"Slack Key Dreams of the Ponomoe"... Was nominated for the 2006 Grammy Award for Hawaiian Album of the Year, and winner of the 2006 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards for Engineering, and the very special "Ki-Ho'Alu Award" (Hawaiian Slack Key Award). It features Kapono's smooth vocal sound in a rich tapestry of acoustic and electric guitars, with jazz drummer, Noel Okimoto, and jazz bassist, Dean Taba. There are all new songs on the CD, all composed by Kapono; and there are two Hawaiian chants, rearranged with new harmonies and the voice of Kapono's grandmother, Louise Leiomalama Walker Beamer. "I felt the presence of my grandmother very very strongly as I was writing and recording this new project", Kapono says. "She was guiding me along... It was amazing and wonderful". "It was like I was dreaming I was back on my grandfather's Hawaiian Homes ranch in Waimea on the Big Island. It was cool and quiet with only the sounds of the famous Waimea wind, Kipu'upu'u, blowing across the pastures. I felt the ticking of my grandfather's clock... I was snuggled up in my kihepili (blanket) and I could hear the sound of my grandmother's sweet voice in the kitchen. Many of the songs reflect on those happy childhood days in Kamuela, with Pueo (Hawaiian owl), and horses and cattle, and my seventeen cousins to play with."
Moe Pono (Ponomoe) is an experience... A righteous dream state of sleep... Filled with sights and sounds and colors that heal... A nurturing, uplifting period of time for cleansing, and purification of body, mind and soul... A sleep that portends a new awakening... Moe Pono brings a brand new morning so clean and clear that one awakens with a sense of acceptance and the wisdom of forgiveness. These songs represent my dreams of the Moe Pono.
It was as if I had been wrapped up in my favorite baby blanket, my kihepili, with all my familiar scents and soothing tactile familiarity, in blissful slumber on the pune’e...
And now I was kicking off my kihepili and rolling off the bed landing on a giant surreal pillow. I lay stretching and squirming, delighting in loosing the poo and the goo as I began to sever the connection, powerless as it was for me, to hurtful, negative, and painful experiences laid buried in the past. I lay on my back looking up at the imo imo hoku iki (twinkling stars), as I begin to hear the sweet sound of my grandmother’s voice in the kitchen...
Or am I dreaming?
Comments from John Berger, Honolulu Star Advertiser Columnist and Reviewer:
"Kapono Beamer has been making important contributions to Hawaiian music as a slack key guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for more than 30 years. Beamer has been an innovator as well; he was one of the first to combine traditional ki ho'alu (slack key) with "new age" electronic music. Among his other contributions is his documentation of the Beamer family's musical legacy. "Great Grandmother, Great Grandson" celebrated the music of his great-grandmother Helen Desha Beamer and received a Hoku award in 1999. His new album includes recordings of his grandmother, the late Louise Leiomalama Walker "Dambie" Beamer.
It opens with her chanting about an ancestor who died defending the traditional religion of Hawaii against the forces of Kaahumanu during the civil war of 1819. Kapono enhances Dambie's voice with overdubbed nose flute and Hawaiian percussion. He mentions in the liner notes that within 60 years after Kaahumanu broke the kapu, "all the Kamehameha dynasty were gone."
Most of the other songs relate to Kapono's childhood on the Big Island. Most are originals; others have ties to family members. One notable exception is the song that describes a romantic interlude in rainy Nuuanu.
Noel Okimoto (drums, percussion) and Dean Taba (bass) give a slight pop feel to some of the tunes. A beautifully designed booklet adds all the necessary cultural and personal information and completes this Grammy-worthy Hawaiian album."