The new normal: traffic disruptions and other “attacks”

What are the chances of being prevented from going somewhere because of an active shooter or bomb alert? We read about it in the papers, watch the aftermath on Facebook live video, or just miss it by an hour or a week.

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Annie’s Song in C for ukulele

When I was growing up on the island of Okinawa, I listened to John Denver whose songs of love, nature, and beauty described my childhood. I took a personal interest in “Annie’s Song” identifying myself with the name.

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Letting go and hanging on: the dilemma of wanting the wanted

Early in January, my pianist friend asked if I had the space to receive her restored Steinway Model B. It would be a win-win situation as she knew I was looking for a grand piano. Otherwise she would have to pay for the 6 foot 11 inch instrument to sit on its side in storage, unused, indefinitely until she was able to accommodate it.

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Extended kitchen extension with tension

“What are you doing in London?”

“Waiting for my kitchen extension to start.”

That was June 2017. The same conversation repeated itself in July. Little did I know this was the beginning of an extended chase with rising tension.

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Easy peasy ukulele duet on open strings

After arranging music for easy piano solo and duets for several years, I am now developing material for teaching the ukulele to complete beginners. It’s an eye-opener to observe how quickly, after a short introduction to this four-stringed instrument, one reaches a positive conclusion: “I can play it. I want to play it.”

Next questions: where can I get one? how much does it cost?

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My last grandma (1917 – 2017)

6 October 1917 – 3 July 2017

We called her “Ah Po” – an endearment in the Hakka dialect.

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Only You by Yazoo for ukulele and four-part harmony

During Freshman orientation week, I heard the Pitchforks sing a song that was so beautiful that I spent the rest of my life looking for the sheet music. When I eventually found a copy with piano accompaniment, I begged my friend to sing it in his barbershop quartet. I wanted to hear it again.

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Opus: Live is Life for ukulele

On my first trip to Europe, I heard a song in the Greek islands that roused me to get up and dance. Because I heard it everywhere, it became the single defining song of my first backpacking trip as an independent solo traveller.

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A novel to escape from reality

Dusk at 10 pm in London.

As I sit in front of the dining room window, I see the silhouette of the tall trees behind my garden.

I hear the hum of my refrigerator from the kitchen.

I am finally awake after triple dosing on out-of-date antihistamines that drowned me in drowsiness amid sneezing fits on this sunny but windy day. Sadly, it is my excuse for doing nothing else but read the 326-page paperback that arrived yesterday.

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Happy Birthday chord melody arrangement for ukulele

A chord melody arrangement is one in which the melody (of a song) is embedded in the chord. While you can play the melody separately from the harmony, the idea is that the notes you need for the melody is in the chord itself.

Why is this special?

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