Michael Kollwitz

Three (3) FREE Songs for New Subscribers

Thank you for subscribing to my email list. I’m happy to have you on board, and I look forward to continuing my conversation with you in the future. In the meantime:
As promised, here are three (3) FREE songs in their entirety that I hope you’ll enjoy. All of these songs have a story, and they were written and recorded on Maui for several albums including the compilation album “Chapman Stick From Hawaii.” Enjoy!
P. S. I’ve also included those stories (below).
Track 19. Ocean Pool
The most fantastic feature of the Puamana community was the clubhouse and an incredible Ocean (Makai) Pool. It was the first freshwater pool ever built on Maui in the 30s or 40s. It was constructed right on the waters edge with waves sometimes crashing over the sides and into the pool. It has been upgraded and maintained all these years and still there. Only two other pools like this still in the entire State of Hawaii. Modern engineers decided that was just too close to the water. All three of these pools were grandfathered in because the rules came many years after. The view of Lanai and the entire coastline of West Maui is breathtaking from this swimming pool. I spent many a happy hour there, and I still play this song today because, for me, it always brings back the peaceful feeling I experienced at this incredible spot. Here’s a photo of the Ocean Pool that will give you a good idea of how close this is to shore! https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelkollwitz/16674725602/
Track 14. Hookipa Point
Hookipa is the equivalent of Mecca to windsurfers from around the world, and a beautiful spot on the shores of East Maui. It is gorgeous and just a few miles down from the famous Jaws where waves can top 50 feet or higher during some winter. You can always see surfing action here almost every day of the year. While living in the Huelo district, it was a long drive to anything and everything, so on the way back from running errands it was always a good idea to take a swim while you could on the way home: the rocky cliffs in Huelo make beaches virtually inaccessible. Many happy memories here- too many to count- so I recorded this song using a ten-string Alto Stick. I wanted it to make a sound like winds and birds, so I pulled out my long-time best friend- a 25-year-old Cross pen, and I used it as a slide guitarist would. The simplest things almost always work the best. Heres a few shots of surfers at Hookipa Point:
Track 9. Meeting Carlos
I’ll never forget the day I met Carlos Santana under the banyan tree in Lahaina. I was playing at an art fair in front of the courthouse when I looked up and saw Santana (and his new wife drummer Cindy Blackman) looking at art. You couldn’t miss him, but no one seemed to notice but me. I immediately went into “don’t screw up now” mode and started playing the most soulful Stick I could muster. It worked. He looked up and smiled my way, and a few minutes later, he walked right up, pulled out his wallet, and dropped a hundred dollar bill in my tip jar. He asked what I was playing, and I answered that it was just improvisation. He smiled warmly and looked me right in the eye when he said: “You have a gift from the heart. The moment I heard your music, it made me- and everyone else under this tree- feel good”. I was in the presence of greatness, and I knew it. I asked him to sign the back of my instrument, and he obliged. As soon as I got home that night, I figured I better record the song I was playing or I would never remember it. Heck, Carlos Santana liked it, did he not? A few months later I met a musician on one of the cruise ships (Ron Feather of Montreal) that had anchored in Lahaina, and he added all the percussion tracks with me back and forth via the Internet. Santana’s autograph on the back of my instrument has long since worn off, but you can see a photo of it next to the hundred dollar bill he dropped in my tip jar here: