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Featuring Hula Chants dedicated to King David Kalakaua (r. 1874-1891). "He Inoa Iubile No Kalani," a set of 15 chants first performed on King Kalakauas Birthday Jubilee, November 16, 1886, is presented here in its entirety. Original musical settings and performances are by award-winning kumu hula. Full texts and translations included. Curator for this project is respected hula scholar Dr. Amy Ku´uleialoha Stillman.
"KALAKAUA" By Kulia i ka Punawai; Daniel Ho Creations
Genre: Traditional Hawaiian oli and mele.
Distinguishing notes: This exceptional, scholarly collection of hula oli and mele is part of a rich legacy. The chants were composed expressly for King Kalakaua's Birthday Jubilee and performed on Nov. 16, 1886.
Kulia i ka Punawai made history in 2004 when all these selections were performed live in the Hawaiian language in a Southern California presentation; this CD, then, is a document of that moment. Kumu hula had to research, then perform each title, to capture the ritualist cadence of the past. Producers Lowell Edgar, Daniel Ho and Amy Ku'uleialoha Stillman have concocted an educational tool with Hawaiian lyrics and English translations in a tidy liner booklet.
The presenting organization, Kulia i ka Punawai (an association of California hula enthusiasts) is to be applauded for this compelling project. Grammy-winning artist Daniel Ho, too, should receive a maile lei for providing this aural document for current and future generations of hula disciples and efforts to stage a live performance here are in the works. The release is part of a "Legacy Hula" series, with a next-volume tribute to chants honoring Queen Kapi'olani on the drawing boards.
The outlook: With its poetic riches in the native tongue, the disc is a primer for Kalakaua enthusiasts and hula kahiko students; the CD is more academic in importance than entertainment.
Our take: A very special endeavor that all halau should adopt. For more information, go to www.sitemaker.umich.edu/punawai
It is often said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. To the Hawaiian hula tradition, every generation contributes its own mana´oits own thoughts, its own visions, its own aspirations. The cumulation of thoughts and memories over time is a legacy that connects us in the present with times and people past. This legacy also anchors our children and generations to come with the past that will be theirs.
This recording contains a tiny slice of the hula legacyone that reaches back some five or six generations to the renaissance of hula during the reign of King David Kalakaua, 18741891. Under his patronage, the hula reemerged into full public view after decades of missionary-inspired suppression. This renaissance also inspired an outpouring of new compositions about that era. Hundreds of these new compositions appeared in the Hawaiian-language newspapers and other publications. However, the near loss of Hawaiian language after the end of the monarchy and Hawai´is eventual incorporation into the United States threatened to cut off subsequent generations from vast portions of this heritage of melethe poetic texts that are the basis for melodic and choreographic presentation. A second renaissance of hula and Hawaiian language in and since the 1970s has strengthened our resolve to hold fast to what we received from our eldersand to recover and reclaim what had been lost to their view.
Our program is dedicated to King David Kalakaua. The mele inoa name songs, Kawika and Kalakaua were performed for the coronation that he staged in 1883, after his world tour. The heart of this recording is He Inoa Iubile No Kalania set of 15 mele composed to honor King Kalakauas Birthday Jubilee on November 16, 1886. The entire set was published in two issues of the newspaper Ka Nupepa Elele in December 1886 (now online at Ulukau, www.ulukau.org). Composition of the set is credited to Alaumoe, apparently a pseudonym unidentifiable at this writing.
Composing mele in sets, using poetic or thematic devices to link individual pieces, was a common practice throughout the nineteenth century. The creative skills and expertise marshaled into the composition of sets, whether by individuals or groups of poets, further enhanced the prestige of the subject matter honored. Sets of mele were often likened to leiwreaths of flowers strung or sewn together. We might also think of sets of mele as jewels whose facets sparkle in the light when turned.
Bringing mele to life in performance is the kuleanaresponsibilityof kumu hula, who create rhythmic, melodic, and choreographic settings. It is regrettable that time constraints in contemporary hula competitions allow only for piecemeal presentation of individual items from within setsthereby rendering but fragments of the poets mana´o.
