Daniel's Notes

Creating a musical recording involves a myriad of subtle, almost indiscernible, decisions. Music, like many forms

of creative expression, is subjective—there is no right or wrong. Lessons of experience and awareness provide

a basis from which to make “sound” judgments.

I believe that in order to genuinely realize an artistic vision, it is important to see it through from beginning to end. We start with the choice of a note, then, determine its place in time and duration (composition and arrangement). What instrument should play the note (orchestration)? How should we execute it (performance)—bright or dark (tone), loud or soft (dynamics)? The techniques and equipment used to capture it (recording) further contribute to the quality of the presentation. The final sonic treatments (mixing and mastering) balance and enrich the sound. This ever-evolving process establishes how the music is perceived by listeners.

E Kahe Mālie represents my current path as a composer, arranger, performer, and audio engineer. As I strive to deepen my understanding of these intriguing musical concepts and document them in recordings, I thank you for your friendship and company along the way.


Honolulu Star-Advertiser  – May 6, 2011

Island Mele: Rich depth flows from Ho’s piano by John Berger

If Hawaiian music still had a category of its own at the Grammy Awards, Daniel Ho’s new instrumental project would certainly be a contender for finalist status in 2012. Seven of the 11 selections are unquestionably Hawaiian, more than enough to make the basic minimum content for the now-defunct category. Can music get more “Hawaiian” than the compositions of Queen Lili’uokalani and Princess Likelike, or some of the “traditional” melodies whose origins are now disputed or unknown?

As for the instrumentation, Ho performs as a pianist rather than on ukulele or slack-key guitar. A majority of the albums that won in the now-defunct best Hawaiian music album Grammy category were compilations that included the work of slack-key guitarists, along with steel guitarists and other traditional genres, but this year’s winner had no slack-key on it at all. With the category eliminated, we’ll never know if a piano album would’ve won.

Ho’s arrangements are interesting. Mainlanders and malihini (newcomers to Hawaii) who know “Henehene Kou ‘Aka” only in the idiosyncratic version popularized by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole may be mystified by Ho’s reworking of the hapa-haole standard. Others may find in it a new cross-cultural fusion of Hawaiian and haole (non-Hawaiian) musical traditions. For example, Henry Kapono Ka’aihue rearranged “Hawai’i Pono’i” as hard rock, so why not take other unconventional approaches to Hawaiian melodies?

Ho does a beautiful job interpreting “Ku’u Ipo I Ka He’e Pu’e One” and “Hi’ilawe” on the keyboard. His take on “Hi’ilawe” explores variations on the familiar melody to until it becomes unrecognizable and then revisits the refrain in surprising ways. Listening to Ho’s arrangements as background music and the occasional fragments of iconic melodies will catch the ear — suddenly amid the soothing beautiful music is something recognizable!

Ho doesn’t reveal the things that inspired his four originals, but his explanation of what the album represents in documenting his work as a composer, arranger, performer and audio engineer adds to the appreciation of his work.


    Piano & bass by Daniel Ho

    Recording, mixing, mastering, and graphic design by Daniel Ho

    Photography by Lydia Miyashiro-Ho

    All original compositions and arrangements published by Daniel Ho Creations (ASCAP).

    Piano images courtesy of YAMAHA.

Title: E Kahe Mālie

Catalog #: DHC 80088

UPC: 644718008820

  1. 1.Pauoa Liko Ka Lehua  (3:03)  traditional

  2. 2.Kū I Ka Manawa Kūpono (Standing Righteous In Time)  (1:50)  Daniel Ho

  3. 3.Ku'u Ipo I Ka He'e Pu'e One  (3:02)  Princess Miriam Likelike

  4. 4.Ke Aloha O Ka Haku  (3:23)  Queen Lili'uokalani

  5. 5.E Kahe Mālie (Flowing Gently)  (3:04)  Daniel Ho

  6. 6.Hi'ilawe  (2:50)  traditional

  7. 7.Sanoe  (3:22)  Queen Lili'uokalani

  8. 8.Take Me Away  (3:49)  Daniel Ho

  9. 9.No Ke Ano Ahiahi  (3:19)  traditional

  10. 10.Henehene Kou 'Aka  (2:33)  traditional

  11. 11.Crystal Sands  (3:41)  Daniel Ho

Song List


E Kahe Mālie

Daniel Ho

  1. audio demo

  2. hi res album art

Traditional and original compositions arranged and performed for solo piano by GRAMMY® winning artist, producer and engineer Daniel Ho.

CD ONLY - $15

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*ALSO: E Kahe Mālie Songbook

2012 GRAMMY Nominee
Best Pop Instrumental Album