BEST HAWAIIAN MUSIC ALBUM GRAMMY NOMINEES
'Dreams' tribute to kupuna's values
|||Lim handles solo turn on 'Artistry'|
By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer
By Wayne Harada
Kapono Beamer says he experienced spiritual connections with his kupuna during the creative process for his Grammy-nominated CD, "Slack Key Dreams of the Ponomoe."
"It doesn't get better," said the 16-time Hoku Award-winner. "I dreamed about getting nominated; but to do it with this personal album, drawing from my family heritage, has been a magical experience."
Kapono says the lessons of his grandparents were influential. "I used to play 'ukulele for my grandma's hula studio, which wasn't called a halau in those days, while I was in grade school. They instilled a lot of Hawaiian values in us," he said. "I miss them so much, but I felt a powerful presence while working on the CD, while writing songs. I so wanted to include the voice of my grandmother (Louise Leiomalama Beamer)." And he did, by including a recording he had made of her chanting at home."
His mother, Winona Beamer, also helped shape his work. "While in school, I backed up my mother when she performed, so the hula repertoire is part of my musical DNA," said Beamer.
He said the disc represents a reawakening of his creative forces, while the music reflects a cherished time. "My last year and a half have been a life-changing experience," said Beamer. "And through the process of doing this album, I felt my grandmother was there, guiding me along."
While he's touted as an instrumentalist on his CD, Beamer said he's also a vocalist (there are sung tracks on the album) and was somewhat surprised that of five contenders, four were largely instrumental.
"I think it's got to do with the anomaly of the voting membership, which includes many outside of Hawai'i," said Beamer. "And ki ho'alu won last year, so it would seem that there are voters elsewhere with limited knowledge of Hawaiian music, which means we all need to help educate them."
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