Edit ModuleShow Tags

Music Review

Ka Hikina o ka Hau, Keola Beamer, (Dancing Cat Records)


Published:

Keola Beamer has for years been one of Hawai‘i’s greatest masters of ki ho‘alu (slack key guitar). On Ka Hikina o ka Hau (The Coming of the Snow), though, Beamer heads into uncharted waters. This isn’t a Hawaiian slack key record, at least not the kind you’re used to. Instead, Beamer tackles a range of classical compositions—from Erik Satie’s “Gymnopedies” to Christmas favorite “The Little Drummer Boy.”

In the liner notes, co-producer Daniel O’Donoghue, who arranged most of the works, explains that slack key’s unconventional and flexible tuning allowed him to re-create classical arrangements on the guitar in a way that standard tuning never could. “When you’ve adapted music to the guitar 10,000 times, why not for once try adapting the guitar to the music?” he writes.

What does it sound like? The album’s title turns out to be pretty apt. The mood throughout is melancholy, contemplative. The stripped-down instrumentation lends the music a sparse elegance. Just don’t expect to throw this on at your next afternoon barbecue.

BOTTOM LINE:
Beamer has created a chilly but beautiful collection of music, using ki ho‘alu’s acoustic tones to capture classical music’s subtleties amazingly well.


“Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening”
“Gymnopedie No. 1”
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to Honolulu

Honolulu Magazine November 2018
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Trending

 

9 Greatest Honolulu Homes

Great Homes

Stunning, historic, extraordinary.

 

Can the Mainland Do Poke Right? Do We Want Them To?​

Poke

Martha Cheng, author of The Poke Cookbook and former line, talks about how a New York City publisher decided Hawai‘i’s favorite pūpū was for everybody.

 

50 Essential Hawai‘i Books You Should Read in Your Lifetime

Books

The most iconic, trenchant and irresistible island books, as voted by a panel of literary community luminaries.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Local Fruit in Hawai‘i

Fruit

Fruits are part of our history and culture, a way for us to feel connected to our community.

 

 

A Local’s Guide to Buying Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Sunscreen

Five Hawai‘i brands have created reef-safe sunscreens that are safe for your ʻohana and the ocean. 

Edit ModuleShow Tags