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noeau
Ha`aha`a

USA
1105 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2009 :  1:58:19 PM  Show Profile
I donʻt think the implication of a name of a group albeit temporary and used for one public performance constitute discussion ad nauseum. This particular rendition of a song at the Hokus was not slack key let alone an Hawaiian song. I neither defend nor condemn this group. It was a presentation of a song by a bunch of guys who previously recorded on a Slack Key Kings compilation CD. So maybe the name shouldnʻt have been used but there really is no controversy. Once again the question that remains is whether an award ceremony dinner is even worthy of any comment about music. The Hokus honor recording accomplishments for the year but it has, IMHO, nothing to do with music in its pure sense. Shall we move on to something more interesting or what.Heh, heh, heh.

No'eau, eia au he mea pa'ani wale nō.
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donkaulia
Lokahi

249 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2009 :  11:15:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit donkaulia's Homepage
Aloha TaroPatch Ohana! I have been an original member of this website since my friend Andy Wang started Taropatch.net. This thread or forum or controversy or call it what you want over the Slack key Kings and my composition called "Sweet Wahnie' seems to bothering some of you ..... well..... that's show biz. If you want my credentials I suggest to ask Cyril Pahinui and Ledward Kaapana...the present day what I call 'Kings of Slack Key'. I said it at the intro of our set at the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards to honor the Vaqueros, Ledward and Cyril. Sweet Wahine is open Am; Uncle Fred Punahoa back in 1980 borrowed my guitar during my tenure as a hula student of George Naope in Hilo. Punahoa did say to me.....'play how you feel' .... 'slack key can be played in standard tune'. This is the same master whom taught Led, Ned, Dennis Pavao, Gary Haliamau, Sonny Lim.... Punahoa was a true blue master of slack key. I had the opportunity to see him utilize blues, rock and triple hammer ons in his licks...Ledwards plays Uncle Freds Poi song in standard A tuning.

As for the Slack Key Kings....that is the name of Compilation album that won a hoku. The album has 16 artist doing old and modern slack key tunes. My 'Sweet Wahine' was not on the compilation cd but was chosen for the Hoku performance because we did so well at the Grammy Award Museum's performance we were ask to perform it here in Hawaii. The song is simple, 3 chords. I wrote the instrumental with the help of my wife Wendy as 'Bikini Slack Key' back in 1996 on a tour in Florida where I met Sisqo who at the time had the MTV hit 'Tong Song'. In 2006 I recomposed the song to a simple short poetic format to honor the Vaqueros based on the music style and because the guitar has almost a figure 8 shape like a 'wahine'. I threw in lyrics honoring Taylor guitars because I used only Taylor guitars on my Sweet Wahine Album. This year's theme was UNITY. Milton & Chris selected the certain individuals and picked my 'Sweet Wahine' song. So if you don't like the performance, so be it. If you think it isn't slack key, so be it. I am Hawaiian, I play how I feel. I create. I spent this whole weekend with Cyril Pahinui doing workshops, I am honored by his blessings. Ledward Kaapana called and gave me his blessings. I no need apology to anybody. If you miss or want the old slack key way, I suggest you attend one of the slack key workshops near your community. I play old and new style. I play music as a hobby, I hate golfing. I am a Project Manager for Grace Pacific Corporation on the Big Island we do $300M a year in Revenues. If you say I am not a slack key player, again, consult with Cyril, Ledward, George Kuo, Dennis Kamakahi, John Keawe, John Cruz, Randy Lorenzo, Makana, George Kahumoku, Keoki Kahumoku, brother Noland and Andy Wang.

The Best Thing Yet, bust out your guitar and go one on one with me ONSTAGE live anytime and anyplace! I'm game, are you?

