SIRENS LEADS INTO TEMPTATIONS OF FLESH

by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

The incongruities in <I>Sirens<P> are caused by the divorce between religion and the arts.

Whereas the non-conformist, idealistic iconoclast/artist is progressive in philosophy, it is the man-made construct of religion that appears to be bound by strictures, borne out of didacticism and self-righteousness in the film. Could an Anglican clergyman be rendered more malleable and vulnerable to temptation in circa 1930s Australia, even though he is initially quite rigid?

In Australian writer/director John Duigan's <I>Sirens<P>, Anthony Campion (Hugh Grant) and his wife Estella (Tara Fitzgerald) embark on a journey to dissuade maverick artist Norman Lindsay (Sam Neill) from presenting his controversial work. One of the divergent paths leads to a critique of value judgements, aesthetic values, and the liberation of Estella.

Her encounters with three models, Giddy (Portia De Rossi), Sheela (Elle MacPherson) and Prue (Kate Fischer) force her to crack the glassy facade and reveal the true self without the airs of upper class respectability.

"Clothing is an ostentatious figment of middle class imagination," asserts Giddy, though subconsciously she longs to cast off the cloak of social mores and customs.

In the pre-World War II edenic milieu of the Lindsay's estate, a strange parallel is drawn between Adam and Eve and the English couple. The snake, an obvious phallic/Satanic symbol signifying the incarnation of temptation.

Elements of pre-Raphaelite art and classism are woven throughout Duigan's original screenplay. Moreover, tinges of surrealism and an enchanting dreamscape give the film a hybridized idyllic/otherworldly quality.

The English couple has relatively refined sensibilities, yet the two of them, especially the man, proselytize, condescend, and, to some extent, are self righteous.

The film is an examination of how the stilted become loose, the fastidious, less rigid.

An intricate subplot of the film concerns the tension between representatives of the aristocracy/clergy and the binary opposites of the lower class/agnostics. It is interesting the woman is the only one chastised continually for what the "sirens" perceive as her aristocratic airs.

The art of Norman Lindsay has shades of Bosch, and is considered heretical and blasphemous, particularly the etching of a Venus positioned like Christ on the crucifix, which is titled <I>The Crucified Venus<P>. It could be a cruel joke making reference to Botticelli or an eschewing of the traditions promoted by the stolid Anglican church, among others.

The title is an allusion to the sirens, isle-based women of ancient Greek mythology who had such an allure and intoxicating voices and beauty that sailors were tempted to venture closer, to their death. The contemporary application of the term connotes a mixture of dominatrix and temptress qualities, lasciviousness and beauty.

The English couple perceives Australians as lawless people with a propensity to commit acts of crime and heresy. The English woman asks Lindsay's models, (Sheela, Prue and Giddy) what happened to their fathers. The three of them reply by saying their sailor fathers were bitten by sharks.

The transformation the couple undergoes results in an open-minded man and woman more receptive to the idea of an artist defining for himself, without regard for concerns of taste and fewer value judgments.

The ending of the film is problematic because the implication is that everyone will go on living happily ever after and that the English have a new-found reverence for Australians. Absolute balderdash. Based on the way the English looked down upon and talked down to Lindsay's family and the three models, this plot resolution seems highly implausible.

Duigan has a Campionesque fascination with the environment, particularly with bucolic society, the constructed hermetically sealed world, and animals. One kangaroo hops around on rocks, while, almost serving as an introduction to Australia, a gray koala bear stands almost like an indigenous animate marker.

Each time a rose petal falls onto the woman's porcelain-like visage, it is a prelude to a dream, in which she either is awakened sexually or move further away from the English pole towards the three women, especially Prue and Sheela. She then becomes one of them and deceives everyone into believing she is not fixated with a sexy blind man.

The film succeeds on one level due to the lighthearted comedic tone. A fastidious man sent on a crusade by a bishop loosens up enough to joke that he was a pugilist. Lovers of flesh take note: the ratio of naked men to naked women is one to five. Towards the end, it seems as if no one, including the bloody, patently banal Brits, wants to don ostentatious figments of middle class imagination.

