Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Hawaii State Society Ukulele Workshop

The Hawaii State Society of Washington DC presents a Slack Key Guitar and Ukulele Music Weekend Workshop featuring Grammy artists Keoki Kahumoku (slack key), Herb Ohta, Jr. (ukulele), Grammy nominee Keale (music and culture), and Hawaiian language, voice, and hula artist Darci Baker (Hawaiian mele and voice). Here are some details: Workshop classes include Basic and Intermediate instructions in Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar and/or Ukulele, private one-on-one or one-on-small group sessions, and Hawaiian jam (kanikapila) sessions with the artists. Singing and understanding Hawaiian music is important, so there will also be workshops in voice and the culture behind some of the music where you will gain a deeper appreciation of Hawaiian culture through its music and stories. Open to teens and adults. Date: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 9-11 Place: Northern Virginia Community College, Ernst Cultural Community Center Cost: $425 Includes 3 days of workshops, jam sessions, 8 meals, and front row concert ticket. Details on registration and complete schedule can be found at The Hawaii State Society website: Go to The Hawaii State Society website

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wish You Were Here! --Rockfish Stu

A tropical postcard comes to animated life as a happy-go-lucky beach comer has a run-in with a crabby local.

This is a short I've been working on for longer than I want to admit (off and on, of course ... I'm sure everyone is familiar with the way that goes.) It started as a way to experiment with combining 2D animation with claymation and photographic backgrounds. It's animated in Flash and edited in Final Cut Express.

Rockfish Stu is a character loosely based on my friend Sid. (I don't even know what that nickname means, but I've always thought it had a ring to it.) He recorded his VO sitting in on the commode at his house on Maui then emailed the files to me here in Nashville. Bless the internet!

Rockfish's ukulele is actually a vintage 1930' Hilo that I purchased on eBay several years ago. I photographed it without the strings so I could put animated strings on it.

I believe that is koa wood on the front and back and mahogany on the sides. It has a great sound but the frets are kind of tall and it's a little harder to play than some of my other ukes. I LOVE the logo though. It was worth it just for that. (this was another era of Hilo's history--they don't make them like this anymore.)

I got fed up with having so much done on this short and yet it would still be another year, at the least, to finish the entire story as written, so I found a convenient stopping point and called it done. Not the most satisfying solution since there's a lot of cool stuff that was going to happen in the second half but life and other projects were pushing this further and further into the distance. Ah well, one day I'll either finish the entire "vision" or absorb some of those ideas into something else.