I am satisfied with our performance. We delivered, we had the drive and the energy and we played the guitar! If you think you can do better...be my guest a get your recording in for next year's nomination....we need more performers not just talkers.
























donkaulia

Edited by - donkaulia on 06/13/2009 11:17:46 PM
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donkaulia
Lokahi

249 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2009 :  11:27:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit donkaulia's Homepage
Doug...you not going find my tunings in any book; just ask Cyril and Led, I get my own tunes nobody uses...like Am & C. I just taught that at Cyril's workshop this whole week. Thanks for researching but you'll never find it anywhere.



quote:
Originally posted by PearlCityBoy

quote:
Originally posted by Peshkwe

An explanation of what was going on is given by one of the 9 guys is four post above yours.

I personally think Pali get plenty sensitivity to the music of Hawaii as one of the "powers that be" otherwise he'd have never gotten the Pakele Live shows and stream going in the first place.



I don't think the "Am open tuning" mentioned above is a traditional slack key tuning. I couldn't find it in Dancing Cat's excellent slack key tuning essay: http://www.dancingcat.com/skbook3-tuningessay.php#six . When I get a chance, I'll ask my kumus, particularly about the use of minor tunings in the slack key tradition. The actual tuning nothwithstanding, I don't think the way the tuning was played was in slack key style, and I wouldn't classify the song as Hawaiian either.

Regarding your second point, I was referring specifically to the sensitivity and responsibility to the slack key tradition and not the more general "music of Hawaii." When artists/producers self-proclaim themselves (including guilt by association) as "Slack Key Kings" (or "Slack Key ____(fill in the blank)"), and then play a song that's not slack key to a worldwide audience in a prestigious Hawaiian awards show, I think that's doing the slack key tradition a disservice and further confuses an already confused worldwide audience. They could have called themselves "Bluegrass Kings" and would have been equally off the mark.

Aloha,

Doug




donkaulia
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donkaulia
Lokahi

249 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2009 :  11:54:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit donkaulia's Homepage
Since we are on the topic of 'slack key'. Cyril Pahinui's workshop covered the history of where slack key first originated in Pulolu, Kohala. We had kupuna Lani share about 2 of the Vaqueros buried in Kohala and Leabert Lindsey shared stories 'bout their lineage with relatives still living in Kohala. Awesome stories, legends and history explained during the workshop. I shared 2 tunings that Cyril never heard before. My family lineage of ki ho alu goes back to 1870 Tutu John Kaulia cowrote 'E liliu e' in slack key format and steel guitar. Family tunes were often kept secret. So was my family....until now.

aloha, Donald Kaulia

donkaulia
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wcerto
Ahonui

USA
5052 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2009 :  04:52:05 AM  Show Profile
Braddah Don -there is not one person who criticized your musicianship. You are quite the respected kumu. And we know how much you love Hawai`i and the traditions, the stories, the hula, the music. We posted the link to this video last week, which shows your aloha for the music and your honor and respect for the vaqueros. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSJO_lsE2aY

And you brought up a very important point that I think manyof us may have forgotten -- each family had their own tunings. That makes ki ho`alu a very personal and flexible and dynamic style of playing guitar.

OK, I gotta go listen to Unko Paul playing "Miloli`i" - Califrisco & da mokulele la. And Paul ain't even Hawaiian, but we are lucky Hawai`i shared her beloved music with us.

Mahalo for talking to us and sharing YOUR music with us.

Me ke aloha
Malama pono,
Wanda
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Peter Medeiros
`Olu`olu

546 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2009 :  08:02:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit Peter Medeiros's Homepage
Bruddda Don,

No worry. Dis iz all lite weight stuff. As da saying goes you kenna please everybody alla time lidat you know. I know coz I know I stay good lookin but not erybody agrees. But even when I was going tru chemo lidat n woz bolohead yeah, da ole girls in da group Kawaipukanileo tot I woz lookin buff befoa won concert. I neva like tellem I woz sick like won dog coz dey wen give me props. I wen go flash da eyebrows, but dey neva see coz da hair on my eyebrows fell off long time ago.