Fitzgerald's and Grant's fine performances help carry the film, as does the supporting cast –which has a good script to work with.

 

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MOONIES CARRYING FAMILY VALUES MESSAGE TO UH

by Heather Ellis

Contributing Writer

Reunifying the family unit through God's plan, was the focus of Kook Jin Moon's speech made at the Women's Federation for World Peace seminar held Tuesday.

Two hundred people filled the Shamrock Room at the Hilton and spilled out into the hallway to listen to Moon speak about the decline of the family and the falling away from God.

"The breaking apart of families and moral decline in the clan, nation and world needs a solution," Moon said. "The only solution to these problems must include God."

The fourth of seven children, Moon spoke about the Unification Church which his father, Rev. Sun Myung Moon started 38 years ago. He said he organized the church after Jesus appeared to him when he was 16 and told him that he had a mission in the world.

His mission led to his own theology comprised in the Divine Principle, a study book crucial to the beliefs of the followers in the Unification Church.

The Unification Church has been under attack since its conception from other religious leaders as well as governmental figures.

Cult Awareness representative Sondra Chesky warns against the claims of the Unification Church.

"The pitch of the church is that Mr. Moon really is the second coming of Christ and for anyone who belongs to the church Mr. and Mrs. Moon will become their true parents," Chesky said.

Chesky said that the Moonies use college campuses as recruiting grounds for their church.

"Once they have you, they will influence you to the point that simple decisions are made for you," Chesky said.

Moon dismisses the claims against his church.

"There are those who oppose our church," Moon said. "They have gone out and have spread rumors about us, but God's blessing will endure."

The focus of Moon's speech began with the creation of Adam and Eve and their fall from God's grace.

"God's idea was to create the first people to perfect themselves and through that love create a true family," Moon said. "God wanted them to be better than himself."

Moon said that Adam and Eve were false parents to their two sons Cain and Abel because of their relationship with Satan.

Because of that relationship Adam and Eve set the standard for generations to come.

Moon also touched on social issues such as alcoholism, drug abuse, homosexuality and free sex.

"A world of free sex is contrary to God's plan," Moon said. "Is free sex really worth the pain of a broken child?"

Moon said that the mind struggles to overcome the body but now that struggle has expanded to the family, nation and world.

The WFWP brought Moon to UH to heighten awareness of other religions, cultures and peace.

Vice President of the WFWP Gillian Corcoran was happy with the turnout.

"I was pleased to see so many different people of various cultures and religious backgrounds in attendance," Corcoran said.

One thousand dollars in scholarships were given to three UH students in attendance. Sandra Corredor won $600 and Joseph Boaz and Tora Cureton both won $200.

 

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SUPERMEN BREAK BRICKS FOR GOD

Jesse W. Coleman

News Reporter

Students attending the biweekly cookout at the University Satellite Tuesday received a religious message in two untraditional forms.

The UH Victory Campus Ministries, a new campus organization, and Freedom in Christ sponsored a concert featuring local rap group The Inner-city Boys and the Sons of Thunder.

The Sons of Thunder, featuring National Representative of Champions For Christ and Bible Lecturer Tom Sirotnak, performed their act "Feats of Strength." Sirotnak and his partner are former athletes who spread the gospel by bending one-inch-thick steel bars around their necks and chopping bricks in half with their forearms. While performing the feats they tell of their life experiences with religion and Bible stories.

The Inner-city Boys, who call themselves the Righteous Rappers, used rap music to tell students about the Bible and their religious experiences.

UH Victory Campus Ministries advisor Leo Lawson said the group also co-sponsored Tuesday night's and tonight's Bible lecture by Sirotnak. Sirotnak is lecturing on Generation X, a term popularized by writer Douglas Coupland. His message is that this generation's destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice.

Lawson said, "this generation needs some heroes." He said they want to bring the gospel to the student. He said they want to help students find their relationship with God through things they relate to, like music and sports.

"The students are interested in the message of destiny, in the message of victory and in the message of co-ed Christians living here of campus," Lawson of the crowd of about 150. He said the group he advise is not involved with the Baptist Student Union.