The performances included here are by members of Kulia i ka Punawai (Kumu Hula Association of Southern California). These mele were first staged in a precedent-setting concert on April 4, 2004, in Los Angeles. Twelve halau collaborated to achieve a concert presentation beyond the scale of what individual halau were accustomed to producing. In particular, by presenting the set He Inoa Iubile No Kalani in its entirety in live performance, we were honoring the fullness of thought as conceived and composed by the original poet.
The presentation of the set here reflects the creativity of twelve different kumu hula who direct ten different halau throughout southern California. This recording thus exemplifies the famous proverb ´A´ohe i pau ka ´ike i ka halau ho´okahi / Not all knowledge is contained in one school, allowing for many ways to be right. By presenting a range of approaches that are extraordinary in their imaginativeness, attractiveness, and appropriateness, our recording affirms that the hula is indeed a flourishing living tradition. In fact, the voices heard on this recording span not two but three generations of hula practitioners.
The first and final tracks speak to the presenters current residence in California. ´O Hawai´i nui, Hawai´i iki charges us to hold fast to the roots of Hawaiian tradition that stretch back to the creation of the Hawaiian archipelago. Eia Kaleponi, is a mele pana place song that salutes the land where most of us now reside: California. It is a land where many of our elders who first left Hawai´i were able to make their lives. It is also a land where increasingly more and more of our children are being born. It is fitting that our tribute to King Kalakaua signals that his legacy continues to link us with his life and times, and that the mana´o of our ho´okupu offering will be one more avenue through which generations to come may remain linked to this heritage.
|Na Kumu Hula:
Keali´i Ceballos, Halau o Keali´i O Nalani, Los Angeles
Randy Chang, Kaulana Ka Hale Kula O Na Pua O Ka ´aina, Torrance
Puanani Edgar, Hula Halau o Puananiha´aheo, Ventura
Barbara Finneran & Karen Kealoha Finneran-Swatek, Pualanis Hula Studio, Rancho Penasquitos
Puanani Jung, Halau Hula o Lani Ola, Mission Viejo
Sissy & Pele Kaio, Halau O Lilinoe and Na Pua Me Kealoha, Carson
Kanani Kalama, Kanani Kalama Hula Studio, Torrance
Lanialoha Lee, Kupa´a Pacific Island Resources, Chicago
Kunewa Mook, Hula Halau o Kamuela ´Elua, Burbank
Clarice Wahineali´i Nuhi, Halau Ka Pa Hula O Wahineali´i
Kathy Gore Stanley, Halau o Heali´i, San Diego
Kawika & Leinani Viloria, Halau Hula a Kawika Laua ´O Leinani, Diamond Bar
Kehaulani Wilson, Napua ´Ilima O Kehaulani, Chula Vista
Amy Ku´uleialoha Stillman, University of Michigan, Facilitator
Kulia i ka Punawai
(Kumu Hula Association of Southern California)
Kulia i ka Punawai is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the perpetuation of hula and professionalism in hula practice. Members are kumu hula of halau hulahula schools that span southern California from Ventura to Chula Vista. The organization fosters unity among the kumu hula, and a mentoring network.
The Associations four-fold missionof maintaining the foundations of hula, perpetuating hula in unity, developing professionalism, and strengthening knowledge and understanding of hulainfuses its various activities. Workshops held during quarterly gatherings focus on educational activities that enhance members knowledge base of hula. Performance presentations are opportunities for students from different halau to expand their experiences through sharing repertoire, and through performing in a wide range of theater and festival venues. To date Kulia i ka Punawai has produced two collaborative concerts, He Inoa No Kalakaua in April 2004, and He Lei No Kapi´olani in April 2006.
We are indebted to Aunty Clarice Wahineali´i Nuhi, whose vision of a kumu hula gathering was brought to life in November 1997. Aunty Clarice passed away just weeks before the He Lei No Kapi´olani concert. Her voice is included on two tracks of this recording, thanks to videotaping of the live performance of He Inoa No Kalakaua in 2004.
Record Label: Daniel Ho Creations
Recorded: June - July 2006
Release Date: September 2006