Royal Hawaiian Music

“A collection of sweet, delicate Hawaiian tunes,
played by the master musician.”

All Songs Considered

The idea for this recording came to me in January, 2002 after months of mourning the events of September 11, 2001. I flew out of La Guardia on September 10th after the 2001 Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum Ukulele Expo 2001 in Montclair, NJ. We zoomed right by the twin towers; it was an incredible view of Manhattan. No one could have imagined what was going to happen the next day. To help get me out of my funk, I decided to make another recording. The old, nahenahe Hawaiian music has always appealed to me ever since I was a boy living in Hawaii. Why not do a recording of some of those beautiful pieces? They are so uplifting. I got to work making arrangements, and eventually focused on music composed by Hawaii’s royal family. To me, this repertoire has every bit as much integrity as the Bach I learned for my first CD, and I did my best to treat this music with the same respect and dignity. I hope you like listening to it as much as I enjoyed playing it.

From the Liner Notes

During the latter half of the Nineteenth Century, Hawaiian music was dominated by four siblings known as Na Lani Eha, the Royal Four. Through their social and political influence, David Kalakaua (1836-91), Lydia Kamakaeha Paki (Liliuokalani, 1838-1917), Miriam Likelike (1851-87), and William Pitt Leleiohoku (1854-77) helped to create and popularize a new musical idiom that synthesized traditional Hawaiian poetics with New England-style hymnody. Harvard ethnomusicologist Helen Roberts wrote that the native Hawaiians “… first obtained an idea of real melody from the hymn singing of the missionaries. In somewhat later times there ensued a period of extensive composing on the part of those Hawaiians who had superior educational advantages and were gifted, like the members of the royal family. These songs represent a period in which the foreign art, stamped with a fresh viewpoint, was being adopted by the Hawaiians, and made to assume distinctive features at their hands.” Due in part to the efforts of the Royal Four, Hawaiian music was in vogue on the Mainland and in Europe by the 1910s, despite one annexationist’s prediction that it would “… never become widely popular.”

CD includes: Kalakaua March by Louis Bodecker; Sweet Lei Lehua Variations by Henri Berger; Lei Ohaoha by Miriam Likelike; He Inoa No Kaiulani by William Pitt Leleiohoku; Medley: Alekoki, Koni Au I Ka Wai and Akahi Hoi by David Kalakaua; He Lei No Kaiulani by John Edwards; Medley: Pupu Ao Ewa (traditional), Nani Wale Kuu Home O Ainahau by Miriam Likelike, Ka Inu Wai by William Sheldon and David Nape; Ka Moi Kalakaua by Henri Berger; Nani Wale Lihue by William Pitt Leleiohoku and Kamakau; He Inoa No Poliala by Lydia Liliuokalani; Nua O Ka Palai by William Pitt Leleiohoku; Queen Liliuokalani March by Henri Berger; Ka Ipo Lei Manu by Julia Kapiolani; Ka Oiwi Nani by Lydia Liliuokalani; Aloha No Au I Ko Maka by William Pitt Leleiohoku; and Ahe Lau Makani by Lydia Liliuokalani, Miriam Likelike, and Kapoli.

$15, plus shipping

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