Gina Viloria, a senior RTV major and member of the new organization, said she likes to see young men who are not ashamed of being Christians. She said she joined the organization a week ago.

Jed Walker, a member of the Victory Campus Ministries at the University of Southern California, said they came to campus to help introduce students to the organization. He said it is a good opportunity for students to get involved with religion.

 

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PERPETUAL PARK PARTY PART OF PAST

by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

The infamous Perpetual Park Party, which drew an estimated 3000 people last year, is no longer its own event.

It is now the Perpetual Music Jam to be held in conjunction with Frontier Fiesta.

Problems with security and damage last year and an attempt to help diversify Frontier Fiesta were cited by by SPB Advisor David Rachita as reasons for the change .

"It's something the administration believes is very important," said Rachita. "Frontier Fiesta was a safer option," he said citing problems with the lack of security during last years Party.

"Frontier Fiesta pays two-thirds of the security and Frontier Fiesta doesn't attract the outsiders," he said.

Liability was a major issue in moving the Party to the Fiesta.

"I wasn't saying 'no,' (to keeping the Perpetual Park Party title), but the administration was upset with last year," Rachita said.

"I pushed hard. I advocated going to Frontier Fiesta," he said.

Durward Burrell, outgoing SPB executive director, said, "(The decision to move) wasn't really forced on us. It was our decision."

When asked if the SPB was presented any option to maintain the Park Party as is, Nicolaou had no comment.

Burrell said the administration was beginning to phase out large student activities like the Party.

On the issue of SPB being forced into a 'mutual' merger with Frontier Fiesta he had no comment.

"The program can't happen the way it did last year. We needed a control factor," Rachita said.

There will be only one entrance into the Frontier Fiesta area and people will not be able to bring in their own alcohol.

"The park was too wide open. Any one could bring their igloos or coolers, and when we had 3000 people we were under-staffed to handle it," he said.

He said that last years Party was very successful, but it was just out of control.

The other issue surrounding the move to Frontier Fiesta was diversity. Last year's Frontier Fiesta was marred by the flying of a confederate flag and a walkout by the Pan-Hellenic Council.

"We want to be seen as leaders in making Frontier Fiesta a thing for all students," said Nicolaou.

"Our part in Frontier Fiesta is to help correct some of these things (the perception of Frontier Fiesta)," said Rachita.

Trang Phan, director of the Council of Ethnic Organizations, does not condemn the efforts of SPB, but sees it differently, "Our member groups do not want to be used as token groups."

"The climate was not conducive to that sense of diversity in Frontier Fiesta," she said.

"We don't agree with much of what Frontier Fiesta is about," said Burrell.

Student reaction to the new Perpetual Music Jam is mixed.

"It still seems kind of uncool. They put it with a Greek event and a western motif," said Amanda Jones psychology freshman.

Marcus Schmitt, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, said, "We don't like it, but we can't do anything about it, so we deal."

 

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TEE OFF WITH TRAVIS

Christy's Campus

I can't believe it's really over. The parties, the beer, the fun in the sun will be put on hold for that end of the semester "try to make up for the classes I've missed cram marathon." There are only six weeks left in the semester. (That means you only have six weeks to make up for those first couple of tests you bombed). We are all guilty of a little slack in the academic area. But who can blame us when spring fever has hit UH in epidemic proportions? Check out the activities on campus this week.

 

WEDNESDAY MARCH 30

•Campus Job Recruitment Workshop today at 3 pm. Come to the Career Planning and Placement Center and bring your UH ID.

•There's not much happening on campus today, so it would be a perfect time to study. Here are a few of the prime study spots on campus: In the Library- 2nd floor Red, and 5th floor Brown are very quiet, 3rd floor Red is noisy but you can study in groups, In the UC- the 2nd floor reading lounge, the UC Underground, In the Law Library,

In the Satellite, the quiet rooms are a great spot to spread out and work.

THURSDAY MARCH 31

•Why rent a movie for $3 when you can see one right on campus for only $1? Come see The Fugitive tonight in the UC's Houston Room. It starts at 7:30 pm. $1 with UH ID and $2 all others. The Fugitive is brought to you by the Student Program Board.

