Cummings project adds worldly flavor


POSTED: Friday, November 20, 2009

Millicent Cummings' career as a songwriter and recording artist enters a new cycle tomorrow night with her performance at Hawaii Public Radio's Atherton Studio. She recorded her last album, “;Altar Native,”; at Atherton in 2007 and records her next one there tomorrow.

“;It's a multidimensional performance with musicians coming off and on the stage throughout the night,”; Cummings said Friday. “;In the first set I'll also be doing 'Altar Native' revisited in a completely different context (with different musicians than in 2007). ... The second set will be the new album, which is world songs.”;

“;Altar Native”; was a sophisticated and witty take on Hawaiian history and some of the social and political problems now facing the islands. Some residents appreciated her insights. Others did not.





» Where: Atherton Performing Arts Studio, 738 Kaheka St.
        » When: 7:30 p.m. tomorrow
        » Cost: $25 general admission; $20 for HPR members; $15 for students
        » Call: 955-8821


“;Some people are a little scared of it, and some people are curious why a white malahini wahine is talking about these things,”; she said. “;And quite frankly, there is some degree of sexism involved in the music scene here.”;

Looking beyond this weekend, Cummings and guitarist Darby Slick have several musical projects in the planning stages that will draw on their shared interest in Indian music and her interest in scat singing and slack key. They're also planning an album of classic rock from Slick's days in San Francisco in the mid-60s.

But at the moment her plans are complicated by the fact that she and her son, 15-month-old Maika'i Pono, are homeless. “;I'm glad I'm making these sacrifices, but it does take some time to be moving all the time, so I'm looking forward to having more support so that I can actually materialize all these many projects that I'm sitting on.”;