Aloha, This is Who We Are

An imagery of life in Hawaiʻ 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.