FRIDAY APRIL 1

•Today is the deadline for international applications for admission to 1994 summer sessions.

•Sing your favorite song and win cash for it. ASIA presents a karoke contest today in the UC from 10:30 - 2:30. It's free to enter and you could win cash. Just go by ASIA's desk in the UC Underground, Campus Activities department and pick out a song!

•Watch out for golf balls! Today is the Erin's Closet Last Annual Invitational Golf Tournament. Watch the famous artist/cartoonist Travis Baker tee off at 10 a.m. in front of the Architecture building. The course spans over the entire campus. The preliminary holes include the Mortal Kombat game in the UC Games Room, Dr. Pickering's office, and Dr. Berger's (drama department) desk. Keep an eye out for Travis or he'll put your eye out with a golf ball!

 

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UH OFFENSE WAKES UP TO THROTTLE LAMAR 9-5

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

The Cougars put Cougar Field to bed with a 9-5 victory over No. 21 Lamar Tuesday in the last game to ever be played at the current facility.

The Cougars' Jason Dixon was the pitcher of record and improved to 3-0 in the pitching-by-committee effort of the Cougars (23-14), who sent six hurlers to the mound. Stephen Westbrook (1-4) was the losing pitcher for Lamar (17-10).

The game saw two highlights for head coach Bragg Stockton and his litter of Cougars. The first was the pitching effort of Garland junior college transfer Kevin Boyd. The other was the offense.

Boyd entered the game in relief of starter Brian Hamilton after two innings of play. Boyd pitched the next three innings, facing 11 batters and retiring the first seven.

He gave up only one hit which turned into an unearned run. He had three strikeouts and one walk.

"Kevin impressed me today," Stockton said. "He may be our third pitcher."

That is something the Cougars have been looking for all season. Going into Tuesday's game, Boyd had an ERA of 7.04 in 15.1 innings pitched, which may contribute to Stockton's wariness. There also remains the fact that Boyd has never started a game for the Cougars.

"He's kind of green but I hope he can make the move," Stockton said.

Boyd said he was pleased with his performance.

"I was hitting with my curveball. They were pretty much fastball hitters so I tried to mix it up," he said. "(My pitching) has been normal for about the last six games."

On the flip side, the Cougars posted a five-run seventh to put the game out of the Cardinals' reach.

Going into the inning, the game was tied 4-4. Designated hitter Chris Scott led off the inning with a strikeout, but Cardinal catcher Cory Gafford let the ball get by, allowing Scott to take first.

Second baseman Rey Trevino bunted Scott to second. Ryan Elizando followed with a single to send Scott to third. Carlos Perez was then hit by Westbrook's pitch and the bases were loaded.

Bellaire product Ricky Freeman (3-for-4) came to the plate and had his most crucial hit of the day. His single scored Scott and Elizando for a 6-4 lead as Perez went to second.

Shane Buteaux then cranked a three-run homer over the left field wall on the first pitch he received. This gave the Cougars a five-run lead and all the offense they would need.

"I'm pleased with the way we hit the ball," Stockton said.

Buteaux's long ball gave him 10 on the season, which leads the Southwest Conference. He also pitched the final inning of the game but was not eligible for the save.

Buteaux and Freeman provided most of the offense for the Cougars, combining for five of the 10 hits, four of the runs and seven of the RBIs.

"We're just happy to beat a team like Lamar and carry some momentum into A&M," Stockton said.

 

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DREAMS, DAYS GONE BY MARK END OF ERA

COUGAR FIELD HOLDS A SPECIAL FONDNESS FOR THOSE WHO TROD UPON ITS GRASSY TURF

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

The death of a baseball field is always a sad occasion.

The Cougars laid their's to rest Tuesday when they got the third out in a 9-5 victory against No. 21 Lamar.

People always get sentimental when a building is torn down, so it was no surprise when they started showing up in the press box to talk about the end of Cougar Field.

You see, ballparks are more than just places to play ball, they're also places where young men dream about making it to the majors, most do not.

