In the olden days there were a man and a woman who loved each other and stole away to hide in the forest without the knowledge of the girl’s parents, and indulged their passion. A little patter of rain fell on them but they paid no attention to it. After a pause, one went to see if the rain had cleared. It had not and they fell asleep. After some time
they awoke, and found the rain still falling and again went to sleep. For several days and nights the two slept and the rain fell. At length they woke and found that their heads had been sharpened and flattened from the long sleep while the rain fell, day and night. Hence it is called Ka au Poolipilipi 0 Kalihi “the rain that sharpens the heads in Kalihi”
In Ridley Scotts Blade Runner, we are shown a dystopian Los Angeles cityscape marked with floating advertisements, fluorescent neon storefront signs and the remnants of a culture that once stood.
I feel the same way walking into Ala Moana Center. Flashing signs to grab my attention, the rush of vendors trying to hock their wares at me. Is this a true representation of Hawaiian commerce? Or the amalgamation of out of island investors and property managers who have no grasp on long term local interests?
One the original tenants of Ala Moana Center, The Slipper House, is not only a local favorite for over 54 years but has been a destination for visiting tourists.
The Slipper House was founded in 1959 by Kiyoto Uejio.
“His inventory came on consignment through his older brother, Fumio, who imported rubber slippers, fancier straw-covered goza slippers and Japanese dancing slippers from Japan. Uejio didn’t want to sell anything more because he wanted his store to stand out.”
The style has evolved over the years from beach footwear to affordable sandals.
Kiyoto’s son, Glenn Uejio is a musician who earned an undergraduate and masters degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. A clarinetist, he previously performed with the Honolulu Symphony and taught music and band at Oahu high schools. He joined the store in 1978 after becoming weary of a music career.
The Slipper House philosophy’s has always stayed the same throughout the years.
“Glen holds five-minute staff meetings three times a day. In a back-room stairwell, employees post daily notes about what’s on their minds — everything from family stress since Sept. 11 to thoughts on how to display merchandise better. The notes are posted near another wall that has more permanent messages written by the staff explaining why they are proud to be working at The Slipper House.”
“Once a month, Uejio organizes one-hour staff meetings at places such as Haiku Gardens on the Windward side, aboard the Star of Honolulu dinner cruise, or near the ocean’s edge.”
“The business books say the customer comes first,” Uejio said in a 2002 interview. “No. The employees come first.”
The average employee stays nine years, longer than the average worker in retail, where turnover is relatively high. And Uejio said he hasn’t had to advertise for an opening in more than 20 years.
Sadly in last November (2012) General Growth Properties notified the store’s owner, Glenn Uejio, that it was terminating his lease at the end of May.
“Since then, Glenn has been trying to find jobs for his 19 employees. Uejio met with executives of 13 Hawaii companies hoping to find new jobs for his 19 employees and said he’s close to securing new work for all 12 of his full-timers.”
This is a common theme we have been witnessing throughout the years in Hawaii.
Returning to our comparison of Blade Runner, will the artificial consciousness of Ala Moana awaken to find itself devoid of the Aloha spirit? Or will Ala Moana Center remain another replica of every other mall one can find on a tropical island.
The purpose of Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, is to make these resources available for the use, teaching, and revitalization of the Hawaiian language and for a broader and deeper understanding of Hawaiʻi.
Ulukau is a coined word given as the name of this web-based library. The word refers to unexplained supernatural interpretive powers. It is the hope of the authors of Ulukau that in the same way that unexplained supernatural interpretive powers can be divinely given to a person, so knowledge and understanding can come to the person who makes the effort to read the language and the words of this electronic library.
The concept of balance comes up frequently in Hawaiian thought and is pivotal to it. The English word does not fully describe the Hawaiian idea of Pono, in which all is right with the world and all aspects of life are working harmoniously together. For optimum life, balance was considered necessary, first of all, among parts of nature–humans, animals, birds, plants, weather, water, land, and sky; among the female and male polarities; among the gods, demigods, and spirits, greater and lesser, and the humans who interacted with them; and finally, among the members of the extended family, the community, and the various strata of society.
The Hawaiian view also held that a healthy life maintained balance between the material and spiritual realms, and these were not to be separate from one another.
