Ka Hikina O Ka Hau is definitely a different route for Keola Beamer, a change from his usual mellifluous slack-key work. This takes him into classical music, both relatively modern (Satie) and early (Dowland), but not playing it completely straight: instead, he layers several guitars, in different tunings, to create each piece. And even when he offers an original piece (which, incidentally, is the most satisfying material here), George Winston adds subtle and unusual piano accompaniment (he also plays guitar on another track). There's plenty of impressionist music, and it's here that the layering exercise, though necessary, seems most strained. There's no real flow to the Satie Gymnopédies, but neither do they float the way they should (this is often also true of the other classical pieces). The traditional Brazilian "Tutu Maramba" doesn't bristle with rhythm, while Mendelssohn's Venetian Boat Song has its melody broken up. It's an interesting experiment, most certainly, not only to hear Beamer tackle something so radically different, but to overdub this way. However, slack key it's definitely not.
AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson
|Ma mère l'oye, ballet for orchestra|
|Sadko, opera in 3 (or 5) acts|
Venetianisches Gondellied ("Wenn durch die Piazzetta die Abendluft weht"), song for voice & piano, Op. 57/5