Geoff's Notes

Fri, 25 Feb 2005

O.K. Alright. I know it's been a week and a half since I've put anything on the blog, but I came home with bronchitis and then had to jump into production of last June's Sea Music Festival CD. I'm writing now from Montreal, having just arrived for the Strictly Mundial Folk Alliance Conference. More on this fandango later.

To recap a bit, Sunday the 13th in Honolulu was devoted to the Bishop Museum's monthly Family Day which included a noontime performance of our ECHO piece, and a number of other performances, by us individually and by local music and dance groups. A fine day all in all, although I was really beginning to feel some effects from Friday's drenching. Monday I spent all day at Hanahau'oli School where my mother first taught music when she came out of Radcliffe in 1936. I did an assembly at 8:30, and spent the rest of the day with Chris Mullen in the music room with every level from K - 6. I did silly songs with 2 & 3, whaling songs with 4 & 5 and basically acted as a consultant on the 6th grades plans for their graduation musical. I barely got through the day with a voice, but it was very gratifying. In particular, Chris and the kids have been picking favorite songs from my appearances and incorporating them into their own performances. The whole school sings "John Kanaka" from the first time I was there two years ago. For the past two years, Chris has gotten the older students to perform an involved arrangement of "Last Leviathan" that is really amazing. They start with ocean drums, the ones that use rollong bb's to replicate the sound of ocean waves, then add in low timbre tongue drums for the whales heartbeat, guitar, small high pitched xylophones, triangles and pipe chimes, finally bringing in singers for the chorus verse, and soloists for the rest - WOW. It amazed me for the second year running that these grade school kids would chose to perform such a difficult (emotionally) song, and then that they should do it so powerfully. That was enough to keep me flying all the way home, which I did overnight into Tuesday.

So then I spent two days in bed, except for getting to the doctor for medication, and have been going full bore on the Seaport CD ever since. So now for the Folk Alliance Conference. Just said hello to Margaret Macarthur, who will be in the series of traditional showcases I'm part of tomorrow night. I'll sign off for now, so I can eat and hear and play some music!

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