I looked up the word “pow wow” and this is the description I got from Wikipedia: A pow-wow (also powwow or pow wow) is a gathering of North America’s Native people. The word derives from the Narragansett word powwow, meaning “spiritual leader”. This is a fitting term for the social art event known as Pow Wow Hawaii, because much like the native gatherings around a “spiritual leader”, the communities and local artist in Hawaii have gravitated to the purity of this agenda. Likewise, a globe of artists who value process and love of art and creativity over upsells and franchising, are taking notice of this truly artistic endeavor. Jasper Wong is a world renowned contemporary artist, and has the spotlight for conceptualizing Pow Wow Hawaii.
Samadhi and Boca Hawaii mural by Solomon Enos and Sousou Lutero
Solomon Enos at work @ Pow Wow Hawaii.
Mural for Pow Wow Hawaii – by Solomon Enos
A social event that has roots in Hong Kong and brings local communities, local artist, and world recognized craftsmen and creators together to paint murals around Hawaii. An annual get-together for the celebration of the creative process. A no-holds barred, whirlpool of painters, conceptual artists, taggers, tattooists, sculptors, musicians and inventive minds on the streets of Kaka’ako, Honolulu, Hawaii in February. No one is turned away from the art for lack of knowledge or class, the community is entrenched in the concept and the murals seem to take on a life of their own because of this fluid method.
Hawaii has always been a breeding ground for beautiful expressions. Art is in the culture and all around in the scenery. Jasper Wong’s ultimate goal of changing the aesthetic of our state to a work of art itself, with no boundaries of where one creative mind begins and another one ends is nothing but pure elation to my mind. Can you imagine if this had been a socially acceptable process in the past? If I could visit Manhattan and walk down the streets laden with the art of the local community and all the great talent that have passed through, or called New York home? A painting started by Pablo Picasso, amended by John Lennon, washed over by Andy Warhol, with contributions from the local street artists. That alone is an inspirational thought. The fact that it’s taking shape in our world today gives hope that even without the government support that the Arts needs, it can’t and won’t be stopped, and a new generation of intuitive minds and open hearts are pushing the boundaries so that the future of the Arts is kept bright.
The 808 Urban x POW WOW Hawaii Youth Art Workshops finally give a place where young “Urban Artists” can learn in after school and Saturday art classes. These workshops explore contemporary art and its influence on commercial culture from the past and present. Students learn about changing social notions regarding contemporary public “street” art, while exploring a multitude concepts, including design, color theory, symbolism, and artistic elements. The overall teachings are of self-expression, cultural awareness, as well as respect for community and nature. Pow Wow Hawaii is a shining example of how art influences culture for the better, and that the human element is most important in views and validity of expression. I can only hope the all the major cities in world follow suit and life becomes one giant art gallery, full of collaborative hearts and minds.
Living in Hawai`i, we are very luck to be a part of a very unique and involved community of local hobbyists that are extremely passionate for their cause. Of course, I’m speaking of the local aquarist scene. I’m not sure if it’s our proximity to the ocean (Father Dagon be praised), or the variety of mixed Asian and other cultures that have formulated this environment, but the fish enthusiast that wishes to find another passionate comrade doesn’t have to look very hard.
One such an organization that has been encouraging local aquarium hobbyists to gather together and share their knowledge and experience for a number of years is the Honolulu Aquarium Society. At their meetings every first Friday of the month, members are welcome to join in on educational presentations on aquarium related topics, participate in the society sponsored auction and raffle, and just have an all around good time discussing their favorite fishy things with those of a similar sense of sanity! If you’re interested in becoming a member, or even just in stopping by and seeing what the HAS is all about, follow the link below for more information.
And even if you’re not a hybrid child of the sea, feel free to come down and seek me out as well! Mother Hydra be praised!
Aerial view of Lanai City in 1929. -Photo Courtesty of the Lāna`i Culture and Heritage Center
Urban design, like its sister art architecture,
is a people’s use of an accumulated technological knowledge to control
and adapt the environment for social, economic,
political and religious requirements. It is the method
learned and used by a people to solve the total
programme of requirements for city building. The
city is an element of a people’s spiritual and physical
culture and, indeed, it is one of the highest
expressions of that culture.
