A love song played over loud speakers at the 2015 annual Maui Okinawan Festival brought back memories of growing up on Okinawa.
At the annual Maui Okinawan Festival, I heard three youngsters announce the songs they would be dancing to. When one of them added “and this one is my favorite,” I took out my iPhone to record it and began my journey of discovering this famous song about the Okinawan instrument. Continue reading “The flower of sanshin: san shin no hana 三線の花”
Anne Ku reflects on the decisions and steps required to produce a concert, specifically, the first and second classical guitar concerts at Maui College.
It is entirely possible to make an event happen without being there. If we’re to deconstruct the steps to produce an event such as a classical guitar concert, we can see what it takes in the following phases. Continue reading “Producing an event without being there: classical guitar concert on Maui”
Halloween music can come from horror movies or those with ghosts, vampires, monsters, and other fantasy creatures. Anne Ku gives a piano concert to celebrate this occasion on Maui.
In the spirit of themed piano concerts, I decided to do one for Halloween, after my previous one for Earth Day in April 2014. Because Halloween is so popular in the USA, rather than run away and hide from trick-or-treaters as I usually do, I thought I’d face the music and celebrate with an audience that may appreciate a journey down memory lane.
The word Halloween originates from “All Hallows’ Even” or “the eve of All Hallows’ Day.” All Hallows’ Day is simply another name for All Saints’ Day, the day the Catholics commemorate all the saints.
Continue reading “Halloween Piano Concert: music from horror films”
A concert of music works with titles to do with the earth so as to raise awareness and respect the earth and all that’s around us —
In tandem with arranging music for the Earth Day Jam, a free one-hour piano workshop to get people to experience making music together, I decided to end the week with a tribute to the earth. As in previous two concerts this year, my most advanced students opened the concert for me, this time with more confidence and conviction than ever before.
Continue reading “Music for the earth piano concert”
When choosing music to play for a concert, it’s important to have a theme, tell a story that not only introduces each work but also links them to each other. Balance the familiar with the unfamiliar; slow and fast. Variety is the spice of life.
For the record and to avoid repeating the same program in the future, I’m documenting what I played for the concert I gave on Friday 28th February 2014. I had contemplated the possibilities of piano music from movies a few days earlier.
Continue reading “Music from Movies Concert”
How to assemble a concert program for an elderly audience for Chinese New Year?
Friday January 31st, 2014 was a triple whammy day for me:
– end of the electric vehicle project that had consumed me for two years
– Chinese New Year of the Horse
– two concerts: morning in Kahului and evening in Kula
Continue reading “Chinese New Year Concert”
I was introduced to TED.com a few years ago by a fellow Rotarian in the Netherlands. I’m convinced that it really is an idea worth spreading, and one that needs such a viral introduction at first. I probably would not have stumbled upon it had he not told me about it.
The value of videos on TED.com grows over time because it becomes a database of useful and inspiring presentations & performances all over the world, largely through TEDx. The way the presenters engage and empower the audience on topics that are timeless and yet timely is one reason why it will live on.
We performers have much to learn from its success.
TEDx are produced in different locations around the world. Maui started its own in 2012 with presenters somehow related to Maui or Hawaii.
On Sunday 13th January 2013, I attended the last 3 segments of the TEDxMaui 2013 production at the Castle Theatre of the Maui Arts and Cultural Center (MACC).
I was most impressed by the ability of certain speakers to convey a knowledge or skill that I had originally considered complicated in a way that made me learn and see the beauty of its simplicity. The elder explorer who taught the audience how to navigate the Pacific Ocean by the stars gave us a taste of that extraordinary craft of ancient Polynesians. The Hawaiian musician Mahala made us chuckle and laugh while he showed us the secrets of the slack key guitar, in particular, his view that each of the 6 strings represented a different instrument.
The lights were not off as typical of most performances. They were ON — because the audience was just as important as the performer(s).
Audience engagement is more important now than ever before.
My burning question was this: why was TEDxMaui able to attract a full-house at the 1,200 seat Castle Theater but not Dame Kiri Te Kanawa?