Inspiration from Afar…

Hey all,

So, I recently attended my brother’s beautiful wedding on the killer Hawaiian island of Maui and, I’ve got to tell you, it couldn’t have gone better.  There were many nights on the beach, many nights of relaxing with friends and many, many Mai Tais, but there was one night that really stuck out in my mind.

Kirk and Melissa (my brother and new sister-in-law) planned the rehearsal dinner activity for everyone on the Tuesday night, before the big day.  It was a luau in the coastal town of Lahaina (again, on the island of Maui) and, as cool as hula girls and coconut bras are, the percussionists were amazing.

I couldn’t keep my eyes off of them! They had instruments that I had never heard of before and playing these psychotic rhythms, really fast and in this really contagious groove.  A sampling of the drums… and the Tahitian dancing… is below.

One of my favourite instruments there was the pahu, which is a type of pitched log drum.  One type of log drum is below…

Very cool! The luau percussionist was incredible, but it was really the synergy between all of the drums, the dancing and the narrative that made this luau SO impressive.  It really makes me want to dabble more in island percussion – doesn’t matter which island, but Hawaii, Tahiti, the Polynesian Islands…

ALSO, the stories that accompany the music, like the colonization of Hawaii, the annexation by the US (positive or negative), the myths of the Haleakala volcano, or the stories about the islands before it became a tourist destination… like when Westerners would come to visit a friend, then get to the airport and then be unable to get on the plane, completely captured by the beauty and pace of Hawaii.  Everything, and everyone, has a story… and there’s a sort of historic poetry that takes place when one can capture that in music.

Speaking of capturing, special thanks to Winnipeg photographers, Jess and Jake from Kamp Photography, who captured the wedding and the adventures surrounding it with a heartfelt, comforting quality – some seriously awesome photography.  Make sure to follow them on twitter as well!

Now that I’m back, back to work, updates to follow!

Mahalo! (Hawaiian for “thank you!”)


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