Urban design Street and Square : Cliff Moughtin
Docomomo Hawaii is a non-profit group dedicated to promoting public education on the preservation of Modern architecture in the Pacific Islands. Docomomo Hawaii is a subset of a larger entity Do.Co.Mo.Mo_ US
International working party for the documentation and conservation of buildings, sites, and neighborhoods of the modern movement.
The Hawaii chapter of Docomomo US is comprised of members of key local architectural, design, preservation and museum professionals from the private and public sectors. The Hawaii chapter aims to promote public education on Modernism in the islands by cataloguing, preserving, restoring and renovating Hawaii’s unique modern architecture and public art; identifying aspects of the modern movement that are applicable to Hawaii’s environment and culture; conducting an oral history project among senior Hawaii architects and developers of our modern environments; and building a model Docomomo chapter that also has a lot of fun.
Often times we may have forgotten old designs and structures in Hawaii, like Byron’s Drive Inn, The Old Stadium, or Castle Park. Here is a brief disscusion on a related topic called Psychogeography.
Weapons are made of wood and/or stone with the inclusion of sharks’ teeth on some of the weapons
When the slow-moving board of army officers at Washington, comprising a board of selections of the War Department, to select a site for a great army post on the island of Oahu, it considered carious locations, and then decided upon Leilehua for the future Schofield Baracks cantonment, they probably had no idea that they were merely continuing the ancient “School of War” established in olden times by the Hawaiian chiefs.
And similarly the board members probably had no idea that the swift-descending slope overlooking Haleiwa, through which the Waialua Hill road threads its way from the Schofield Barracks to the sea, was called “The Valley Of Spears,” and that it, too, had a military significance.
In ancient days soldiers were taught the arts of war as now, but with very different weapons. Instead of bayonets for the coup de grace, they held a shark’s tooth in the palm of the hand, bound to the rest of the hand with olona fiber, and with this they disemboweled their opponents.
But in the absense of weapons, they learned another art, the lua–the art of dislocating the joints and rendering an opponent helpless.
Like all other arts, the lua was prostituted to become a feature of brigandage. While the young Hawaiians were taught at Leilehua the arts of war, including the lua, brigandage flourished on the hill slopes overlooking Waialua, and there the brigands waylaid travelers passing from Kou (the present site of Honolulu) to Waialua and beyond. The victims were disjointed and often put to death. One had to be wary in those days of traveling. The soldiers at Leilehua warned travelers of the menace beyond their borders, and advised them that if they would elude the spears of the brigands they must use wariness and detours.
Urban dictionary defines Audiophile as “ A person who thoroughly enjoys listening to a wide selection of music, and of varied musical genres.” I have always felt this is the only way to listen to music. Why settle for a few genres when music like art should be tasted in variety?
Can we leave this up to our radio stations to show us the latest and greatest tunes? I am afraid not, outside of college radio, radio stations work off of a top xxx list. If it’s not on a billboard hit list, chances are you won’t ever hear of it.
Today I am going to be sharing what I have found to be the best method for discovering new music, using what I dub Associative Music Searching
Associative Music Search is hijacked from the principle of Associative learning
Or as Wikipedia states:
Associative learning is the process by which an association between two stimuli or a behavior and a stimulus is learned. The two forms of associative learning are classical and operant conditioning. In the former a previously neutral stimulus is repeatedly presented together with a reflex eliciting stimuli until eventually the neutral stimulus will elicit a response on its own.
Clear as the Ala Wai water right? – Lets try this again – Associative learning = You like deep fried shrimp? You’ll probably like deep fried mahi-mahi.
On that basis AMS – Associative Music Searching : Is the result of searching for an Artist or band that you are familiar with and finding similar sounding or like-minded genres.
Example = I think Skinny Puppy is a cool Band = I’ll search for similar bands that either sound or are associated with Skinny Puppy in some way.
Formula for Associative Music Searching =
[ A Compared to B = Result ] [Validate Data]
A: Artist / Band we think is cool.
B : will be our Data Set or Database- We will be using The Last Fm.
Results = New Discovery!
Validate Data: Optional, verify your results.
With terms and conditions out of the way lets begin with the actual walkthrough
A: Artist or Band we think sounds superb.
I have selected the works of the magi duo Cyclobe for our example.
Again, We like the sound of the Cyclobe (who doesn’t?) and we want to find similar artists that sound like them.
