Poetry: finding your happy place…now with ukulele!

Kailua Beach, Oahu, HI. “I hear it in the deep heart’s core”

William Butler Yeats’ third quatrain of “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” (see below) talks about going to a happy place which exists in the “deep heart’s core”. His Innisfree, an uninhabited island filled with happy childhood memories is my Kailua beach. The iornwood burrs and the half-flowers of naupaka, the view of Popoi’a (Flat Island), a cup of black Lion Coffee from the Kalapawai Market at sunrise, the curve of the shore and the color of the water comes back with all the smells and sounds in need to take me far away from the maddening crowd. It’s the place I go in my mind when I when I need to find peace. I pick up my ukulele for that same reason; the practice of music is a place where “peace comes dropping slow “.

This spring, Daniel and I will visit the island of Molokai for the first time. I will be teaching a songwriting class at the Uke Ohana Molokai Retreat, April 5-9. Besides basic u’kulele techniques and song form, we will talk poetry: Ancient Hawaiian, contemporary, classical. Not every song has words, but poetry influences all songs, for poetry is the distillation of thought as music is the essence of feeling. It can be as naughty as a limerick, as simple as a haiku, or epic as the Aeneid.

Please join us as we immerse into Hawaiian culture and the beauty of the land. Breathing deep the warm, moist air filled with green and blue, letting softness and color return to the pavement grey of the city bleached mind. Finding a new happy place to arise and go to.

Molokai. Arise and go now.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

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DAFT DAYS 2018-19

In Scotland, where New Year’s Eve is called Hogmanay, the 12 days between December 25th and epiphany are called “Daft Days”.  I get that, especially before New Years. I am full of cheese and glögg and I never know what day it is; it’s a week of Saturdays. By the time the ball drops I am ready to reform and resolve. My favorite New Year’s eve activity is the purge. Excess coffee mugs, eraserless pencil stubs, undarnable socks, threadbare bedding and frosted mystery foods from the freezer…? Out with the old!

I received beautiful new black boots from my girls this Christmas. Letting go of the old brown ones will be hard. It’s been nine years, hundreds of miles, two sets of souls and three pair of heels. They are old friends, and deserve a proper Scottish send off. I won’t light them a’fire and swing them into the river, Hogmanay style, but we will cross arms, join hands and sing Robert Burns’ Auld Lang Syne.

And so should you, for old friends and old times’ sake. The song is older that Burns himself, and is sung around the world to a pentatonic Scots folk melody.  If you have a low G on your ukulele, you can start there and pick it out, while brushing up on your pentatonic scale, pull-offs and hammer-ons. If you have resolved to work on your playing, take a look at the music Daniel Ward has prepared as your holiday gift.

Here is Burns’ first verse in the original Scots, an English version, and some Hawaiian words by Lili‘u-o-ka-lani.

Aloha my jo- Daniel and I hope to take a cup ‘o kindness and walk a mile with ye in 2019.

SCOTS

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my jo, for auld lang syne,

we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

ENGLISH

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,

we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

HAWAIIAN

E poina ‘ia anei ke hoa  ‘a ‘ole e ho omana ‘o?

E poina ‘ia anei ke hoa   o na la i ‘aui a‘e?

E poina ‘ia anei an hoa o na la o ka makali‘i?

E mau ka ho‘omana‘o ‘ana no na la i ‘aui a‘e



Ukulele Holiday 2017

 

 

holiday blog shotLights and feasts and family and song- It’s that time of year! We all want to share something meaningful with those we love. This year, why not make it musical? Here are four ways to give gifts to self, gifts to the universe and gifts for all ages on your list this holiday season.

First- why not bring a song to your celebration? How about learning the uke just in time for the season of song? Here are our class listings for December at McCabes:

1-DAY INTRO TO UKULELE (HOLIDAY EDITION) JUST ADDED

Learn the basics of playing ukulele to your favorite holiday tunes! Pick up strumming, plucking, and chording a ukulele while singing along to Christmas, Hanukkah, and secular seasonal songs from many cultures.
Heidi Swedberg 10:30 – 11:30 AM Saturday, Dec 9 (1 session) $40
SIGN UP

HOLIDAY UKULELE JUST ADDED

Follow up Heidi’s one-day ukulele class with this more challenging course. Learn fun tunes that consist of few chords and simple arrangements. You’ll leave with plenty of songs to share with your family and friends this holiday season.
Heidi Swedberg 10:30 – 11:30 AM Saturday, Dec 16 (1 session) $40
SIGN UP

