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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - February 15, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania M Altoona Mirror Composer's work transcends genres, cultures BY MARTIN STEINBERG The Associated Press NEW YORK He was born in Chairman Mao Tse- tung's home province in 1957 and spent two years planting rice in a commune during the Cultural Revolution. He never heard the names let alone the music of Bach, Beethoven or Mozart until he was 19. Now, Tan Dun is one of the world's leading composers, a true citizen of the 21st century cosmos where East meets West in Manhattan's SoHo melting pot. His music spans the avant-garde minimalism of John Cage and the romanticism of Hollywood. Among Tan's latest works is the score to Ang Lee's acclaimed fan- tasy "Crouching Tiger, Hidden with cello solos by Yo-Yo Ma. Set in imperial China, the movie takes the kung fu tradition on a journey of balletic battles through austere deserts, thickets of bamboo trees and mountain tops. Its theme the elusiveness of love transcends borders. The music, too, straddles East and West. An orchestra of lush strings is augmented by tradition- al Chinese instruments, including sriakeskin fiddle, bamboo flute and hand drum. The cello plays a sentimental melodic line that slides over musical frqntiers and up and down octaves like a pair of tigers sizing each other up. The movie has been nominated for 10 Oscars, including best mus- cial score. Lee, Tan and Ma themselves are living examples of the movie's cross-cultural transcendence. Lee, who won the Golden Globe directing award for the movie, was born in Taiwan and moved to the United States in 1978, studying theater and filmmaking at the University of Illinois and New York University. He went on to The Associated Press Cellist Yo-Yo Ma (right) and composer Tan Dun go over Tan's "Symphony 1997" in Palm Beach, Fla., in this 1997 photo. Tan's latest works include the musical score to the film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." make such movies as "The Wedding "Sense and Sensibility" and "The Ice Storm" before directing "Crouching which he calls "a dream of China that probably never existed except in my boyhood fantasies in Taiwan." His current projects include "Incredible Hulk" and a movie about magician Harry Hpudini. Lee and Tan became friends after meeting at a party about 10 years ago, when Tan was a stu- dent at Columbia University and Lee was at NYU. Lee remembers hearing "a very energetic, pas- sionate guy" with a peasant accent telling a dirty joke. For the movie, Lee asked Tan to set aside his minimalist style, which has included atonal, decon- structive compositions that use ceramic instruments and sounds from water, stones, paper and metal. After being asked to join the project, Yo-Yo Ma welcomed the opportunity to work with Lee for the first time and to collaborate again with Tan; Ma and Tan had worked together on Tan's "Symphony 1997: Heaven Earth Mankind" at the interna- tionally televised ceremony marking the British handover of Hong Kong to China. Ma is the Paris-born son of Chinese emigre musicians who later moved to the United States. Two measures at a time, his vio- linist father started teaching him the Bach Cello Suites at age 4. The rest is history. His grasp of the classical music canon is so firm that he has more or less exhausted the traditional cello repertoire and has become a leading crossover musician, going from Bach to bluegrass. "The Ma said, "is for people to communicate their inner lives. It's a hard thing to do, and music I think is a very good way to express the inner life.... This is a way where people can say, 'Oh, really get what you're about.'" What's Tan about? He was born in Hunan province and grew up in a village with shamanistic traditions. He received no early training but was drawn to music as a child, playing violin in an ensemble whose other instruments included woks, cook- ing pots, chopsticks and any other implement that could be used to make sound. "For a long time 1 would play the violin and have only three Tan explained. "That's because I didn't have a violin teacher, and during the Cultural Revolution, first of all it is not allowed to teach Western music. Second, I didn't have money to buy the extra string." He didn't know of Western music until the Philadelphia Orchestra visited China during the thawing of U.S.