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From the JazzAlleyTV.com:
"Ki ho 'alu (Loosen the Key) - KEOLA BEAMER" Rises from Hawaii for the
New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.
This journey with slack-key guitarist Keola Beamer is both a musical and a
spiritual treat. Beamer's playing is nothing short of amazing -- and that
playing is captured, in compelling style, against the beautiful backdrop of
Hawaii and Hawaiian culture.
**** Norman Provizer
Jazz critic, Rocky Mountain News, Denver - About, Kiho'alu -- Loosen the Key.
(Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii) - Like an inspired west-rising sun, this independent,
feature length, video documentary explores the unusually hypnotic stylings of
Hawaiian slack key guitar. Not just any slack key guitar, though - the
sound and soul of one of the world's recognized Masters, Keola Beamer.
From a musical family that pre-dates Western contact, Keola secures his
ancient roots while melding them with modern sound. Career highlights are
daunting. Included in those is Hawaii's unmatched, best-selling recording,
"Honolulu City Lights", which he penned and recorded in 1978. And Keola has matured to what is now considered the apex of his musical career.
As Willie Nelson plainly states in the doc, "Keola's style is the
best slack key that there is on the planet."
Not familiar with slack key guitar? Although it ranks with some of the world's
great guitar traditions - such as Chicago and Louisiana blues, flamenco or bossa
nova - unfamiliarity is not unusual. That's simply because of the
remoteness of our Hawaiian archipelago.
The unique sound and technique descends from campfire music played by
Spanish-Mexican cowboys, visiting Hawaii nearly two centuries ago to wrangle the
newly introduced, errant cattle. Their Hawaiian hosts were piqued by the
sounds; then made it their own, their way.
History, techniques, Keola's hand-made guitars... these are all detailed in the
documentary. But there's so much more in this documentary than the details.
fascinating and nourishing, it's the MORE to underscore.
If you've ever visited our isles, or if visions of Hawaii have ever fancied your
thoughts, prepare to be swept away. You'll discover the ravishing caresses
of a crystal-laced White Mountain, while the story of a lustrous lei, told with
true hula, allows the hardest heart to weep. A lone owl, anticipating freedom of
the blossoming night, inspires you to touch your own magnificence.