Spring Wind Quintet, Jon Magnussen, Braven Kalama Cabigon & Sam ʻOhu Gon III | Pākaʻa Lanakila!

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Pākaʻa Lanakila!

by Spring Wind Quintet, Jon Magnussen, Braven Kalama Cabigon & Sam ʻOhu Gon III

A classic Hawaiian coming-of-age story retold in the tradition of Prokofievʻs "Peter and The Wolf", with music by American composer Jon Magnussen ("...beautifully textured music."––NYTimes) in English and Hawaiian language versions.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ka' Ōhana
Spring Wind Quintet, Sam ʻOhu Gon III & Braven Kalama Cabigon
6:35 album only
2. Ke Ahonui
Spring Wind Quintet, Sam ʻOhu Gon III & Braven Kalama Cabigon
5:32 album only
3. Kaʻ Āpono 'ia Ana
Spring Wind Quintet, Sam ʻOhu Gon III & Braven Kalama Cabigon
6:03 album only
4. Ka Lawai'a
Spring Wind Quintet, Sam ʻOhu Gon III & Braven Kalama Cabigon
8:23 album only
5. Ka Heihei Wa'a
Spring Wind Quintet, Braven Kalama Cabigon & Sam ʻOhu Gon III
2:39 album only
6. Ho'i I Ke Aloha Makua
Spring Wind Quintet, Sam ʻOhu Gon III & Braven Kalama Cabigon
3:55 album only
7. Family
Spring Wind Quintet & Jon Magnussen
6:14 album only
8. Patience
Spring Wind Quintet & Jon Magnussen
5:28 album only
9. Permission
Spring Wind Quintet & Jon Magnussen
6:05 album only
10. The Catch
Spring Wind Quintet & Jon Magnussen
7:24 album only
11. Canoe Race
Spring Wind Quintet & Jon Magnussen
2:32 album only
12. Homecoming
Spring Wind Quintet & Jon Magnussen
3:52 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Pāka`a Lanakila! is scored for wind quintet and narrator, and was commissioned by Chamber Music Hawaii for the Spring Wind Quintet, with generous support from the Honolulu Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts. I had the privilege of working with the Spring Wind Quintet from 2007 to 2009 as director of the Honolulu Symphony’s education and outreach programs. When the invitation came to create a new work for my SWQ friends, it was clear to me that the work should be inspired by our shared passion for bringing live concert music to younger generations; and that it should also be based on a Hawaiian theme, in honor of our host culture. And if it could be a wind-inspired Hawaiian theme, since the Spring Wind Quintet musicians are such amazing wind players... even better. But, now – what story does all of that?

After some searching, I came upon Frederic B. Wichman’s retelling of a tale about a young boy named Pāka`a (Polihale and and Other Kaua`i Legends, Bamboo Ridge Press, 1991). I then read other versions of the same story– Moses Nakuina’s Moolelo Hawaii o Pakaa a me Ku-a-Pakaa, in English translation, the epic-length story from which Wichman’s short story came, based on earlier versions which appeared in 19th-century Hawaiian language newspapers; and Thomas Thrum’s More Hawaiian Folk Tales. The more I read, the more I was convinced that this story needed to be heard. It was funny, entertaining, and its stubborn, hard-headed protagonist (“just like his father”) was a hard worker, and ultimately victorious. I contacted Wichman, and he generously gave me permission to use any of his words as I created this new musical retelling of the story.

After the first English-language performances of Pākaʻa Lanakila! during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, the Quintet and I recorded the work with funding from the Kosasa Foundation, funding which also supported the development and recording of a Hawaiian language version. With the expert guidance of Hawaiian language and culture experts Sam ʻOhu Gon III and the multi-talented Braven Kalama Cabigon, we worked to create a suitable version ma ka ʻōlelo makuahine ("in the mother tongue"), which we then recorded.

Pāka`a lived as a boy on Kaua`i long ago, in the cliffs of Ke-ahi-ahi (near the present-day Kealia) with his single mother and her bird-catching brother, uncle Ma`ilou . In this part of the story, Pākaʻa is tired of the village fishermen making fun of his uncle for never providing the family with fish—only birds. He is also frustrated that the fishermen never give generously of their delicious catch to him, because they are prejudiced towards his uncle and his trade. Nevertheless, Pāka`a figures out a clever way to claim his share of the catch, winning in the process many ka`au (forty) of his favorite mālolo fish, and the respect of his elders.
This coming-of-age story delighted audiences in the classical Hawaiian storytelling tradition long before it was retold in 19th century Hawaiian language newspapers. I hope this retelling of Pākaʻa’s story helps a new generation discover the wisdom, rich comedy and deep beauty of Hawaiian literature.

– Jon Magnussen, May 2015

The main textual sources for the Pākaʻa Lanakila! retelling of the story are: The Wind Gourd of La`amaomao, an English translation (Mookini and Nākoa, trans. Kalamakū Press, 2005) of Moses Nakuina’s original Moolelo Hawaii o Pakaa a me Ku-a-Pakaa; Frederic B. Wichman’s Polihale and and Other Kaua`i Legends (Bamboo Ridge Press, 1991); and Thomas G. Thrum’s More Hawaiian Folk Tales published in 1923. Other helpful sources regarding Hawaiian fishing traditions of old, were: Ka `Oihana Lawai`a: Hawaiian Fishing Traditions, by Daniel Kahā`ulelio and edited by M. Puakea Nogelmeier (Bishop Museum, 2006) and Nā Kua`āina: Living Hawaiian Culture, by Davianna Pōmaika`i McGregor (University of Hawai’i Press, 2007).



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