Buchoono wot, itz like my auntie used to tell me “If da wind no blow, da olos not going swing. If da wind blow, den da olos going swing.” So you jez gotto wait fo da makani to blow. Mauka oa Makai, doesn’t matta. Somebody going like what you stay doing. In da lo‘i, takes time fo erybody to realize diz iz not a big deel yeah. So Alohas from Kaneohe.

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PoiDog
Lokahi

245 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2009 :  08:32:53 AM  Show Profile
The song looked like fun. The performers looked like they were having fun. The song did not sound like ki ho`alu. The music did not feel like Hawaiian music. That's HARA/Na Hoku Hanohano.

For Don.
My response was not criticizing musicianship, your dedication to music, your creativity. You penned some wonderful music. You don't need to validate anything.

My response to the OP was an expression of how I just feel HARA has drifted further and further from the older style, more traditional type Hawaiian music and for that particular piece to be aired, it just confirmed that feeling for me. HARA/Na Hoku Hanohano has created so many categories and from my perspective, it watered down the soup. I go into WalMart and in the Hawaiian music section there are virtually dozens of labels have, "Ha Hoku Nominee", "Na Hoku Award Winner". Na Hoku this, Na Hoku that...not special for me anymore. I care for my taste in Hawaiian music, not for the award. The TV broadcast doesn't even generate my interest anymore.

Thankfully, there are some young Hawaiians such as yourself who still create as part of their musical prowess the music us old timers consider traditional . Please continue. While I do not care much of the modern-era jazzed-up music that is deemed Hawaiian, I can understand that much of that is what the audiences want to hear. A few weeks ago at the Maui Beer Fest, Fleetwood's Island Rumors Band added Eric Gilliom for their set. Maybe that was to validate a few of the numbers in their set, maybe not. A few songs included hula-girls (as they were referred to by the lead) sometimes in green cellophane sometimes in sarong (again, his description) who, swayed around to some rock music in a make believe hula. Then some lady yodelled out a chant in time to rock? Granted there were not many Hawaiians in the house, those few that I made eye contact with, shrugged and rolled our eyes. Please understand that this is some of what frustrates me as a Hawaiian.

OK, pau fo now...



Aloha,
da Poi Dog

Edited by - PoiDog on 06/14/2009 08:44:32 AM
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Retro
Ahonui

USA
2368 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2009 :  09:51:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Retro's Homepage
Lotta good perspectives in this thread, as there is every time we jump into this topic. I just want to note my take on this particular point:
quote:
Originally posted by PoiDog

I just feel HARA has drifted further and further from the older style, more traditional type Hawaiian music...
I don't think it's HARA's kuleana to focus heavily on or specifically perpetuate the beautiful traditional music of Hawai`i. HARA, as noted regularly, is an industry group, designed to support all the music that comes from artists based in the Hawaiian Islands, in all its forms of artistic expression. If we're expecting HARA to keep alive any one type of Island music (rather than developing the overall health of the music industry there), we're going to be disappointed.

Fortunately, there are still many incredible traditional musicians, including both established masters of slack key and younger players who are working hard to keep the form alive with both old and new sounds.
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donkaulia
Lokahi