-Chinese cul- tural relations. "I totally got into Western music because since I never heard Western music until I was suddenly realized that kind of music should be my he said. Thursday, February GRACE Show was on Broadway (Continued from Page Dl) The challenge, Anastasi said, is to keep the audience interested in the everyday conversation of the play where two women, one very modern and one very traditional, get to know each other. The role of Glorie is different from others Anastasi has por- trayed. She has performed in a number of ACT productions and she directed the comedy "The Nerd" for ACT. "It [the role of Glorie] hits home a lot. There's a lot of me in this she said. "I want to hide behind a character and sometimes I'm not able to. It's hard emotionally." She said the play is a drama, not a comedy, but it does have some humor. Although not suitable for young children, she said teen- agers will probably be able to relate the play to their parents and grandparents. "I think older people will like it very much. They'll like the character of she said. Anastasi is hoping the play will get the audience thinking and responding. Helsel said the show was last performed on Broadway in 1996. It starred Estelle Parsons as Grace and Lucie Arnez as Glorie. Two years ago, a television adaptation starred Ellen Burstyn as Grace. Because of the content of the play, ACT sought support for the show from the local health care industry. Sponsors, who each con- tributed are Bon Secours- Holy Family Health System and Janet Weis Children's Hospital and Children's Miracle Network. Mirror Staff Writer Barbara Cowan can be reached at 946-7466 or It's A Buyers Market! With the slow down in the economy, we are feeling the pinch at Covino Home Furnishings. With our largest inventory ever of top quality brand name furniture, we are forced to cut prices in order to sell as much of our inventory as possible Price reductions are on solid wood bedroom groups. Lane reclining and leather furniture, every mattress set from Serta and King Koil including the new No Flips, every sofa, loveseat and chair. every table group, curio and dinette. Our Prices are 15 to 35 Below our Competitors! On Identical Items Shop our Winter Clearance Sale! Purchase quality furniture at affordable prices! FREE (S30000 minimum purchase) 12 Months to Pay Interest Free! Listed below fire just a few examples: Description Retail Reg. SALE Sofa 35" Oak Entertainment Unit....s907......5499........S459 Lane Wallsaver Recliners........S526......S279........S229 Schweiger Sofa Chair........S2144....S1148........S999 Lane Dual Reclining Sofas...51439......S799........S679 King Koil Twin Mattress King Koil Sapphire Queen Sets..S1199......S799........S529 V. Bassett 6 pc. Master Serta Queen Perfect Night Pillow Top S2999.... S1 799......S1499 Lane All Leather Sofa Loveseat... S3669....S2199......S1888 Lane Dual Reclining Sectional.52544....S1399......S1169 Help us reduce our inventory, and you will be the big winner, with new top quality furniture, and bedding at the lowest possible price! COVINO HOME FURNISHINGS 1201 Pleasant Valley Blvd., Altoona Mon. thru Fr. 10 am to 8 pm. Sat. 10am to 5 am. Sun. 1 to 4 pm Blue Knob Club House Bar Grill Friday, Feb. 16th DJ. Toad 9 PM to AM Drink Specials No Cover Charge Saturday, Feb. 17th MiHtr Lilt Prono 9PM to 10PM Dance to WHIPLASH 10PM to AM Cover Charge Christi's STYLING SALON I spirals extra Color re-toueh--120.- Women's Cuts--'8." Wash n1 Kids Call for an appointment 941-7005 419 Baynton Avenue Lakemont, Altoona YOGA with Susan Magee Six Week Sessions beginning the week of Febraury 19th VO6AI starts Wednesday, February 21st pm or Friday, February am YOBAM starts Monday, February 19th prri or Tuesday, Feburary 20th am or Wednesday, February pm YOflA III starts Monday, February lath pm Urn Dancing Tnunday, Swing Dancing Friday. Call Cheryl 942-1600 Blair Racquet Fitness Center 3200 Fairway Drive, Altoona 944-9412 Lullaby Boutique and The Young Connection Final Markdowns Save 75% on all Remaining Fall and Winter Clearance Fashions SALE ENDS 2-28-01 Hrs.: Mon.-Sat. 9-5; 940-0393 606 Quail Ave., Altoona, PA TRY COLOR ON YOUR NEXT BREAK PAGE AD BINGO! BINGO! St. Patrick's School, Newry EVERY SATURDAY and SUNDAY NEWLY REVISED Doors Open: 4-.3QPM Eaily Bird: 6'.15PM Games Start 6-.30PM 3000 Reasons to Play Our Specials Lighted Parking Friendly Staff Non-Smoking Area Kitchen Service Chairperson: M. Boland m m m MM
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