Or similar genres relating to Cyclobe.
B:Our Data Set or Database: We will be using the last.fm as our database.
Open your web browser (or click on the link provided) of choice and go to: www.last.fm .
Once you arrive at the site locate the music search entry.
Last Fm Music search
Type in your band’s name: Cyclobe for our example and hit enter or click the magnifying glass.
Click on View Cyclobe or view (bandname)
In blue we can view what genre in the instance is associated with our band. We could at this point explore similar bands by clicking on any of the genre types.
However what we are data mining for particularly are bands that sound like Cyclobe specifically.
Near the bottom of the page you will see
Let’s click on the Similar artists link for a better view.
We can now see a short summary of the like-sounding bands, the level of similarity, and listeners. We can use the results to assist us in our search.
For our example, I will select the Artist Kreng.
Kreng started out as a strictly sample-based project, incorporating sounds from various sources: free-jazz, new electronic generated sounds, classical modernism & vintage geographical recordings.
The description alone warrants exploration.
Let’s click on the Kreng link and find out more about the artist.
We see a similar results to our Cyclobe search. Our genre tags, similar artists,Photos of the artist and music samples. Listening to a few sample tracks of Kreng. I am very pleased with the sound of the artist and yes the sound is very akin to Cyclobe. But how do we know if Kreng is indictive to Cyclobe in terms of all music or philosphy?
A Youtube search will give you videos the band has done. This will provide a visual representation of the band.
Youtube is also a quick way to hear most of the bands’ catalogues of sound.
Other Sources of Validation? If you are lucky enough to have a local music store. My favorites locally are Jelly’s Hawaii Hungry Ear Records
I can assure you the employees are walking Smithsonians of music lore.
Amazon.com will give you online reviews based on user data. Although this can be a bit hit-or-miss as you may stumble across troll postings, statistically the reviews should give you a good idea.
Periodicals? Under The Radar. In my opinion the best printed reference for not only music discovery but reviews and interviews.
You are now ready to begin your AMS. I must forewarn you about music discovery and the illuminating effects it may cause. I will do so in the text of the Simalarion.
At first Eru Ilúvatar, the One, the All-Father, lived alone in the Timeless Halls amid the Void. Out of his thought he bore the Ainur, the Holy Ones, whom he kindled with the Flame Imperishable. Teaching them to sing, he gave them a theme on which all of them here to sing together.
One of the Ainur, Melkor, whom Ilúvatar had given the greatest gifts of power and knowledge, had gone often into the Void in quest of the Flame Imperishable. This he wanted to use to make things of his own. He did not find it there; it lives only with Ilúvatar. Melkor, though, grew different from the other Ainur as he wandered in the Void.
When the Ainur sang together, then, Melkor did not sing Ilúvatar’s theme, but put his own themes into the great music. Discord arose. Most of the Ainur stayed with Il´uvatar’s theme. Some of them, though, grew downcast at the discord and lost track of the music; others even followed Melkor’s lead. Twice, to bring the music back into line with its goal, Ilúvatar put new themes into the music. Twice Melkor kept the discord going till Ilúvatar ended the music with a mighty crash.
I found myself in a debate recently on the notion that myths are no longer relevant. I, of course, stood on my Joseph Campbell soap box and defended not only the story telling aspect of Myths, but also how we cannot, as a society function without them. Here is a passage I shared with the disputant.
Where do our myths come from? Do they mean anything?
Why do we continue to talk about Hercules, Thor, Pele, and Laka? Why are stories of Zeus, Moses, and Martin Luther King Jr so resonant?
When we bring up the Mahatma or Steve Jobs, are we talking about real people or the ideas behind them?
Joseph Campbell nailed it. Myths aren’t about gods (real ones or imagined). They are about us. They are about humans acting human and doing it while wearing the cloaks of gods, of legendary figures. Myths highlight the very best of ourselves (and sometimes the worst). These stories don’t spread because a king or despot insists that we hear them and memorize them. No, we engage with and remember and resonate with myths because they’re about our favorite person, our best possible self.
Myths aren’t myths at all. They are mirrors, paths to walk, and bars to be exceeded. The forgotten part of the original story of Icarus was a powerful talisman, a reminder to avoid selling ourselves short, a reminder to honor the opportunities in front of us.