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.  


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.


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 began to empathize with how Queen Liliʻuokalani must have felt, imprisoned and unable to leave the confines of her own home, the Iolani Palace.  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.