Friday, September 23, 2016

The Paganini Recognition: A Familiar Melody Performed by Eric Silberger

Violinist Eric Silberger and soprano Amy Shoremount-Obra of the Hawaii International Music Festival (image: Hawaii News Now)

Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Last month while getting ready to head out to work, part of my routine is to have the television morning news  playing in the background. One of the Hawaii News Now Sunrise reporters, Howard Dicus, was interviewing a violinist by the name of Eric Silberger. The interview was short and Silberger was promoting the Hawaii International Music Festival which would have its Honolulu premiere that evening.

Silberger was also performing Paganini's 24th Caprice on the news program. As soon as Silberger began performing the first few notes, I immediately stopped what I was doing and was mesmerized. Number one I knew the melody very well from Andrew Lloyd Webber's treatment of the piece into his Variations score for rock group which went full circle and re-adapted for classical performance. Anyone who has read the many posts of this blog, the music of Lloyd Webber is a force behind the joy I find in music and musical theater. Number two I wanted to see this violinist perform live.

It seemed like it was fate. The previous Friday in the entertainment section I had book marked a page listing the performers of the festival. I thought it might be a pleasant Wednesday evening to hear these artists at the Blaisdell Concert Hall. I had forgotten about the article until that morning. Seeing Silberger perform on television was the clincher to attend the festival that evening.

Above is a link to the Hawaii News Now Sunrise video where Silberger is interviewed and performs Paganini's 24th Caprice. Below is a YouTube video performance of the same piece.  Just for fun hear the Lloyd Webber rock band version in the second video below.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Return of The Hopeful Traveler Or I Am The Hopeful Traveler

(Photo Credit: Quotefancy)
Though Robert Louis Stevenson's words may not have been the inspiration for this blog, this quote is appropriate for my return to the world of blogging.

For anyone who has had the opportunity to write their own blog, it's only afterward does one realizes that devoted posting can become like a second job. It's a joy at the beginning and many bloggers have sustained years of writing for their audience. There are others who find that the effort wasn't worth their time and their posts abruptly end. For me it was a loss of inspiration.

Back in July 2012, I felt like I was writing for the sake of writing and most of my posts at the time were more mechanical out of the necessity to post something. But I had become overwhelmed ignoring other aspects in my life. I was working during the day and blogging on the weeknights and the weekends. My only respite was the fact that I'm a devoted moviegoer and was filing the rest of time with a few hours at my local Regal Cinema each weekend and the few days each year when I would actually travel.

It was also tiring to respond to corrections to photo credits as far too often the source of borrowed photos is not the original source. Deleting spam comments and responding to emailed questions about traveling was taking up a lot of time as well. In addition without a second pair of eyes my quality in proofreading was failing miserably. One of the worst things that can happen to a blogger happened to me: their shiny computer only a few months old is acting like it's a several years older.

Maybe I was putting too much information in each post. The time to edit each post with pictures and photographs is simply time consuming as I did not want the blog to be series of pictures but a series of useful information.

I've still been traveling and writing unfinished posts since 2012. But I fell so behind it seemed like the task of bringing the blog up to date was unsurmountable. Even my master outline of intended posts had become ridiculously long with so many question marks all over the place because I could not think of what to write about.

(Photo Credit: Coach Federation)
Over the past month I've been trying to put together a commercial website thinking that would work out better by joining with a couple of other blog travel writers. But the legal, financial, labor and personality hurdles just made this dream slowly disappear. I had set up a "beta" blog with the lead off article an interview with a rising-star violinist to showcase The New Hopeful Traveler.

The dream of returning to this blog was almost gone. But I opened The Hopeful Traveler blogspot statistics page that I had not accessed since 2012 and was surprised at the number of instances many of these posts were viewed. I also remembered the events of August 10th which inspired me to want to write again. I spontaneously spent the evening attending the first Hawaii International Music Festival. I hope the festival returns and more people discover it because after seeing this wonderful group of classical musicians and vocalists the spark returned and I wanted to write about my experience. I would be writing because I wanted to write about the performance.

And so it begins again.  The last time I took a break from blogging was in 2007 only to return non-stop from 2010 to 2012. My wish is to write because I like writing for fun and I feel this has been missing from my life. My main thanks will go to one person and you'll find out who in one of the upcoming posts.

A visit to the Apple Store earlier this year to invest in a new computer with the help of an Apple associate to customize the desktop Mac to be sure it would run like butter just adds that extra touch to make writing that much less effortless.

Also never to waste a post, I'll be blogging forwards and backwards. There are many experiences and moments in my travels since July 2012 that I'll be publishing many of my unfinished posts.  Who knows when a traveler may want to look up something online and find it in the blogosphere.

I am The Hopeful Traveler and something always happens on the way to the theatre. These are my experiences or the travel news I've found along the way about the curses or blessings of the "travel" gods.

Why am I The Hopeful Traveler.  It's because I travel hopefully. The name is a nod to my favorite composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and a play on the song "Travel Hopefully".  Here's a clip from "By Jeeves" the show from where the song is found.

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