ARPEGGIO MEDITATIONS FOR UKULELE JUST ADDED

Learn a collection of warm-ups and short songs that help develop your tone and dexterity (and sense of rhythm), all while producing beautiful, meditative music. These arpeggio “loop” exercises can help beginning and advanced players develop more expressive playing. Practicing doesn’t have to be a chore. With these tools, you can relax with your ukulele and get better everyday!
Daniel Ward 12:00 – 1:00 PM Saturdays, Dec 9 – Dec 16 (2 sessions) $70

Second, BOOKS!

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Death by G-String C.C. Harrison, a uke pal from Arizona has published a grand ukulele murder mystery. I LOVED the galleys, you’ll LOVE the book

Arpeggio Meditations for Ukulele  Daniel’s long-awaited book is out and hot. Already entering it’s second printing, the book is a unique take on the ukulele, offering musical studies which are meditative and beautiful while being educational. (Right now he is offering a special holiday offer- FREE shipping when you buy any 2 or more items, including all our CDs, his book, and Color-Along Ukulele)

arpeggio book cover

Color-Along Ukulele Want to learn ukulele? Like to color? Why not do both at the same time! Download the FREE companion recordings so you can listen and learn. Learn your first twelve chords, play great songs- even one in Hawaiian, and do that doodle that you do so well. FUN FOR ALL AGES.

Ukulele Magazine Daniel and I have been enjoying contributing articles and lessons to Uke Mag, and I think you might like to have it delivered to your mailbox! You could get a digital only subscription, but there is something mighty fine about the definite article and with their Holiday Subscription special it is really affordable! (We are giving more than a few of these to those on our list)

Third- INSTRUMENTS!

Mim’s Ukes Her motto is “Every uke deserves a great set-up!” And when you order a uke from Mim, that is just what you will get!

Ordinarily I tell people to go to their local store, but with big chains eating up local merchants there are few cities lucky enough to have an honest music store with high-end and student models and a luthier willing to stake their reputation on the set-up of every model walking out their door.  Many internet retailers know nothing about ukuleles besides their profit margins, and would never take the time to work on the action of an inexpensive instrument, or guide you to what level ax you should buy.

But then there is Mim. She ushers you into her living room, whether you walk in to her shop through the barn door in Meadows of Dan, VA or the World Wide Web. I have never met anyone so passionate and dedicated as Mim. Whether your needs lead you the most or least expensive instrument in her stock, she will be sure you are well-matched, and your instrument is the best it can be.

Terry Merry CU

TERRY HARRIS If you want a hand built instrument, Terry is your man. Now that he has fully retired from ranching, the instruments he is building are more beautiful than ever- and the sound is… wow.  We visited him at his Kernville, CA ranch over Thanksgiving weekend where he strung up his latest build for us to try out. It blew us away! He has a few more wood sets just like this, and if you are fast and smart, one of them could be yours.

Terry Harris uke 2

Cedar top. Indian rosewood sides and back. Koa binding. Pure gold.

 

 

Fourth and finally- SHARING

PICKLEBERRY PIE   This year, Pickleberry Pie, an organization that sponsors concerts for hospitalized children is raising operating funds. Daniel and I have loved going room-to-room at Cedars Sinai’s pediatric ward, visiting kids and their families, making them laugh or sing a baby to sleep.  The calm that music can give, the bond it creates is no small thing.  Help this organization continue it’s meaningful work.

 

 

Let’s MAKE MUSIC!

MAKE MUSIC DAY WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21st at the SKIRBALL CENTER

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PARTY AT THE SKIRBALL! Make Music Day is 100% good times!

Play your ukulele! (Or learn to play!) Raise your voice! Daniel Ward and I will be leading a teach-and-strum along with Ohana ukuleles to lend at this FREE event at the Skirball.  Join us at noon, stay for Drumming with Rhythm Child, and a full day of musical programs you can interact with and enjoy.

I am hoping ukulele clubs, kids, families and ALL AGES of ukulele enthusiasts or wana-be uke players come to this event! If you are experienced, you will enjoy sharing your knowledge.  If you are new to the uke you can learn in a super-charged, loving and non- judgmental environment.  We are committed to sharing joy and connection through music, and would love to see YOU there, having fun, too.

