They were famous in ancient times for whenever alii royalty would come from other Islands. What makes this whole place famous? We had to go through all of the exercises of traditional composition, study the motifs and things like that. And we would still go fishing! The house became central for our entire family. It was written for my grandmother and was presented to her at the King Kamehameha Hula Competition at the Neal Blaisdell Arena on Oahu. Kalena is the name of a series of ponds right down the street from here. This song is really just an ode to her skills, and to the skills of the women in our family.
And very little of it was corrected or adjusted. This was my way of expressing that particular feeling on that day and making the comparison of this person in my life to the mist. It was a small class. A really nice bookend to a charmed and very blessed career. How do you pronounce that? A is for artistic, adding beauty to the world H is for hopeful, you see the bright side of things E is for electric, a sparkling trait! And it was important for me to do the song as a record, first and foremost, for the family.
I think the song came first, before we even thought about the album. Trying not to buckle under that pressure is an immense thing. It also fit as a bookend. I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a male in your last earthly incarnation. I remember her and my aunties going out at daybreak and coming back three, four or five hours later with every 50-pound bag filled with opihi. Lei Halia was a hard album to do. You just have to rediscover a new norm.
I had never been commissioned in my life, for anything, though others had approached me before. All on a 20-minute flight, because I had to. Magic is everywhere around you, in most usual, most ordinary incidents. We decided that I needed to, through example, create an honorific genealogy chant for my grandmother while she was still alive. I kind of know where you are. You had a mind of a scientist, always seeking new explanations.
But I had to get to the point where I just did it and hoped for the best. So those are the royal ponds. N is for normal, step outside of the box!. She would make opihi bags out of 50-pound rice bags and would fashion them in a way that you could tie it around your waist and it hung right in front. Even up until my 20s, when I was living with her and going to school, my grandmother always provided.
The house is still in the family. And he wanted me to listen to something he wrote. It was the song that opened that particular door of creativity. She used to go pick opihi limpets. L is for lofty, your ambitions are high! So my grandmother was basically the head of the household. She grew up here on Maui, but her roots are in Kohala.
A searching for your other half. The clouds were really, really low and so all of this mist kept going in and out of the area. E is for excellence, your passion, your drive. Puakea came back and filled in some of the blanks. And I was kind of floored. So I decided to write about all of the things I heard, saw and felt. I no like write one song for one hotel.
He was teaching a course on haku mele song and chant composition. My grandfather was always away. Puna's birthday is coming up and I really should write a song. In Hawaiian poetry, names are sometimes given with the giving of a song. But the approach and what they were thinking and who they were hiring and all of the different Hawaii artists and artisans—some 30 or 40 that they were putting on retainer and just paying them—to me, was kind of impressive.
Nou e Kawaipunahele Ku'u lei aloha mae 'ole Pili hemo 'ole, pili pa'a pono E huli ho'i kãua E Kawaipunahele Ku'oe me ke ki'eki'e I ka nani a'o Wailuku Ku'u ipo henoheno, Ku'u wehi o ka põ E huli ho'i kãua E Kawaipunahele Eia ho'i 'o Keali'i Kal ana i ka mehameha Mehameha ho'i au, 'eha'eha ho'i au E huli ho'i kãua E Kawaipunahele. And so doing this in front of thousands of strangers was important. Then she moved to Maui, had nine children, and all of that is reflected in the verses after that. On the surface, it was about the place. The whole mele song was pretty much written while I was taking that 45-minute break.