Elua, Ukulele and Slack Key Guitar

Abe Lagrimas Jr. and Lance Takamiya.

Experience a mixed plate of varying acoustic textures emanating from two very different types of instruments. Both played in the spirit of their indigenous Hawaiian folk art heritage; all in one album!

Track 2: Ka‘apuni Honua

By: Lance Takamiya

Instrumental
6 String Steel Guitar: Lance Takamiya
Tuning:  Drop C (CGDGBD)

The Hawaiian title of this song means, “Travel the World”. I composed this song to evoke the hope and happiness seen in the eyes of my children as they discovered more of the world and experienced their wonderful journey through life.

Track 4: Ho‘onanea

By: Lance Takamiya

Instrumental
6 String Steel Guitar: Lance Takamiya
Tuning:  Drop C (CGDGBD)

The Hawaiian title of this song means “Relax” or chill.  I love to fish and nothing gives me greater peace and happiness than fishing on a beautiful and quiet beach on Oahu where I live.  Of course, anticipating a big catch also brings a feeling of hopefulness.  This very health activity and way of life here in these islands inspired me to create this song. 

Track 6: Hali‘a Loa

By: Lance Takamiya

Instrumental
6 String Steel Guitar: Lance Takamiya
Tuning:  Drop C (CGDGBD)

The Hawaiian title means, “Memories of Long Ago”.  As a child my family lived where the Aloha Stadium now stands.  Back then it was all sugar cane and a few small mom and pop stores and none of the big freeways that now stretch across the island.  Life was slow and simple then, and as a child, it was safer to wander about and go discovering.  These long-gone island memories are what I wanted to portray in this song!

Track 8: He Lā I Mahalo Nui Ia

By: Lance Takamiya

Instrumental
6 String Steel Guitar: Lance Takamiya
Tuning: Taro Patch (DGDGBD)

The Hawaiian title of this song means “Grateful for this Day”.   During my teenage years I nearly lost my life in a near drowning incident.  I was told that it was a miracle I survived with no serious complications.   Ever since, I realized the fragility of life and to not take it for granted.  I’ve made it a practice to recount all that I’m grateful for when I wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night.  That’s my story behind creating this carefree and traditional sounding Hawaiian Slack Key tune.

Track 10: Le‘a Le‘a Wale 

By: Lance Takamiya

Instrumental
6 String Steel Guitar: Lance Takamiya
Tuning: C6 or C Maunaloa Tuning (CGEGAE)

The Hawaiian title of this song means, “Pure Joy”.  This song was a real pleasure to create and is my favorite to play.  It’s truly my unique style and interpretation of delivering a feeling of pure joy through the use of traditional Hawaiian slack key guitar embellishments that are relaxing and pleasing to the ear.  The C6 or C Maunaloa tuning allows the song to flow freely throughout the piece!

 

Aloha, This is Who We Are

An imagery of life in Hawaiʻi played through the strings of a Slack Key guitar.


Track 1: Hoʻolaulea Slack Key

By: Lance Takamiya

Instrumental
6 String Steel Guitar: Lance Takamiya
Tuning:  Taro Patch (DGDGBD)
I was asked if I could compose a song for use on a Hawaiian Airlines video for their May Day parade float building project.  I composed this piece and named it Hoʻolaulea (celebration) Slack Key. It’s an appropriate song to start off this debut album! 


Track 2: Paniolo Slack Key

By Lance Takamiya

Instrumental
6 String Steel Guitar: Lance Takamiya
Tuning:  Taro Patch (DGDGBD)

In year 1830, King Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli) sent his emissary to California to make arrangements for Mexican Cowboys (Vaqueros) to come to Hawaiʻi to teach the Hawaiian cowboys (Paniolo) how to herd cattle.  The Vaqueros brought with them the guitar and taught the Paniolo how to play the guitar.  It is assumed that the Paniolo slacked certain strings possibly to match their vocal style, make it easier to play or the Vaqueros were not around long enough to teach them the standard tuning.  This instrumental is a tribute to the Paniolo and the origin of slack key in Hawaiʻi.


Track 3: Haleʻiwa Town

By Lance Takamiya

Vocal
Nylon String Guitar, Vocal: Lance Takamiya
Tuning:  Taro Patch (DGDGBD)
Visit Haleʻiwa Town and you fall in love with its old Hawaiian charm.  This fishing village has many estuaries flowing through it from the water shed high above.  Annually, thousands of visitors and residents paddle-board or canoe the famous Anahulu stream, home to giant sea turtles, crustaceans and bait fish that provide food for the bigger fish in and around Haleiwa Harbor.  Hawaiʻi has lost many of its natural estuaries due to over development.  Let’s vow to keep Haleʻiwa a living and breathing ecosystem for all to enjoy.  