The magnificent Alissa Hunnicutt will be on hand to make everything that much more fun, and Ohana will have a table set up where you can borrow and instrument for the day of buy one to take home to keep! ( We are so glad to have Ohana’s support on this!)

Here is some information on Make Music Day from their website:

Last year, over 750 cities around the world threw citywide music celebrations on June 21.

It all started 35 years ago in France.

In 1982, Jack Lang and his staff at the Ministry of Culture dreamed up an idea for a new kind of musical holiday. They imagined a day where free, live music would be everywhere: street corners and parks, rooftops and gardens, store fronts and mountaintops.

And, unlike a typical music festival, anyone and everyone would be invited to join and play music, or host performances. The event would take place on the summer solstice, June 21, and would be called Fête De La Musique. (In French, the name means both “festival of music” and “make music!”)

Amazingly enough, this dream has come true. The Fête has turned into a true national holiday: France shuts down on the summer solstice and musicians take over. Almost 8% of the country (5 million people) have played an instrument or sung in public for the Fête de la Musique.

Tales of The City

If you recognize this as the title from Armistead Maupin’s stories, you know The City is San francisco. Daniel and I are thrilled to be heading north for a visit this weekend.  We have a cluster of unique events, and hope you can make it to one or all of them!

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It’s a Mix-off! BYO to share and impress!

Saturday April 29th

Blackbird Ukuleles and Guitars   2180 Folsom st. San Francisco CA, 94110

Tickets for the workshops $20.00, just the concert $15.00, both $30.00

 Blackbird will host an intimate Potluck Cocktail Party at their factory space in the mission district with simultaneous workshops for beginner and advanced students from 3-4pm, followed by cocktail hour and a concert with Heidi and Daniel from 5-6 pm.

Come at 4 for the cocktail party, and show off your favorite recipe! (ice, lemons, limes, cutting boards, knives and lowball glasses will be provided). more info: DanielWorldMusic@gmail.com

Ciny Sanchez Dance

Special Guest Cindy Sanchez!

 

Sunday, April 30th

Michael DaSilva Ukueles   2547 8th street #28Berkeley CA  94710    $20.00

 Daniel will teach Flamenco strums for ukulele at Michael DaSilva’s Berkley HQ from 2-3:30. This workshop will be accessible and challenging for all levels of player, beginner to advanced, followed by a social hour.    ***SPECIAL GUEST*** Dancer Cindy Sanchez will be in attendance and will demonstrate  Flamenco dance styles

Monday, May 1  San Louis Obispo Museum of Art/SLO Strummers Workshop and Concert   $20.00

6:30 – 9 PM in SLOMA’s galleries. General admission tickets for both the workshop, “Right Hand Magic: Pro Fingerstyle Tips” and the concert are available at sloma.org or at the door (pending availability).
Presented by SLO Strummers: http://www.slostrummers.org

Wednesday, May 3   Morro Bay Wine Seller  601 Embarcadero, suite 5 93442  $10.00

Join us for this special event featuring an hour of sing alongs to your favorite Doo Wop Songs, then a concert by Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward.

You can pay at the door or by PayPal (you must have an account).  If you want more than one ticket, just change the amount on the link.https://www.paypal.me/HowardIgnatius/10

5:30 – meet and greet and order a class of wine

6:00 Doo Wops with the Distraction Band (Bring your Ukes!)

7:00 or so  Concert by Heidi and Daniel

 

 

One-Day Ukulele Intro at McCabes

ukelele lesson by heidi swedberg at McCabe's Guitar Shop, Los Angeles

Ukelele lesson by Heidi Swedberg at McCabe’s , Photo by Est Nyborer

Don’t put it off any longer! Jump on the band wagon! This one-day intro to ukulele class will get you going.  Bring your instrument or borrow one from the shop.

SATURDAY August 27 at MCCABES Guitar Shop, Santa Monica CA

The EL you say!

Daniel Ward  is EL UKULELE

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Flamenco-ukulele master Daniel Ward (with guest bass player Jeff Hawley) performs songs from his CD “EL UKULELE” and debuts new material written for Ukulele Festival of Great Britain 2016.

Bring your ukulele! Before the concert Daniel is offering a workshop in Latin techniques to spice up your playing. Students will be invited to show off their skills in the concert!

SATURDAY MAY 21

WORKSHOP 4:30pm $15/ Concert 6pm $15

at U-Space    244 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012   (323) 577-5567