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Discover the inspiration behind the Hōkūleʻa symphony, RAISE HAWAIKI. Hear from composer Michael-Thomas Foumai, author Sam Low and master navigator Nainoa Thompson in a special 4-part series presentation exploring the creative process of capturing the legacy of Hōkūleʻa and Polynesian Voyaging through symphonic music, Raising Hawaiki: Composing the Hōkūleʻa Symphony.

 

Commissioned by the Wallace, Elizabeth and Isabella Wong Family Foundation in celebration of the return of Hōkūleʻa from the worldwide voyage Mālama Honua, Raise Hawaiki is a symphony for chorus and orchestra. Inspired by the story of Hōkūleʻa and the reviving of traditional Polynesian navigation, Raise Hawaiki began with a vision to create a large-scale symphonic work that would bring together Hawaiʻi’s major institutions of performance, learning and voyaging for a performance embodying Hōkūleʻa’s voyages to connect and educate communities across the planet to embrace and care for their cultural and natural environments.

 

A modern epic of Hawaiʻi, the story of Hōkūleʻa embodies Hoʻāla with the awakening of the Hawaiian consciousness and movement to care for our blue-island Earth, journey aboard the Hōkūleʻa on a symphonic voyage celebrating the legacy of Polynesian voyaging. Told through words inspired by navigators Nainoa Thompson and Mau Piailug, legendary waterman Eddie Aikau, and Hōkūleʻa’s voyaging crew members Sam Kaʻai and Sam Low with text edited by Dr. Puakea Nogelmeier, experience the 1976 maiden voyage to Tahiti, navigate the seas by stars, relive the heroism and dream of Eddie Aikau, and celebrate the hope of Hōkūleʻa’s worldwide voyage, Mālama Honua.

 

The world premiere is presented in collaboration with the University Hawaiʻi Foundation, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Music Department, Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra, Oʻahu Choral Society, Polynesian Voyaging Society, IONA Contemporary Dance Theatre, Hawaiʻi Youth Opera Chorus and Kapiʻolani Community College.

 

HŌKŪLEʻA & WORLD WIDE VOYAGE VIDEO AND IMAGES: Courtesy of the Polynesian Voyaging Society / ʻŌiwi TV

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Sam Low, Steve Somsen, Ben Young, Ben Finney

 

 

PART 1 - AO (DAWN)

Running Time: 6:41

Beginning with dawn, the first episode of Raising Hawaiki introduces the story of Hōkūleʻa. Hear from master navigator Nainoa Thompson and author Sam Low about the revival of Polynesian navigation and the meaning behind the title Raise Hawaiki. Go beyond the score with composer Michael-Thomas Foumai as he discusses musical symbolism in composing the Hōkūleʻa theme.

PART 2 - THE TALK OF THE SEA (THE LEGACY OF MAU PIAILUG)

Running Time: 6:14

Author Sam Low and master navigator Nainoa Thompson discuss the legacy of navigator Mau Piailug. Composer Michael-Thomas Foumai discusses symbolic orchetration and how the second movement is a musical navigation lesson, a conversation between student and teacher and navigator to crew.

PART 3 - NĀ MAMO (THE CHILDREN)

Running Time: 3:44

On the third episode of Raising Hawaiki, author Sam Low speaks to documenting a chorus of voices during a time when Hawaiian culture was near death. Composer Michael-Thomas Foumai discusses the meaning behind the words that feature a chorus of female and children's voices. See how the words of Sam Kaʻai, a sculptor and mentor to Native Hawaiians, forms the basis of the fifth movement that speaks to the children, the descendants of Hawaiʻi, to reclaim, revive and rekindle the legacy of their ancestors.

PART 4 - HAWAIʻI'S PRIDE (EDDIE AIKAU)

Running Time: 4:19

Master navigator Nainoa Thompson recalls and remembers the storm and capsize of 1978 and the final last moments before Eddie Aikau set out to Lānaʻi to get help. Composer Michael-Thomas Foumai discusses the final three movements that are inspired by Eddie and the greatest act of courage that lights the path for Hōkūleʻa to go, go around the world, to Mālama, Mālama Honua.

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