Author Archives: Keola Donaghy

About Keola Donaghy

I am a faculty member in the music department at University of Hawai‘i Maui College and assist with the administration of the Institute of Hawaiian Music. Outside of my work at the College, I am very active in the Hawaiian music community. I am a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (“Grammy Awards”) and a former member of the Board of Governors of the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts (“Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards”). I attended Kīhei Elementary and St. Anthony High School on Maui. Our family moved to Hilo in 1994 when I enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. I received a Bachelor of Arts in Hawaiian Studies from UH-Hilo in 1999, a graduate certificate in Telecommunications and Information Resource Management from UH-Mānoa in 2000, and Master of Arts in Hawaiian Language and Literature from UH-Hilo in 2003. I also hold a Ph.D. in Music (Ethnomusicology) from the University of Otago in Dunedin, Aotearoa (New Zealand), where my wife, daughter and I spent six months during 2008. I co-wrote all but one Hawaiian song and was assistant producer on Kenneth Makuakāne’s recent solo debut, Makuakane. You can hear cuts of those songs on Kenneth’s website. I was honored to have a Christmas song I wrote, “Ke Aloha Kalikimaka” recorded by Keali‘i Reichel on his Christmas release, Maluhia. My composition “Nā Hōkū Pio ‘Ole” was selected as the theme song for the 30th anniversary Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards. Some of my compositions have been recorded by Kainani Kahaunaele, the De Lima ‘Ohana, Mailani Makainai, The Pandanus Club, Steven Espaniola, Patrick Landeza, and O’Brian Eselu. I love to work the fringes of Hawaiian music by combining Hawaiian language lyrics with musical styles which are not often used to accompany Hawaiian music. You’ll hear some of the fruits of this work in the near future.

2013 Hawai‘i Grammy Entry Update

I really don’t mean to be “Grammy Awards Central” when it comes to news and information for Hawai‘i artists, but posting here will help me keep from repeating myself in emails.

The HARA office and I prepared and submitted entries for 36 or so CDs and songs in a variety of categories. All releases are reviewed by a committee of individuals knowledgeable in those categories and the genres included in them. In searching out our entries, it seems that these committees did reclassify some entries. There was at least one releases entered in Regional Roots (where Hawaiian music releases go) that was moved to folk. Two Hawai‘i releases that were submitted to “Americana” were moved into “Pop”, and one “Alternative” entry was moved to “Rock.”

Sorry folks, but this is the Academy’s prerogative. You can call and inquire of complain, but the final entry list is final and they won’t change it. All you could do if you are unhappy with your placement is tell them “remove my release from contention”, which means if you were to receive enough votes to make the final ballot, you would be kept off. Would anyone really want that?

I think that our local Alternative community is a great example of a group that is defining what “Alternative” means in Hawai‘i. But that doesn’t mean that the national would agree with the music fitting their criteria of “Alternative.” Same goes for“rock.” Does anyone thing that most of the country thinks of Jack Johnson as a rock artist? He won Best Rock Album at Nā Hōkū Hanohano a few years ago. That’s not a criticism as all, but another example of how we define genres differently.

Fortunately I believe that all but one of our Hawai‘i releases in Regional Roots was kept there. Good luck to all of our Hawai‘i entries.

Travel Hacking

Travel HackI’ve been a member of a couple of frequent flyer programs for as long as I can remember, including Hawaiian and United Airlines, Avis Rent A Car and a few others. If we’d take a long trip and find a better fare on a different airlines, we’d sign up for that airlines program, book it, and not think about it again. There was no real forethought about the value of the miles, concern if they were lost, or planning made to maximize them.

Last week I made a trip to LA for business. I took Hawaiian as they had a flight at a decent price that got into LA late in the day, and enabled me to get a good night’s sleep before the next day’s meeting. Flying United from Hawai‘i at a decent fare almost always means catching a red-eye that arrives in LA early AM, resulting in a red-eyed Keola at meetings later that morning. I am rarely able to sleep on airplanes.

I was booked at a Hilton hotel for the trip, and forgot to check my Hilton Honors status before leaving. I hadn’t used it for years, and apparently my account was purged from the system. Arriving at my room I found that they charged $14.95 a day for Internet. I can’t work without it, so out came the credit card, got online, and one of my first acts was to reestablish an HH membership. I noticed that Hilton provides free Internet for HH members who have Silver status, but clearly didn’t qualify. When I returned to Maui, I did an online search, and found a link that provide a free upgrade to HH Silver status. The site also mentioned a term I had heard before but didn’t think too much about – travel hacking.

Travel hackers take a systematic approach to maximizing the miles they earn and minimizing the amount they use while traveling. I was surprised to discover how many sites are dedicated to this endeavor, and the extent to which these folks will go to earn and save them. There are also some interesting sites that offer miles for filling out surveys online.

