When flying is a drag

Flying is such a hassle now, and that’s a problem for a state that is thousands of miles from anywhere and relies on visitors. No one who understands Hawaii would be surprised how closely we’ve followed the debacle in Chicago where Republic Airways, operating as United Express, bumped five people…


Music Post: Bridges and other musical pathways

In music, a bridge is a transitional passage that takes the music back to where it was originally. In “These Boots Were Made for Walking,” the chorus is a bridge back to the music of each verse. Some songs have no bridge, like “American Woman,” but most do. In a…


Music Post: All-American music

In 10 years of doing “Howard’s Day Off,” and more than 500 individual shows, I’ve easily done more than 50 shows of entirely American classical music. In the early years when the shows did not usually have themes, I once played nothing but American composers in the entire month of…


Neverbeens, aloners and foodies: future Hawaii visitors

You can’t interview a bunch of tourism marketing specialists without picking up some of the lingo of the trade. This morning at the Hawaii Convention Center, I spoke with the same people who today are briefing hundreds of hoteliers, airline executives and other people who work in the hospitality industry….


Music Post: Music of the organ, in classical music, jazz and rock

With a Presbyterian father and an Episcopal mother and a Baptist church across the street, and living in the suburbs rather than a big city, I saw plenty of churches but no really big ones until my teens at least. I heard organ music in church, sure, but nothing with…


The Obamacare challenge for Republicans

For years, Republicans made political hay by dissing Obamacare. It was an easy target. It converted millions of Americans from uninsured to insured, but not as many as promised, and the costs were high, as were all medical costs for all plans. Best of all, no one had to be…


Music Post: Real music made by synths

The first time I listened to the premiere recording of “Nixon in China,” I was perplexed by a sound in the orchestra which seemed to give the strings a harder edge, emphasizing the pulse of the John Adams score. Checking the orchestration I found it included a synthesizer, and a…


Trump, Obama, Russia and the FBI

Donald Trump and Barack Obama in happier times. President Trump shocked Democrats, Republicans and, apparently, his own staff, with a series of Saturday morning tweets accusing former President Obama of tapping his Trump Tower phones. The first thing everyone noticed was that he offered no proof and no source for…


Music Post: Music in flight – the fugue

You know what a round is: “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream; Merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.” What makes a round interesting is the way the melody can be overlaid with different starting points and everything fits. For purposes of this discussion, it is…


Music Post: It’s alive! The American composer

Jennifer Higdon, American composer. People who consider themselves in the know about classical music, who think of Stravinsky and Schoenberg or Bartok as modern composers, are not in the know about classical music. People who smile knowingly at that statement, because they think of younger generations of composers like Steve…