Can one walk from Minnesota to Hawaii? Certainly no! But last week my arthritis had improved so much that I could walk a bit. I received e-mail that the Rose Ensemble would be performing at the J. J. J. Hill Library. I drove to the Science Museum and parked there to lessen the distance I would have to walk.
Let's start first however to explain the Rose Ensemble. This is a wonderful music group that explores the culture of the music that they perform. We were to hear parts of a concert called the Last Queen of Hawaii, and what I call "exploring the culture" means they went to the Bishop Museum in Honolulu to work with original manuscripts for music.
Now about the J. J. Hill Library. This building ajoins the Central Library in downtown Saint Paul. It is considered a Business Reference Library. People now think everything is available on the web, but this library still maintains current literature and now also has historical holdings regarding business and leadership.
Here's the view I had as I exited the lobby of the Science Museum where I used the parking ramp (which in most to the states called parking garage) but I speak Minnesota English!
The inside of the J.J. Hill Library is very classical.
At the concert I was in the very back of the seating area but sitting on a sofa. Not often can one sit on a sofa at a concert.
The musicians started by thanking the Friends of the Library for this site for this concert. They said using a library site is quite unique. They said in other cities/towns when they ask perhaps for a library site for a concert everyone thinks that is very strange.
The concert began with chants done in native Hawaiian language. This was followed by hymns sung in native Hawaiian. The musicians explained we might know the melodies and even the words for the hymns, but the words that we know were not translated into native Hawaiian. Instead the language was changed, for example: Stop worshiping false gods. I certainly don't know any English hymn that has such language.
Next came cowboy songs, panioli. To place these songs into the culture the musicians explained that Vancouver brought cattle to Hawaii. Cattle were not native at all to Hawaii. After running wild for awhile, the Hawaiian King decided something had to be done and recruited cowboys from Mexico and California -- which at that time was not yet California. These all spoke Spanish -- espana, but the native Hawaiian language doesn't have a s sound so the Hawaiian language started calling the pana and the music began panalio -- a word I've probably spelled wrong. This music I would call ear candy. It is beautiful. It is very different from the Western cowboy music that we hear in English.
Next the concert moved to the hulu. One of the musicians taught the audience how to use their arms for a hulu -- four different stanzas of a hulu.
The concert closed with Aloha Oe. This song was written by the last Queen of Hawaii -- Queen Lili'okalani. That she was the last Queen of Hawaii is a sad piece of American history. And in my opinion part of another era when business owners were in charge of the American government. The Rose Ensemble found the Queen's original manuscript in the Bishop Museum and are performing it in the original form.
After the concert I walked back to the Science Museum and sat down in the Java Cafe for a cup of cappuccino.
This was the first time I'd really been able to do anything with my gimpy leg for several weeks so that is why the blog has been so silent for the past several weeks. The hip injection must have been done with magic juice for I truly feel much better.