Keanae, HI by Benjamin Verdery
I first met Benjamin Verdery, in person during the summer of 2001. I’ve always admired his playing greatly, and the inventiveness he brings to his work as an artist. In the early nineties, he released an album of his own compositions titled: Some Towns and Cities. The works are snapshots, in sound, of various places that Ben visited or stayed for a period of time.
Getting back to the summer of 2001, I heard Ben close his concert with his piece “Keanae, HI.” I left the hall wanting to hear that piece again, and determined to find the sheet music—fortunately he published it!
Here are a few words from the composer about the piece:
“ Keanae is a peninsula on the island of Maui in Hawaii. You will pass it if you drive the extraordinary beautiful road to Hana. It is more of a sleep community than it is a town. It made me think of what old Hawaii must have been like….My wife has relatives on the island of Ohau, and someday we hope to reside there permanently. Oddly enough, I wrote Keanae, HI in New York City and New York, NY in Hawaii.”
I’ve played this piece many times now in concert and I must admit that it’s one of my favorite things to play. There are, in fact, some mornings where I just play it over and over. I recently had the chance to film a live performance. Click here to see what all the fuss is about.