Maui Premier of Pākaʻa Lanakila! Hawaiian Language Performance
The Maui Arts & Cultural Center is presenting a first-ever Hawaiian language performance on Maui of the moʻolelo (story) “Pākaʻa Lanakila!” on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. in the Castle Theater.
This special musical work, based on a classic Hawaiian story, has been composed by Hawaiʻi-based composer Jon Magnussen who will be part of the performance that will also feature storyteller B.K. Cabigon and Chamber Music Hawai‘i’s Spring Wind Quintet.
“Pākaʻa Lanakila!” is based on the traditional Hawaiian story of Pākaʻa, a boy living on Kauaʻi in the cliffs of Keahiahi near present day Kealia. Pākaʻa is a smart boy and a quick learner. But sometimes his mother and uncle underestimate what he can do. By the end of this fishing adventure, Pākaʻa wins the respect of the poʻe lawaiʻa (fishing people) and all those on shore that day.
This classic coming-of-age story first appeared in Hawaiian language newspapers during the late 19th century and many versions have appeared since then, in both Hawaiian and English languages. In 2011, on a commission from Chamber Music Hawaiʻi with funding from the Honolulu Mayorʻs Office on Culture and the Arts, composer Jon Magnussen created a musical setting of a portion of the story in which the story is told by a flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon, and a narrator.
A grant from ABC Stores enabled the recording of “Pāka’a Lanakila!” in the original English version, and the development and recording of a Hawaiian-language version, created in close collaboration with Braven Kalama Cabigon and Sam ‘Ohu Gon III, experts in Hawaiian oral traditions. Accompanying illustrations have been created for the performance by noted Big Island artist Caren Loebel-Fried.
The presentation includes an interactive demonstration in which audience members learn about the musical instruments and the story and so that everyone can fully enjoy the Hawaiian-language performance, English subtitles will be provided.
The Spring Wind Quintet will also perform several mele from Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i Island. The program will conclude with a talk story session with the creative team.
In connection with Pāka‘a Lanakila!, Chamber Music Hawaiʻi launched The Pākaʻa Project, a new educational outreach initiative designed to increase access to music education resources for teachers in both ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and English-speaking communities statewide.
Resources available for Hawaiʻi state educators includes a CD of composer Jon Magnussen’s Pākaʻa Lanakila! in Hawaiian and in English (available for sale at the event) and a free, downloadable bilingual teacher resource guide (Palapala Kumu Haʻawina) available at: http://chambermusichawaii.org/pakaa-lanakila.
Tickets are $35 (plus applicable fees) and are available at the MACC Box Office, by phone at (808) 242-SHOW or online at MauiArts.org. MACC members receive a 10% discount.