It seems that there are some folks out there who are as obsessive about this activity as some “extreme couponers” area, and I have to admit after a few ours I found myself wrapped up in it all. I got my HH Silver Status, joined a few airlines that are part of the three major frequent flyer alliance programs to make sure I don’t miss out on any opportunities, and started filling out some surveys. A few hours work netted a few thousand miles in my United account, though that includes a few “signup bonus” rewards that won’t be awarded again. Hopefully it will be worth it somewhere down the road. The other component of this activity is maximizing the miles you travel using at minimum cost in cash and FF miles. But I’ll worry about that part when I get the miles.

If any of my friends out there has any experience with this activity please feel free to drop me a note.

 

Cloud Storage: The Latest Threat To Our Online Privacy And Data Security?


It’s really difficult what to make all of this and to what level we really need to be concerned. If the NSA has reportedly cracked all of the encryption technologies that are used in personal and commercial data communications in the U.S., there is no reason to believe others have not done the same or will do so soon – be they foreign governments or criminals. To the “security experts” who won’t use e-banking or e-commerce technology, me thinks the odds of your being ripped off by the minimum wage barista at Starbucks are infinitely higher than they are of someone cracking your e-banking connection, stealing your login information and your money.

I had to buy a new wireless router this week when our TimeCapsule died. Not an Apple, but something that require a bit more setup, and because of Flash issues (I believe), I ended up with a tech support guy named Roger that sounded like his name should have been Rahib. Nearly two hours later it was fixed, but our home automation controller couldn’t connect to it. A few days of fiddling with it made me realize that I hadn’t added its MAC address to the router’s “allowed” list. All this to make sure that no one within a 100′ radius or so of our house couldn’t get into our network, use our connectivity, turn on our water heater in the middle of the night and run up our electric bill, or get into our personal files, if they even were capable of doing so (though the guy downstairs is a former Silicon Valley programmer. Hmmm…).

Cloud providers? Makes you wonder that even if you don’t keep valuable data on them if the government has forced them to provide backdoors that allows anyone with their software (DotMac, DropBox, Google Drive, Copy, Amazon, etc) to get into areas of your computer that aren’t sync’d. Paranoid or justifiably concerned? I dunno.

No answers here, but just a lot of thought about how much time and effort we put into protecting our money, knowledge and data, and how successful we can really be in doing so. But revelations like this might do it. If people stop using these kinds of services and it starts affecting the bottom line of big US companies, would changes be not far behind?

The Nā Hōkū Hanohano Music Festival Workshops for 2013 Next Friday

f1f2d8_f10a8280dd6755369cc9e67c77406baa.png_srz_210_110_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzThe Nā Hōkū Hanohano Music Festival Workshops for 2013 will be held next Friday May 24th at the Ala Moana Hotel. Pricing: $25 All Day Pass, $10 Single Workshop, Fees waived for HARA Members and Students (pre-registration required).

There will be two tracks, the first featuring panels on radio airplay in Hawai‘i, music education, promotion, and two different haku mele panels. The second track is performance focused and features panels on the contemporary music scene, and ‘ukulele and slack key performance. I’ll be a member of the music education and haku mele panels. Hope to see you there!

The Kekauoha ‘Ohana and the Halekūlani

Kekauoha FamilyI can’t express the depth of my admiration for the way my friend Weldon Kekauoha and his wife Rona have handled this incredible situation. Weldon’s wife Rona was approached by a security guard at the Halekūlani Hotel after another hotel guest suspected that they were not guests (because they looked local) and requested that security confirm that they were guests. After doing so, he refused to confirm that the complaining guest was a registered guest herself. The attitude of the visitor who initiated the incident, private security guard who first approached their ‘ohana, and supervisors up the line including the hotel’s general manager share culpability.

As this was going down, I couldn’t help but flash back to what happend to my family and I when we were turned away by an immigration officer at Dublin Airport. Not long after we returned, someone said to me “well, I guess you’ll never be going back to Ireland again”. To his suprised, I said, yes, of course I would. I couldn’t hold an entire country, land of many of my ancestors, to blame for the acts of a single misguided individual. Whether his actions were the result of discrimination against our multi-racial and multi-ethnic family (something I found hard to accept but suspected by our many friends there) or not, we’ll never know.

The hotel has reached out an apologizied to Weldon, a Grammy-nominated and Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winning recording artist. But one has to wonder if the “corrective actions” taken by the hotel will result in real change. I do take issue with their claim that they “have taken all corrective actions necessary”. How do we know what they’ve done? How does Weldon? I don’t believe that they should be the ultimate arbiters of what is necessary. Perhaps bringing in the The Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA) or the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce or other agency is warranted. It seems that there needs to be an institutional intervention here, and not just one targetting the pesonnel involved in this event.

