1. Maui Morning
2. Ku’u Home O Kahalu’u
3. Pua Lililehua
4. Honolulu City Lights
5. Lei Pikake
6. Mauna Loa
7. Pupu Hinuhinu
9. Lei Nani
10. Morning Dew
11. Pua Tubarose
12. The Hawaiian Wedding Song
“Maui Morning” is a unique instrumental recording featuring world-renowned shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) master, Riley Lee (of Hawai`i and Australia) and Maui born Jeff Peterson, who, as a youth, learned to play slack key guitar from the paniolo (cowboys) at Haleakala Ranch. Lee is a seasoned recording artist who, at the time of this release, had some 40 albums under his belt, while Peterson, who has studied with some of the world’s best classical and jazz guitarists, and is himself a music teacher, composer, and slack key virtuoso.
Never before has there been such a recording! The shakuhachi has not been used in either traditional or contemporary Hawaiian music ensembles. No “standard” repertoire of duets exists for the shakuhachi and guitar. Together Lee and Peterson assembled a collection of favorite Island melodies and set about making beautiful music together. Here are ten Hawaiian classics that span the generations, an original title track composed by Jeff Peterson, and a version of the ever-popular “Hawaiian Wedding Song” that is appropriate for use in wedding ceremonies.
From Riley Lee:
Jeff Peterson and I first met in 1999, a few days before a shakuhachi concert I was to give in Honolulu. I had wanted to perform with a guitarist. Having grown up in the Islands, I was particularly interested in one who could play in the uniquely Hawaiian slack key style in which the keys holding the strings in place are slackened to make possible a multitude of different tunings. Jeff was highly recommended by a number of people in Hawai`i.
There is, of course, no “standard” repertoire of duets for the shakuhachi and guitar. Via phone and email we each suggested a few pieces, classical and originals, that we thought might work. The first concert at Orvis Auditorium on the Manoa Campus of the University of Hawai`I, went so well that we did a series of three the following year on Maui, Kaua`i, and at the Academy of Arts in Honolulu.
To my knowledge, the shakuhachi has not been used in either traditional or contemporary Hawaiian music ensembles. I think it should be. The shakuhachi can play the soft melodies and enhance the rich harmonies of the music. It can slide and bend pitches like the Hawaiian steel guitar and it fits so well with slack key guitar.
The question is, why hasn’t a recording like this one been produced before? It is because the right people had to come together before it could happen. This recording certainly won’t be the last on from this duo!
For me, playing the music on this recording with Jeff is like a homecoming. It has been a long time coming.