249 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2009 :  10:21:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit donkaulia's Homepage
I love all of you for loving the art form called slack key. Thank you for your comments both negative and positive....after all that is the American way of 'freedom of speech'. I feel the same way too, 'freedom to express and play music'. I don't like to be called a King of Slack Key nor do I want to be called a Master. Other people call me that and I respond by saying my name Don Kaulia, I am Hawaiian and I love playing slack key. My cousin Ledward called my up on King Kamehameha day to talk story and he ended up telling me 'cuz, thank you for the honor during my performance in mentioning him as a king, thank you cousin Donald'. I said this out of respect to the Vaqueros, Led and Cyril, whom in my eyes are the forefront grand masters of today and pupils of Fred Punahoa and Gabby Pahinui who were Kings of the 1980's. I spent the last 3 days with my bruddah Cyril Pahinui and he said the same as Led said: 'braddah, I thank you for honoring me as a slack key king and no forget you one too'. I love this art form. Sweet Wahine is not a slack key standard tune, it is 'my tune'. We was not hired nor required to do any 'ki ho alu', we were requested to do what we did for the Grammys earlier this year. All of us paid our airfare, hotel and ticket to be at the grammys and the hokus. If HARA wanted Ki ho alu, I would have done another 'kickAss' ki ho alu signature. When I sum up all of the comments in this forum, I can see the 'love' we all have for this art form. That is important for the survival of this art form. As long as I live, I will make sure this art form is alive whether it be kahiko style or auana, ki ho alu lives on!









donkaulia
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Pali
Akahai

64 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2009 :  10:44:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit Pali's Homepage
Brother Donald!!!! nice chatting with you yesterday, and thank you for taking time out to post on here. All great points my friend.. I love it how the discussion after your post is not "is it slack key or not" to "it's HARA's fault and responsibility." :) As someone who has spent the last (3) months of my life planning, developing and putting on the show, I am glad many folks tuned in that many folks loved it overall, and the "Sweet Wahine" performance... we realize not all will though.

Anyhoo, as you'd said Donald, rather than just comment, I'd encourage folks that would've liked to see something else instead to run for the Board of HARA, or volunteer as HARA members for the committee.. and yes, it's HARA's responsibility to perpetuate all of Hawai`i's music. There are kupuna that are non-fans of reggae, rock, rap that's now a part of the Hokus-but this is part of our music as well.

That's all I got.

Mahalo Don, see you on the Big Island in a few weeks (call you next week) and mahalo all for your love of guitar and ki ho`alu. *waves to Andy* :)
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donkaulia
Lokahi

249 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2009 :  12:50:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit donkaulia's Homepage
Good point and you are correct; however, if you know anything about slack key's history it started with the mexican cowboys. The tuning is my family secret tune, not a Pseudo, you need to dig deep in the history of slack key, and I did honor the real kings at the prelude of my composition which was chosen to perform at the Hoku Awards since we've done so well at the Grammy Awards earlier this year. Gabby, Ledward, Fred Punahoa, Cyril .... we all do jazz/rock/blues in slack key tunes....join one of our workshops so we can enlighten and broaden you view of slack key. We also need your help in getting involved with HARA. Cheers, Don



quote:
Originally posted by Uhini "Ona

I pretty sure I was watching the right guys, but at tonight's Na Hoku Hanohano awards, there was a group calling themselves the "Slack Key Kings" that performed. However, they never sound a bit like Ki Ho'alu; tuning was Pseudo, music sounded like rock/jazz, and just never feel like Hawaiian music.
Was just wondering what other people thought/felt and if I was even listing to the right guys.


donkaulia
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donkaulia
Lokahi

249 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2009 :  1:12:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit donkaulia's Homepage
You need to engage in a workshop near your community and learn more bout slack key history, the tuning you heard is a family secret tune...as much the same at standard A440 Am. The majority of the people assembled in the band love slack key music and have day jobs as a PhD, Project Manager, VP Marketing, Policeman....these guys love slack key and share my mana'o when ever we have the time to play. Your profile indicates your are self taught...I now understand. There is a lot of workshops in your community and plenty of online information on slack key music. Cheers, Don




quote:
Originally posted by hikabe

They were, successfully, trying to be different. It was good but not slack key. The name of the group is presumtious. If they are the kings of slack key, why play a piece at a prestigeious event that sounds latin and has, if anything, a very little semblense to slack key. Kings should exhibit prowress and leadership in what they represent. Again, I think they wanted to show another side of their abilities as musician. To me it seemed like a loose jam session. Also, I hate albums with names like kings and masters of... Who gives such distinctions to these guys. The slack key masters album a few years ago only has one master on it.