These are the ghosts that always exist at a diamond. These are the things that were buried in the turf where men play a boys' game and have boys' dreams.

This era ends after 32 years. Cougar Field held its first game April 2, 1968, a 3-0 Cougar victory over Pershing College.

The new diamond was built when the old one was torn down to make room for Hofheinz Pavilion. Now it is being swept aside to make room for the new athletic complex.

Even though there was a sense of loss, there was also a sense of gain. A new field will be built near where Cougar Field stands, a state of the art stadium complex.

The new structure will feature locker rooms, covered stands and lights. The old ball field even outlasted historic Wrigley Field in its avoidance of night games.

Before bringing in the new, the old should be remembered.

"I can't express in words how I feel about this field," said head coach Bragg Stockton. "I'm going to miss it fierce."

Cougar Field was known as a hitter's park and, as a pitching instructor, Stockton had strong feelings about the place.

"It's a great place to learn how to pitch because you got to make them hit the ball on the ground," he said.

Pitcher Kevin Boyd, who pitched three innings in the final game, thought about the historic importance of it all.

"It's something that I'll be able to tell my kids about," he said. "It's history."

There was much history to think about as the game came to a close. Shane Buteaux hit the last Cougar home run. He also gave up the last home run to Bruce Aven in his one-inning relief effort.

There was the last out, a toss by shortstop Ryan Elizando to second baseman Rey Trevino.

The last crowd, an estimated 250, called the last "open your eyes, ump" cry on a close call over the corner of the plate. And then there is the last bag of peanuts.

Of course, it is not to say that these things won't resurface again. The new stadium will be ready in time for next year and yes, it will be a better place to play. In fact, it should be one of the premiere facilities in the country.

For the first time in history, Houston will be eligible to hold the Southwest Conference Tournament, play night games and shower after the game.

With a capacity of 5,000, there should be no more standing along the right field fence to see a game when it is sold out.

Most importantly, the new facility will build its own memories, its own ghosts of people who had dreams and played their guts out on the grass for no better reason than the fact that they loved the game.

Cougar Field was buried yesterday, but the dreams and the memories that were created there will live on forever.

 

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DNA MOLECULE DOMINANT THROUGH THE MOST NOBLE OF BASEBALL FAMILY TREES

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

Genetics is a field of research which many scientists feel contains the answers to life's problems. Cancer, AIDS, or just about any disease they have a non-profit organization for can all be solved with mastery of the DNA molecule.

That's the theory, anyway. So, playing my Neanderthal sportswriter image to the hilt, I decided to apply a complex, controversial, cutting-edge, scientific subject to an unimportant athletic endeavor that anyone can have an opinion about.

Baseball.

I'm not writing this for Omni or the AMA Journal, obviously, but it seems to me that baseball supports the prominence of genetics about as well as any experiment one could do with rabbits in a cage.

Just looking at college baseball in the SWC is like looking at a family tree of diamonds. I'm told you can always find Jose Cruz Sr. at his son's baseball games. Junior plays for Rice and is a front-runner for SWC Player of the Year.

TCU, hardly an athletic powerhouse, has <I>three<P> examples of baseball genetics at work. A lot of people know about Nolan Ryan's son Reid, pitching for TCU, but also on the team is Tim Grieve, son of Nolan's ex-general manager with the Texas Rangers, Tom.

Their first baseman, Adam Robson, is the son of the Rangers' hitting coach under Bobby Valentine, Tom Robson.

I think TCU would take Nolan on their team when he turns 50 over any of them, but that's all right. The Horned Frogs would probably take Ryan as their <I>mascot<P>, to tell you the truth.

Texas has Stephen Larkin at first base, little brother of Reds shortstop Barry. I think he hits about like Barry Larkin's little brother, too.

All throughout collegiate baseball are players whose brothers or fathers play or played for other college teams. But this model carries over to the major leagues.

On baseball's highest level, we have several father-son combos working. Hal McRae, one-time RBI champ for the Kansas City Royals, now manages his son Brian in that same city.

