gratuitous cop
thriller “The Corruptor” directed by James Foley.
Action movie ‘corrupted’
by studio intervention
By Cliff Hicks
The minute I got up after watching “The Corruptor,could easily
imagine what must have happened in some boardroom somewhere in the
process of bringing “The Corruptor” to the silver screen.
Title: The Corruptor*
Stars: Chow Yun-Fat, Mark Wahlberg
Director: James Foley
Five Words: Damn the Hollywood system
Director James Foley tells
them that he’s going to make a
I crime-drama film, and that
f Chow Yun-Fat and Mark
Wahlberg are going to play
the leads. Before he gets a
chance to get another word
out, one of the executives
pipes up. “There’s going to be
a lot of action and shooting
and stuff, right?”
Foley pauses a moment.
“Well, I hadn’t planned on
You have to have some, chimes m another suit. “Audiences won’t go
see Chow Yun-Fat without lots of shooting!”
And, because they’re the suits, and they’re the ones with the money,
Foley buckles like a belt and throws in a 10-minute carfight, as well as two
or three gratuitous gunfights.
That right there, ladies and gents, was what killed “The Corruptor.”
At the root of it, “The Corruptor” is a solid crime-drama about cops,
gangs and the loyalties of each. There’s also a good portion of blurring
between the lines of right and wrong.
The main problem with the film is that the action sequences stick out
like a sore spot on an otherwise fairly good piece of cinema.
For example, in a moment of good dialogue between the veteran cop
(Yun-Fat) and his new partner (Wahlbeig), director Foley has them break
into an incredibly long car chase that immediately kills any sort of interest
that was being created between the two characters.
The blame can’t fall on Yun-Fat for this, because he’s having the time
of his life putting on a great performance, despite his English still not
being perfect. You also can’t put the blame on Wahlbeig. Despite the fact
that I’ve never cared for him before, I’ll grudgingly admit he’s reasonably
good here. •
Most of the blame has to fall on Foley’s head, because of all the ridicu
lous action sequences. There’s also whole lot of long lingering tracks and
pans that just cut right into the flow of the picture, because they don’t fit
with the rest of the show. Ditch them, too.
And someone ha$$ot to stop writers from putting any more of these
damn cliches throughout any drama film. There’s a scene where a naked
illegal alien is found in a trash bin, and none of the cops other than
Wahlbeig care all that much.
You can roll your eyes in a chorus, it’s OK
Despite all of these flaws, Yun-Fat and Wahlbeig put on a pair of great
performances that carry the film the whole way.
Wait for the cheap seats or, better still, the video rental, even if you’re
a Yun-Fat fan. Otherwise, you can’t fast forward to the good bits.
Chicks and Dudes seek like-minded people
Jeremy Turpin and McLain Dorsey were tired of reading about clubs that
they felt they couldn’t belong to.
So Turpin and Dorsey came up with an idea for a club that anyone could
join. They called it Chicks and Dudes Who Go Watch Movies.
“We wanted an organization that anyone could join to meet new people
and do activities as a group,” Turpin said.
The club, which had its first meeting March 6, requires no membership
fees but club members will have to pay their own admission costs into the
activities. These may also include laser tag, bowling or rollerblading.
“Everyone is welcome,” Turpin said. “There is no commitment really. It’s
just for people to get together and go see movies or have fun.”
The club will meet every first and third week of the month in the Abel 13
boys’ television lounge.
. For more information, contact Turpin or Dorsey at (402) 436-8513.
Jazz ensemble wins spot on public radio
By Danell McCoy
Alter a performance at the Kansas
State University Jazz Festival on Feb,
13, the NU Jazz Ensemble was select
ed to perform for the international
broadcast “Jazz Set,”
“Jazz Set” is a program that is aired
on National Public Radio (KUCV-FM
90,9) with contemporary jazz great
Branford Marsalis as its host.
“It is somewhat a first,” said Gene
Smith, professor an<f director of jazz
activities at NU. “Any time a depart
ment gets national exposure, it’s a big
The festival at Kansas State was
dedicated to pioneer jazz vocalist
Sarah Vaughan. With that in mind, the
jazz ensemble chose to play “Out of
Nowhere,” and dedicate the song to her
because “her voice really came out of
nowhere,” said Smith.
Besides performing, the students
also participated in workshops and
other activities offered at tire festival.
“Besides the chance to perform,
there are large educational aspects,”
said Smith. “That was one reason we
decided to go.”
The jazz ensemble will be broad
cast alongside music from the
Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and popular
jazz ahists Carmen Bradford and
The jazz ensemble wasn’t the only
musical talent from NU to receive
recognition at the festival. Sophomore
music education major Cory
Biggerstaff received a $1,500 scholar
ship to the Berklee College of Music
Summer Jazz Program.
The jazz ensemble’s performance
from the festival will be broadcast the
week of April 1. Call Nebraska Public
Radio, (402) 472-2200, for times.
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