Music of heaven found in Hawaii’s ‘Lokomaika’i,’ Amazing Grace

Hawaiian paradise on the Leeward Coast of Oahu, Waianae

Hawaiian paradise on the Leeward Coast of Oahu, Waianae

In Hawaii the arts are not just acknowledged or enjoyed but revered.  This includes visual arts, writing and music, with the latter no more beautifully eloquent than the slack key played by the masters, especially in combination with the unique sounds of other instruments that include the ukulele, drums or piano.  A song that captures the best of music, with vocals, slack key guitar and piano is one that expresses the island’s Amazing Grace.

“Amazing Grace,” was performed by George Kahumoku on vocals and the slack key guitar and Daniel Ho on piano at a slack key celebration.  The sounds distinctive to Hawaiian music in the form of the guitar’s special sounds created by open tuning brings a special beauty to the one of the world’s most revered religious songs.  It reflects true “lokomaika’i,” a word of spiritual meaning that in English is translated as goodwill, generosity, kindness.

As the song “Amazing Grace”  crosses borders of faith, country, race and time, this rendition by Kahumoku and Ho captures the very soul of the music.  It as if the paradise of Hawaii was granted the greatest music of the heavens, to join with the flowers and fauna, then subsequently fused into the chords and keys played by the talents of two men, George Kahumoku and Daniel Ho.

The masterpiece of music reveals Hawaii’s affectionate regard for the highest levels of creativity.  We hear in the song the dimensions of talent and the articulation of the lyrics made especially superb by the vocals of Kahumoku.

Finding peace within is often the goal of religious music, and in this “Amazing Grace” the grace of God and the peace within are joined in the strains of the song, in a fashion that rises above all others, to offer everyone a glimpse of heaven’s best.


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