A couple of years ago I stepped outside onto my back deck and could not believe what I was seeing. I knew that monarch butterflies migrate as a flock from regions in North America to Mexico and south every year, but I did not know that they and their cousins called swallowtails ever stopped in my neighborhood in Calvert County on the Chesapeake Bay for a drink. There is a large Mimosa tree in my neighbor’s yard that they decided to visit one day. I grabbed my video camera and spent the better part of the afternoon trying to get the beauties on video. It is amazing how fast they are as they light and feed on the nectar then move on in the blink of an eye.
I reinforced my great respect for nature photographers that day. I had a great time, ingested the video into my computer and told myself I would do something with it some time, maybe put it to a piece of music, but which piece? Seems I’ve had that music in my collection all along. So now that I have time, I decided to give it a shot.
My great friend and colleague Bruce Kaphan just happens to be one of the foremost peddle steel guitar players in the world. His discography is so long the only way to share it with you is to give you his web address. http://www.brucekaphan.com/ He has several solo releases on which he uses some of the country’s best solo and session players. On his “Hybrid” solo CD he tapped talent from his quartet using Jeffrey Wash on the fretless bass guitar. I have witnessed the effortless way Jeffrey gives amazing bottom and rhythmic structure to the most intricate music and he does a beautiful job on this. Then on ukelele there is the amazing Jake Shimabukuro. This guy came to the worlds attention on YouTube, performing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” near Strawberry Fields in Central Park NY in 2006. In the past decade he has become world renowned and brought an entirely new awareness to the world of that beautiful little stringed instrument.
These three players got together on this music by Bruce Kaphan and produced a piece that I think is only made more beautiful by the amazing butterfly. I give you “Pōhaka Lā”
By David Cilberti