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From the back cover:
Ki ho`alu - That's Slack Key Guitar, is a compelling look at Hawaiian Slack Key
guitar. The film unveils a cultural richness that is uniquely Hawaiian. The
story is told not by a narrator but by each artist telling their story in their own words
and the spirit and feeling that is within the culture of the Hawaiian people emerges.
The development of slack key corresponds to Hawaiian history and tells of the
changes within Hawaiian culture while preserving its tradition in form and verse.
Slack Key guitar is a traditional solo
fingerpicking style unique to Hawai`i. Hawaiians have been playing slack key since
the early 1800s when traditional guitars were brought to the islands by the Spanish
cowboys. The Hawaiians tuned or "slacked" the strings to suit their own
music. The tradition extends beyond the islands to influence many musicians
including Ry Cooder and Chet Atkins.
This film tells the story of slack key guitar
through an intimate portrait of Raymond Kane, a man who holds a special place in the
domain of traditional Hawaiian music. The style of the film reflects the "down
home" feeling of the slack key guitar music and of Raymond Kane himself.
"It's sweet, it's good for the soul" Raymond says.
Over four years in the making, this film, with its
infectious musical aspects that are specifically Hawaiian and fascinating main character,
coupled with its rich visual material and verité sequences, will be an important document
of Hawaiian culture to share with contemporary audiences.