Former major-leaguer Felipe Alou, who manages the Expos, has his son, Moises, playing for him too. Felipe had two brothers in the majors, and they could all hit.

It's hard to find any baseball fan who hasn't heard of the Griffeys, father and son, playing on the same field. Ken Griffey is now the Mariners' hitting coach, though I think his biggest contribution might still be that he is Griffey Jr.'s father.

Bobby Bonds has a similar job in San Francisco, where his son Barry plays. What a coincidence -- two star players, two star sons of star players, two coaching jobs.

I expect Jose Cruz to have a job as well, by the time his son makes the majors. Actually, I shouldn't write that. His next coaching job could be in Houston if the Astros don't pan out this year.

You see sons playing for fathers in other sports, but this has gotten out of hand. Did you know that Tom Penders' son plays at Texas? Tony Barone Jr. played at A&M last year.

I don't think much scholarship money is being lost there. Maybe it comes out of the coaches' contracts.

Rick Barry must have five or six kids, all of whom seem to play or have played in college basketball. First Scooter at Kansas, then Jon at Georgia Tech, now some other one at some school, I don't even know where.

How much does a name mean in sports? How easy is it to get a job because of who you're related to? David Shula, Wade Phillips -- answer anytime.

I guess sports resembles entertainment in the family aspect. Kiefer Sutherland's name and resemblance have made his career. Jeff and Beau Bridges both owe their careers to their father, Lloyd.

I'm sure you can come up with your own examples in this area, both in sports and in other fields where name recognition is important.

I'm also sure it's hard for all the parties involved: father, son, brother, whatever. I mean, with irresponsible writers like me ripping people for any reason, it's got to be tough to defend your right to play or coach if you've got a famous name.

It must be a load off former Cowboy defensive tackle Jimmy Jones' mind.

 

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BOB EVANS GOES WITH PURE PUNKOLA

by D. McAdams

Daily Cougar Staff

Bob Evans? Who the hell is Bob Evans? Is that some washed up Northeastern folk singer trying to pawn some tired protest songs onto an unsuspecting public?

With a CD title like <I>Jersey Barrier<P>, one expects to listen to a disc filled with songs by some poor slob who lives in New Jersey and wants to sing to the world about the horrors of New Jersey's medical waste filled beaches (not unlike our own, in all fairness).

Little does one know that Bob Evans happens to be some sausage maker's name and Dave Gloshinski -- guitars and vox; Andrew Kesin -- bass and Brian O'Neill -- drums just borrowed it for a little while. Better get another name guys because your CD almost wasn't listened to because of it. Your name just isn't funny or clever. Actually, it's kind of rather stupid.

The music? Punkola, and not bad punk at that. The bass work and the drumming are particularly good. On each and every track the bass thonk, thonk, thonks on while the drums rat-a-tat-tat along in good punk form. But this isn't classic, straight forward Dead Kennedy's or Descendents style of punk.

Bob Evans tries to incorporate a more ballad-y feel to their songs, as if to prove they can both sing and write songs. This style is vaguely annoying. In fact, if not for the inevitable return to the more classic punk style toward their end of their songs, their music would be down right intolerable.

Speaking of intolerable, there is this woman that backs the band on two of the cuts, "GillNet" and "Oscar." One would rather have someone rip out their fingernails with pliers than to hear this woman croak (read sing). Listening to her voice is akin to having a cruel, old Nazi dentist drill holes in your teeth and ask you incessantly, "Is it safe?"

Despite those minor flaws, <I>Jersey Barrier<P> pretty much rocks. There is much variability in the arrangements within the songs. What is neat is the little Irish ballad that appears on the CD's opener "Mule Talk" and its last song "Two Trees." Each of those songs are good songs.

The one thing that does seem to plague <I>Jersey<P> is the tendency for the songs to flirt with the Pearl Jam sound. Maybe not the songs as much as the vox.

Gloshinski's singing is only a wee bit more tolerable than Barbara Brousals, the aforementioned squeaking banshee. "Tomato Plant" is a pretty good one, with the bass plunking away a sinister rhythm and O'Neill gets to strut his stuff on "Ashcan."