Haleiwa Town (Lyrics)

Drifting underneath the old Rainbow Bridge
I’m a paddling Anahulu Stream
Turtles bobbing by, I hear peacocks cry
I’m floating in a fantasy

In Haleiwa old folks say the best in life are free
Just leave your worries in a jar and toss them out to sea
With friendly faces all around
They’d lift me up, they’d never let me down
In Haleiwa, life is right somehow

 Welcome to a world where there ain’t no walls
Just the rhythm of the surf and sea
Enticing one and all I feel its charm
And local hospitality

 In Haleiwa old folks say the best in life are free
Just leave your worries in a jar and toss them out to sea
With friendly faces all around
They’d lift me up, they’d never let me down
In Haleiwa, life is right somehow

 May your innocence live on to guide your destiny
Like your river flowing on forever
Down to the sea

 In Haleiwa young folks say tradition here runs deep
Our promise thrives on fields of green we forever vow to keep
With friendly faces all around they’ll lift us up, they’ll never let us down
In Haleiwa life is right somehow
Down in Haleiwa Town

 


Track 4: Naha

By Lance Takamiya

Instrumental
6 String Steel Guitar: Lance Takamiya
Tuning:  Taro Patch (DGDGBD)
Lanai is a small and relatively undeveloped island in the Hawaiian chain.  In our younger days, our family would take the long ride on the dirt road to a part of the coastline called “Naha”.  There, I would walk the reefs and whip for papio (jacks) and ulua (giant trevally).  All you can hear there is the rolling surf, the rubbing of kiawe tree branches and chirping of the resident cardinals.  The peaceful and unspoiled beauty of Naha inspired me to compose this slack key instrumental done in the traditional Kiʻhoalu style. 


Track 5: Beach Walk Slack Key

By Lance Takamiya

Instrumental
Nylon String Guitar: Lance Takamiya
Tuning:  Drop C (CGDGBD)
This instrumental describes without words the excitement and spirited atmosphere of visitors and residents traversing the glamorous Waikiki Beach Walk.


Track 6: Aloha, This Is Who We Are

By Lance Takamiya

Instrumental
Nylon String Guitar, Vocals, Orchestra: Lance Takamiya
Tuning:  Drop C (CGDGBD)

Aloha is such an important ingredient in this special place called Hawaiʻi.  The Aloha spirit encompasses one of compassion, grace and love permeating from our experiences with the beauty that surrounds us and tantalizes our senses.  As long as we retain the beauty of our land and sea, the Aloha spirit will remain in us all.

Aloha This is Who We Are (Lyrics)

Romantic as a Rainbow ‘round the moonlight
Alluring as a sweet pikake lei
Embracing all with truth and warmth and wonder
This is Hawai‘i nei

Woven through the fabric of these islands
Is a spirit of compassion, grace and love
Warm enough to touch the heart of heaven
Here lies the meaning of

 Aloha, in our thoughts and all around it makes us see
Aloha, this is who we are, our fate was meant to be
The salt of summer bathes us by the seashore
Where fish are feeding gently in disguise
Serenity of rings upon the water
This is our paradise

Sacred are her valleys and her forests
Protected through a million years of rain
Breathe her, touch her hear her voices calling
Her love runs through our veins

Aloha, in our thoughts and all around it makes us see
Aloha, this is who we are, our fate was meant to be
She gently calls us closer, we’re enchanted by her spell
And we will share her stories through our breath of life we’ll tell

Aloha, in our thoughts and all around it makes us see
Aloha, this is who we are, our fate was meant to be
Forever we will feel the spirit of
Hawai‘i as she greets the world with love
She reminds us in her very special way
Aloha


Track 7: Heihei Waʻa

By Lance Takamiya

Instrumental
6 String Steel Guitar: Lance Takamiya
Tuning:  Taro Patch (DGDGBD)

This instrumental depicts the coordinated efforts of canoe paddlers during an outrigger canoe race or “Heihei Waʻa”, where paddlers stroke in unison through ocean swells with fierce determination to challenge their abilities, defeating the elements in order to reach their destination.


Track 8: Green Room Rapture

By Lance Takamiya

Instrumental
Nylon String Guitar: Lance Takamiya
Tuning:  Drop C (CGDGBD)

A surfer once explained to me what it’s like to surf waves at the Banzai Pipeline and riding through the tube, termed as the Green Room.  This song epitomizes the exhilaration and euphoria I could only imagine one must feel when experiencing the Green Room.


Track 9: Rush

By Lance Takamiya

Instrumental
6 String Steel Guitar: Lance Takamiya
Tuning:  Taro Patch (DGDGBD)

So many activities experienced in Hawaiʻi bring a rush to our senses.  This sprightly composition played on slack key guitar epitomizes this feeling. 


Track 10: Liliʻu's Waltz

By Lance Takamiya
Instrumental
Nylon String Guitar: Lance Takamiya
Tuning:  C6 (CGEGAE)

A number of years ago, I went through a period of illness that floored me. Alone at home and unable to do anything but hold a guitar, I decided to compose a song to make the best of the situation. At the same time I was learning the history of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy that took place in year 1893 by a group of sugar planters and businessmen. Hawai'i's Queen Liliʻuokalani was imprisoned within the confines of her own home, the Iolani Palace and forced to abdicate her throne. I decided to spend this time writing a piece to describe this period in her life. In this bittersweet composition, I hope you will hear the sounds that describe her elegance, her grace, the agony of losing her throne, and through it all maintaining her dignity and earning the respect and love of her people.

Artist's Note: I copyrighted Liliʻu's Waltz years ago and failed to recognize an editorial error involving a missing ʻokina in this song's title.  This website has been corrected to reflect the proper spelling.  My sincere apologies for this oversight.