There are many out there, in discussion forums and Facebook comments, that they will never patronize Hakekūlani again. If any lesson can be learned here is that there is always something to learn, a way to make a negative into a positive. If there was indeed institutional discrimination, bias, or bigotry going on at Halekūlani or other hotels in our state, this is an opporunity to address it. They should be given the opportunity and motivation to do so.

Test Post From Fargo

No, I’m not in Fargo, ND. Fargo is an outlining application I’m testing out.

This is the text.

This is Hawaiian text āēīōū ĀĒĪŌŪ ʻ

OK, Hawaiian Unicode doesn’t work when rendered in WordPress, but looks good in Fargo. Hoping Dave and crew will get it figured out soon.

6/10/2013. Crap, still doesn’t work.

7/8/2013. Crap, still doesn’t work.

Teisco Checkmate 15

TeiscoAmpThe male parental unit found this relic while conducting an archaeological dig in his garage. I have no recollection of this at all. I remember my brother Robb and I having Teisco Del Ray guitars when we were in elementary school, but not the amp. Model is a Checkmate 15, 70W tube amp. The custom 6-plug outlet in the back makes me suspect Robb, but maybe it was Millie Moore Danno’s? I want to plug it in and try it out but afraid it may blow up. Maybe take it to a tech first…

Update: Mystery solved. It belongs to brother Robb.

Tis The Season… Again

It is Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award season again. The final ballot was announced today, and Facebook is exploding with posts expressing gratitude, humility, honor, and respect for nominations. It is definitely a feel-good kind of day all around. 

NaHoku2007_4It’s also a great time to remember why we are in the industry and how we got here. I’ve not met anyone who started playing music because they expected to win a Grammy or Nā Hōkū Hanohano award, though I’m certain that there are some out there. For many, it started out as a way to express our artistic inclinations, a way to make a living, or to gain the attention of the opposite sex. Being honored by the members of an industry association like the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts of the national Recording Academy came somewhere down the road, after the hours of practice, composting, gigging, touring, and recording. Whether we’re nominated or not, win or not, we continue to make music and enrichen Hawai‘i and the world.

AlohaKeauhouPersonally, I’ve lost track of my Nā Hōkū nominations. The two I have this year with Kenneth Makuakāne are probably my 8th and 9th or so, most with Kenneth, one with Mailani and another with Harry B. Soria for the John Kameaaloha Almeida compilation release. The number really doesn’t matter. What does matter is the warm feeling that comes with the nominations and knowing that members of the Hawai‘i recording industry respect our work and think highly enough of it to place it on the final ballot. I must say that this year’s nominations in Haku Mele and Single of the Year are extra special because Aloha Keauhou for was done as a tribute to Ke Ali‘i Bernice Pauahi Bishop and her legacy that is being perpetuated at Kamehameha Schools.

I wish I had the time to personally congratulate all of my friends who have garnered nominations, but that would be about 95% of those on the final ballot anyway. So congratulations to all!

“HI” Fonts on Newer Versions of Mac OS

MacFontsI occasionally get emails from folks telling me that the old “Papa Pihi HI” for “HI” fonts no longer works on more recent versions of Mac OS X. While I’ve always encouraged folks to abandon those fonts and use the “Hawaiian” keyboard and Unicode fonts built into Mac OS X, sometimes there are valid reasons for using the old fonts.

A few years ago the format for keyboard layout resources changed. The old format is actually a remnant of the pre-OS X operating systems. The new keyboard layouts are XML based, and I created one of these kinds of keyboard layouts a few years ago. Feel free to download and install it. You need to unzip the file, put it in /Library/Keyboard Layouts/, and either logout of your account or restart the computer. Then go into System Preferences -> International (or Language and Text, depending on the version of OS X), and select Input Source, scroll down and select “Papa Pihi HI”.

Please visit my page on Hawaiian language support in Mac OS to read more, and to download the new XML based “Papa Pihi HI”.

Aloha Keauhou In “Song of the Year” and “Single of the Year” for 2103 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards

AlohaKeauhou“Aloha Keauhou”, with music by Kenneth Makuakāne and lyrics by yours truly, is on the preliminary ballot for the 2013 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards in the Single of the Year Category and Song of the Year. We originally composed it for the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest in 2012, and Kenneth re-recorded it for the CD “Ho‘ōla Lāhui, Ho‘oulu Pae‘āina”, released last year. The senior girls won the women’s division of the competition with their performance, and tied for first with their language use. You can listen to the recording on my page for “Aloha Keauhou”, which includes a lot of the story behind the composition, and links to the video of the senior girls’ performance.

HARA voters, I hope you will give it a listen, and if you believe it is worthy, please consider including it in your five choices for Song of the Year and Single of the Year. Mahalo!