Kanikapila ("Let's Play Music")
Music... the univeral language with its mysterious and amazing ability to move
the senses and touch the very core of one's being... the most powerful vehicle
ever to carry and preserve a cluture throught time. In Hawaii, we have kanikapila
- that wonderful traditon of coming together to sing and play the old mele
"I touch my fingers to the ukulele that once was yours, Uncle, and
feel the weight of your legacy...and then faintly, above the winds and the
crashing sea, I hear again the sound of your singing and I am humbled by the
greatness of your gift. When I play and sing your mele, I know you play and
sing with me. Mahalo for your gift."
A young man (model: Walt Mahealani Keale) sits by a fire on the beach by
Halona Blow Hole beneath a full moon. As he strums his ukulele and
sings, his music relects the influence of him mentor, kumu and kupauna,
(most notably for Walt, two giants in Hawaiian music composition and
performance: his uncle Moe Keale [1939-2002] directly behind him and, standing
by the fire, kiho'alu [slack key] great, Kawika Kahiapo. Kawika and
Walt play and sing together in Kaukahi.) I am attempting to paint an
"influence" in depicting the spirits of various Hawaiian songwriters and
musicians, past and present. They kani ka pila togetehr, their voices
and intruments joining with his. The will live forever... because of their
There is a perfect and beautiful harmony that transcends time and space.
it takes the rhythms, melodies and harmonies of all composers, arrangers and
great performers throughout the centuries, and blends them all together with
the voices of today. This unique harmony is ongoing; the individual voices
fade in and out and the faces change, but the music lives on - twisting,
changing, but never separate from the music of those who sang and played
before we did.
Think of each "voice" in this "time-line" harmony as a horizontal
melody, moving through space. These multiple melodies from yesteryear are
interwoven with our current music like a fugue, producing that wonderful
"vertical' blend of past and present.
Now take this special resultant harmony and let it resonate together
with the music of all of nature - the wind, the sea, the birds...and there is
music that cannot be described in words; it can only be flet in the very
depths of one's soul.
As the strains of this mystical, concerted sound waft high in the
breeze, I wish I could simply reach up and grasp a handful and keep it always,
but it belongs to another dimension. It is not mine, not yours, but rather
"ours" - and yet ours only for this single, fleeting moment...
Unframed Limited Edition Sizes:
Artist Proof: 75 Size: 48/36
Medium: 288 Size: 40x30
Small: 288 Size: 30x24