[CD] E Kahe Mālie - Daniel Ho


[CD] E Kahe Mālie - Daniel Ho

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Best Pop Instrumental Album GRAMMY® Nominee (2012) 

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

Also available separately E Kahe Mālie piano songbook

Bundle this CD with the piano songbook for $25 (save $8)

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1. Pauoa Liko Ka Lehua (3:03)  traditional
2. Kū I Ka Manawa Kūpono (Standing Righteous In Time) (1:50)  Daniel Ho
3. Kʻu Ipo I Ka Heʻe Puʻe One (3:02)  Princess Miriam Likelike
4. Ke Aloha O Ka Haku (3:23)  Queen Liliʻuokalani
5. E Kahe Mālie (Flowing Gently) (3:04)  Daniel Ho
6. Hiʻilawe (2:50)  traditional
7. Sanoe (3:22)  Queen Liliʻuokalani
8. Take Me Away (3:19)  Daniel Ho
9. No Ke Ano Ahiahi (3:19)  traditional
10. Henehene Kou ʻAka (2:330)  traditional
11. Crystal Sands (3:410)  Daniel Ho


Rich depth flows from Ho's piano

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 - Daniel Ho
Recording, mixing, mastering, and graphic design - Daniel Ho
Photography - Lydia Miyashiro-Ho
All original compositions and arrangements published by Daniel Ho Creations (ASCAP)
Piano images courtesy of YAMAHA
Catalog number: DHC 80088
UPC: 644718008820

hi-res album cover