To Honor a Queen: The Music of Lili'uokalani

To Honor a Queen: The Music of Lili'uokalani

by Ozzie Kotani


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To Honor a Queen: The Music of Lili'uokalani

There haven't been too many crowned heads who could write a song, but Hawaii's Queen Lili'uokalani was an exception. A woman who lived in the late 19th century/early 20th century, she played several instruments, including guitar, and composed over 150 songs during her lifetime, including "Aloha 'Oe," probably the archetypal piece of Hawaiian music. Revered by musicians from the islands, 13 of her pieces are given instrumental slack-key treatments here by Ozzie Kotani, a master of the genre. While he begins with the up-tempo "He' Ai Na Kalani," the pace soon slows to a more laid-back feel which brings out the beauty of the melodies -- and the queen wrote some that were gorgeous. "Medley: Paoakalani/Kuiu Pua I Paoakalani" finds the notes and harmonics ringing like bells, "The Queen's Prayer" is simple but heartfelt, and the version of "Aloha 'Oe" that Kotani puts forth here -- adapted from the original with a new introduction and passing chords -- is a thing of wonder, the tempo slowed to the point where it truly captures the languid, hanging tropical sunsets of the islands. Making a single guitar have all the colors and textures of an orchestra is Kotani's triumph and what he brings to the party, but the power of the music itself stems purely from Lili'uokalani.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/08/2002
Label: Windham Hill Records
UPC: 0080223801820
catalogNumber: 38018

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