"Carburetor" reminds one of the Helmet's style of play for the first three seconds then it picks up the pace and rocks on. Don't rush right out and get this one. Someone will sell it back and it'll be worth the money spent then.

Wanna know more about this Boston-based trio? Contact Skene! at P.O. Box 4522, St. Paul, Minnesota 55104.

 

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NATURE SOUNDS BLISSFUL

Local Music

Tom Turner

For just a moment, sit back, close your eyes, and relax. Hold on, don't fall asleep yet!

As your mind begins to lose hold of care and worry, the sound of ocean waves begins to flow across your ears. Or perhaps, instead of the waves of the ocean, it's the sound of the many inhabitants in the tropical rainforest, or the distant rumblings of tribal rhythms.

All of these sound scenarios are elements of what can be termed as the sounds, or music, of nature. This area of music, as we will call it, has become a rapidly consumed field among nature lovers and the curious alike.

Okay, so you can't dance to it, play a mean air guitar or drums to it, and it's kind of hard to sing along with, unless you want an all expense paid trip to your local looney bin. However, the music can not only be stimulating, but it can also be very relaxing at the same time.

The different musical elements which aid in the building of "nature's music" are numerous. Everything from tribal drums, acoustic guitar, harp and pan flute are utilized in the many different kinds of recordings. With the combination of the many assorted instruments and the sounds of nature itself, this adds up to a soothing and relaxing mix.

Many of the artists who create these "natural" recordings do so to almost promote a higher state of being. Scott Fitzgerald and M. B. Gordy, who created <I>Thunderdrums II: All One Tribe<P>, state the following: "Modern science teaches us that matter, including the atoms, molecules, and cells that constitute our bodies as we know them, consists of vibratory rates, and simply 'reforms' again and again, supporting the concept that we all may have, at one time, been a part of everything we see and feel around us, as well as those things we do not."

They went on to say that this is the "constancy of the TAO, and the connection that we have with all things in the universe." In other words the music that they created was not meant to be interpreted only at the surface level.

Other groups, such as those who work at Soundings of the Planet, strive for clear cut cooperation and communication of all those involved in order to create a spiritual group energy more powerful than any one person. Along with this, on <I>Ocean Dreams<P>, by Soundings of the Planet, the sounds and music of nature are mixed with the "resonant frequency of the earth which is known to increase alpha state."

So, maybe all of this sounds a bit bizarre, but it all boils down to one basic point. Those involved in the creation of the many natural works available do so not just as musicians, but more as those seeking a deeper spiritual enlightenment.

Not only do most of these recordings provide a state of relaxation, but they also give a great deal back to nature. Many companies, such as Work Disc Music, make a contribution from each sale toward the preservation and revitalization of the earth's natural environment and endangered species.

Another group involved in the same contribution process is the Soundings of the Planet organization. This group is "lovingly dedicated to preserving precious ocean life." All of these groups also work off of contributions from consumers interested in their cause and educational and promotional efforts set up by various organizations.

It seems as though there is a different type of recording for each individual to find something of interest. However, to get anything out of these recordings, one should try not to have any hang-ups about this area of music before giving it a listening. Some of the numerous kinds of recordings include <I>Thunderstorms<P>, <I>Tropic of Paradise<P>, <I>Lifestream<P>, and <I>A Delicate Balance<P>. The list goes on at great length due to the many different variations of the sounds and music that nature presents.

So, maybe the titles aren't the catchiest things you may have heard, but that isn't important. What is important is how the sounds and musical combination converge along with how this affects you, the listener.

The field of natural music is rapidly growing in popularity, even though it is normally not highly publicized.

Many stores based on environmental or natural products have a large quantity of the various types of recordings available. Simply reading about these recordings, it is easy to find yourself lost within the various sounds.

If you are unable to find any recordings that meet your desires, here are a couple addresses to organizations that produce and distribute many different types of natural recordings.

A free catalog can be acquired by calling World Disc Music at 1-800-228-5711 and Soundings of the Planet can be reached at 1-800-93PEACE.

Turner is a sophomore majoring in psychology.

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