Settling into Summer 2012

Aloha Dear Readers!! One of these years I will figure out how to implement vacation messages before I take off. Which is to say that . . . Iʻve been on vacation–a thoroughly needed clearing of the mind and refreshing of the soul, after the end of another academic year. Travel is always good for new experiences, which in turn are good for bringing new perspectives on mundane daily-life details and dramas.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day.” True, that. Is there any other city that can lay claim to two different epoch-shaping institutions 2000 years apart?  Walking Rome’s streets for several days brought new appreciation for concepts of “historical significance,” as well as “step-by-step,” and “one brick at a time.”

Reentry brought the delightful discovery of a flock of new CDs–Kamaka Fernandez’s long-awaited debut CD, new slack key from Cyril Pahinui and Mike Ka’awa, more sterling vocals from Howard Ai. Also a flurry of new books:  a new history of ʻukulele by Jim Tranquada and the late John King; Hawaiians in Los Angeles with a chapter on its hula scene through the decades, and coming later in summer, Dr. Adria Imadaʻs book Aloha America: Hula Circuits through the U.S. Empire.

A reprint, too:  Jerry Hopkins’ 1982 volume, The Hula, has been reprinted in a gorgeous new edition by Bess Press. The Bess Press folks brought me aboard to edit the original text. Further comments are forthcoming.

I will be working feverishly this summer to advance my own long-running projects on Hawaiian music history, which have benefitted enormously from the LP digitizing blitz begun last summer.  (And Iʻll be resuming posts on The Daily Mele at tumblr.)

This past year, the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa conducted a search for a newly-authorized faculty position in Hawaiian music, and the search concluded with the appointment of Aaron Sala. This development ushers in new opportunities for Hawaiian music, and I send Aaron and UH Manoa my best wishes and aloha.

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