donkaulia
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donkaulia
Lokahi

249 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2009 :  1:14:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit donkaulia's Homepage
secret family tunes from the past braddah, I just showcased 2 tunings at Cyril's Workshop. Nothing fake here!


quote:
Originally posted by PearlCityBoy

quote:
Originally posted by Uhini "Ona

I pretty sure I was watching the right guys, but at tonight's Na Hoku Hanohano awards, there was a group calling themselves the "Slack Key Kings" that performed. However, they never sound a bit like Ki Ho'alu; tuning was Pseudo, music sounded like rock/jazz, and just never feel like Hawaiian music.
Was just wondering what other people thought/felt and if I was even listing to the right guys.


Which of the 9 guys on stage was playing slack key? Maybe it was the horn player playing in slack lip? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think “Slack Key Kings” are an actual musical group but rather a gathering of some of the artists on Milton and Chris Lau’s “Slack Key Kings, Vol. II” album.

Without any judgment on the quality of the musicianship or the commendable production of the awards program, IMHO the song they played wasn’t slack key, and it’s unfortunate they were introduced as the “Slack Key Kings.” I think this just adds to the confusion of what slack key is, particularly when this clip’s association with the “prestigious” Hokus will be watched via the Internet by people all over the world.

Is it a stretch to think that "they" were using the Hoku stage to increase awareness of the “Slack Key Kings” brand franchise in order to sell more of the current “Slack Key Kings” albums, and of course the yet-to-come volumes 3, 4, 5, . . . ? This shouldn’t be a surprise since aren’t the HARAs really a trade association designed to sell more of the trade association members’ products?

Instead, how cool would it have been if the “Slack Key Kings” actually had a bunch of guitarists playing more traditional slack key (a dying art) and passing the pa’anis around like the legendary Pahinui gatherings in Waimanalo, or the early 1990s slack key festivals (produced by the same Milton Lau) when Sonny Chillingworth was joined on stage with friends/haumana (including Ozzie Kotani, George Kuo, and even George Winston)? They could have included young slackers (e.g., Danny Carvalho, Brittni Paiva) sharing the stage with the older artists to encourage/reinforce how the slack key tradition can be enjoyed and passed on across generations. Ah, but alas, these suggestions probably wouldn’t be exciting enough to keep the T.V. audience engaged.

To me, the integrity of the Hawaiian slack key tradition MUST start in Hawaii. Trade association or not, the powers-that-be, particularly those who have access to or control the media, should have a greater awareness, sensitivity, and sense of responsibility for how slack key is portrayed, perceived, and carried on.

Aloha,
Doug



donkaulia
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Peshkwe
Akahai

50 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2009 :  1:36:46 PM  Show Profile
On the volunteering thing...yeah do it!

You don't have to have mad skills in ki ho alu, hula or even be a musician at all...shoot you don't even have to be in Hawaii to help out. Maybe you got an amazing archive of pristine album covers, maybe you have some old 8mm film from your grandparents of entertainers no longer walking on the earth (how cool would that be to show something like that in the show). Maybe, like me, you have some extra crayons and roadkill to help out with >;-]p~~ Jus ask and let em know what you can offer if they need it, with the net you can be on the other side of the world and still lend a hand.

As far as tradish music goes, it evolves. I'm sure some Kapuna way back in the day heard a young upstart practicing this new style of music called slack key and thought "What is that mess??? Where's the chant, ipo and nose flute? That's not REAL Hawaiian music!!"
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guitarded
Ha`aha`a

USA
1799 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2009 :  2:13:05 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Peshkwe

I'm sure some Kapuna way back in the day heard a young upstart practicing this new style of music called slack key and thought "What is that mess??? Where's the chant, ipo and nose flute? That's not REAL Hawaiian music!!"
Glad to see you've reincarnated and stopped rolling over in your grave.
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