Stream-It Saturday: Life on Four Strings (Documentary)
Welcome to another installment of Stream-It Saturday, in which I feed your streaming addiction. Find past recommendations over here.
Have I mentioned that I'm embroiled in a deep love affair with the ukulele? It is a known fact that ukulele is the happiest instrument and that it's impossible to not be happy when playing or listening to ukulele. This is the truth.
Also true is that Hawaiian musician Jake Shimabukuro is the best, most innovative ukulele artist. I recently watched a wonderful documentary about Jake and his music and life, Life on Four Strings.
This little documentary is one that anyone who loves music or simply creativity and innovation will love.
Jake's ukulele style has changed tremendously as he's grown as a musician and as a person. It's absolutely captivating to watch as he transforms from emulating a rock style and using electronics to modify the ukulele sound to his current style which is pared down, and focused on exploring the natural tendencies of the instrument.
This is a relatively short documentary (around an hour) but it actually touches on quite a bit of weighty stuff, which surprised me. While the focus in the music, issues such as identity and the loneliness of a musician's life are also addressed.
As a ukulele player (I'm fairly mediocre, but I play daily--that's the ukulele my husband made me in the header picture of this post), I found myself absolutely captivated by the musical details in Life on Four Strings. The ukulele is a rather limiting instrument, theoretically, and some of the things Jake does is mind-boggling. I literally cannot conceptualize that someone can do what he does with the humble ukulele.
Stream It: Amazon Prime | Also check your local PBS stations, as it's re-airing in some markets.