Dear Readers, as I write this I am sitting near the blue Pacific in a place called Napili on the island of Maui. When I post this, it will be from Vancouver on the morning after this Pacific expedition. Moana Chimes is Hawai’ian music, performed by Ledward Kapanaa and Bob Brozman. It swings softly and complexly and yeah, sounds like Hawai’i feels.
When you’re in the Pacific Northwest and it gets to be March, schoolkids have a Spring Break and after six months of short grey days and long wet nights, Maui gets awfully appealing, and is one six-hour plane ride away. So this isn’t the first time we’ve been here, nor the second nor third either.
Moana Chimes is off a record called Kīkā Kila Meets Kī Hō'alu, which I can’t recommend enough. Here’s the listing at the charming Dancing Cat Records site. The genre is called Slack-key guitar, and this album is all two-acoustic-guitar instrumentals with Ledward and Bob, every one of them great.
It’s probably worth mentioning that when you listen to the radio in Hawai’i, slack-key isn’t what young people are listening to or playing; stray away from mainstream pop and it seems like everything has a reggae flavor. Is there a universal warm-island musical culture breaking out? But anyhow, I love me some slack-key.
Links · Spotify playlist. This tune on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify. Here’s live video from a slack-key workshop, great fun because you can see how they produce those sounds and make them fit together.