New music highlights importance of Hawaiian language song composition
Award-winning artists and composers, Kealiʻi Reichel, Kainani Kahaunaele, Cody Pueo Pata, and Zachary Lum present new music that highlights haku mele: Hawaiian language song composition.
The compilation album, Ka Haku Mele, features 12 new compositions aimed at demonstrating the unique attributes of this cultural practice.
Unlike traditional albums, each recording is accompanied by visual liner notes – a video in which each composer provides educational insight on the haku mele process. Together with written lyrics and translations, Ka Haku Mele is an audiovisual exhibit that gestures toward a next step in the Hawaiian language revitalization movement: fluency in mele vernacular.
The visual liner notes will premiere at Kāhuli Leo Le‘a’s Facebook page and will be added to their website Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s throughout the month of September at 6 p.m., starting Monday, Sept. 5, 2022.
Ka Haku Mele is now streaming on all digital music platforms. This project was made possible by a grant from the US Institute of Museum and Library Services. Also find it on Apple Music and Spotify. The album lineup includes:
- Nani Wale ʻo Piʻiholo – Kealiʻi Reichel
- ʻAʻoe Hoʻolale a Koe Aku: Kahaluʻu – Zachary Lum
- Kapua – Cody Pueo Pata
- Kuaokalā – Kainani Kahaunaele
- Ipo Kaʻupu – Cody Pueo Pata
- Lei Pahapaha – Kainani Kahaunaele
- Me ʻOe Always Kuʻu Aloha – Zachary Lum
- My Dahling – Kainani Kahaunaele
- He Mele Hua Inoa no Kuaola Kamaleiokauhale – Zachary Lum
- No ʻUmaleimakani – Kealiʻi Reichel
- Kahalaoweke – Cody Pueo Pata
- Ode to a House – Kealiʻi Reichel
“It may be easy to think that haku mele is just about combining Hawaiian words with a catchy tune – but there is much more to it,” said Lum. “The haku mele process encodes lots of information in a few words or references. Revitalizing this skill provides access to oral documents of the past, and more importantly, allows us to create oral documents for the future.”
Ka Haku Mele is a project of Kāhuli Leo Leʻa, a non-profit organization that produces creative media to catalyze aloha ʻāina. This project is the latest in a series of “edu-tainment” programs presented by the organization, including albums, films, and events like the annual May Day concert broadcast.