This is pertaining to my hānai son, Jason Poole. I call him Iakona. He's been with me for quite some time now. I've always admired this young man. I invited him to join me. I took him in as a son.
How did Pittsburgh-born, classically trained singer Jason Poole find himself knee-deep in mud, gutting fish on the remote island of Molokai?
Monday, March 2, 2015
I’m excited to tell you all about an upcoming event, a Weekend of Song, that I’m participating in here in NYC.
The Folk Music Society of New York, Inc. is presenting a jam-packed mini-festival of music and lectures this coming weekend, March 6-8th. Fantastically talented musicians representing diverse styles of folk music traditions. Doesn’t that sound awesome? Please click HERE for all of the details.
I’ll be giving a short talk on Saturday afternoon (from 415p-520p) about the evolution of a Hawaiian song, tracing the path of a Molokai song from its traditional oli (chant) to its more contemporary form, set to a gospel tune in the late 1800s.
And then on Saturday evening, I’ll be joined Kristabelle (on steel guitar) and Eleanor (our beautiful hula dancer) as we present a set of traditional (and self-penned) songs from/about Molokai. The concert is scheduled to begin at 730p and we’re sharing the evening with some great musicians!
It’s an honor to share Hawaiian music and culture here in New York City. And it’s always fun to be a part of a Folk Music Society of New York event.
If you’re in the NYC-area this weekend, I’d love to see you there!
*Note: While I’ll only be speaking/singing on Saturday, March 7th, the entire weekend looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. Please be sure to check out the schedule to see a list of speakers, performers and workshops.
Where: Elisabeth Irwin High School (40 Charlton Street, New York, NY 10014)
When: March 6-8, 2015 (I’ll be presenting & performing on Saturday, March 7th)0 Comments
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Writer’s Sketchbook – a peek inside my notebook of timed writings
August, 2008. I am in Hālawa Valley with ‘Anakala Pillipo. Here! Me! With him! Amazing. I want to learn music. To really immerse myself in the sounds of Hawaiʻi. No… more than that. To immerse myself IN HAWAIʻI, herself. The songs are wonderful—they calm me down when I listen to them. And they’re fun to sing. But I know I’ll never be able to REALLY sing them if I only parrot the sounds that I hear on the recordings. I need to go deep. It’s why I’m here. And now we’re sitting on the front porch of his cabin in Hālawa Valley.
-Go get your ‘ukulele. I think we should do some singing.
My heart almost jumps out of my mouth but gets stuck in my throat. It’s time. It’s finally time to start.
-Do you know the song Hula O Makee?
I’m familiar with the song. I’ve heard it on the Hawaiian radio stations that I listen to at my desk. I’ve heard it on some of the classic hula CDs in my collection. I’m glad because I don’t have to say No. I can at least strum along with him.
We play it in G—his key of choice for most songs. I have a the “Blue Bible” of Hawaiian songs for us to use as a reference for lyrics. He doesn’t look at the book. My eyes dart from the page to his hands to his face. I want to impress him more than anything. To show him I’m serious about this. And to show him I can do it. I can hold my own.
He sings his version of the song—not paying attention to the page. He skips some of the printed verses.
-I sing it the way we always sang it. Sometimes the book is different. Different places sing the song in different ways. (He says this after we make our way through the song 3 times)
I am grateful for the chance to sing with him, but I want to move on. I don’t like this song. It’s not a Molokai song and that’s what I was hoping for. It’s not what I want to be doing for very long.
-Mahalo for this, ‘Anakala. Can we sing another song now?
-Why do you want to sing another song? This is a good one.
-I was just thinking there are so many songs for us to look at. How ‘bout a Molokai song?
-No. This is a good one. Hana hou. Again.
We start the song again from the beginning. I’m frustrated. My arms are tight. The valley suddenly seems noisy. Too much sound. Too many distractions. Tunnel vision makes the white page seem dark, the words blur to a smudge.
We sing it again and again and again. I’m going to lose my mind if I have to do it one more time.
-This will be your song to sing. We’ll keep going with this one.
© 2014 Jason Poole, all rights reserved6 Comments
Monday, February 16, 2015
an icy draft blew across my face
as i opened my eyes this morning
checking the temperature–
a frigid 3-degrees
i wanted to close my eyes
go back inside the warm world of sleepy dreams
turning on the computer
i was slammed with news
of death and destruction
i wanted to close my eyes
and snuggle back into the security blanket of ignorance
today i want to close myself off
close my eyes
but i hear pops’ voice in my head
“aloha i kekahi i kekahi”
love one another
and i open
we must share the aloha
we must share the warmth
Sunday, February 15, 2015
When I first started working on The Big Project I didn’t understand how at times I would get lost in the mists of “I remember…” Sitting at my desk or in a coffee shop, I would lose track of days, hours, seasons. It’s a good thing to go outside even when the thermometer reads 12-degrees … Click here to read more…4 Comments
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Aloha i kekahi i kekahi. Love one another. May we all share Aloha today. Happy Valentine’s Day, gang. Right on.0 Comments
Friday, February 6, 2015
Aloha gang! Happy Aloha Friday! I’m heading to Chicago today for a jam-packed weekend of my favorite things: Hawaiian Music, Hula & Creative Play! Thanks to my good buddies at Zen Life & Meditation Center and Hālau i Ka Pono, I’ll be sharing workshops and a concert–with the dancers of Hālau I Ka Pono sharing … Click here to read more…0 Comments