Hanalei I Ka Pilimoe - Kalani Pe'a

from the album E Walea (2016)

This weekend marks the return of the Persaid meteor showers.

This year, my vantage point is far outside the city, with clear skies and a kick-ass set of speakers.  An imposing question: what music properly accompanies such a setting?

Truth is, plenty of music does.  A night of Gershwin.  A night of iconic instrumental jazz.  And tonight, a mix of magnificently soothing Hawaiian music.

I dig Hawaiian music for its unhurried tempo.  Many tropical locals run on "island time", but Hawaii's is ever more relaxed, with an unearthly ability to dampen your heart rate.  What better way to watch the heavens?

The mix included one new song of note: Hanalei I Ka Pilimoe by Kalani Pe'a.  Kalani is a new kind of Hawaiian cat, with his designer shades and choice of a necktie rather than the obligatory aloha shirt.  What would Don Ho say?

But his voice.  His voice is pure and otherworldly, almost reminiscent of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.  Listening to him sing this beautiful song started me on an unexpected journey.

I thought of that magical destination in the song's title.  I thought of being a boy, singing Puff The Magic Dragon, and fantasizing about "a place called Hanalei".

I thought of my first trip there as an adult, of crossing that last bridge and being mesmerized by the tarot fields leading into town.  I thought of the waterfalls in the distance.  I thought of walking along that perfect cove where they filmed South Pacific.  I thought of Rodgers & Hammerstein as they wrote Some Enchanted Evening and Bali Ha'i.

I thought of all the ancient people who starred at this same sky.  I thought of their thoughts and imagined them pondering the enormity of it all.

I thought of friends who moved to exotic lands in search of transcendent dreams.  I thought of those who experienced the perils of soaring too high.  I thought of Icarus.

I thought of the people I love.  I thought of how strong - and fragile - they are.  I thought of my father and wished he was here, teaching me all about this splendid sky.

I thought of the joy of laying in a field, alone with my thoughts, as meteors streak by.

Click Here to listen to Hanalei I Ka Pilimoe.

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