Where is your mountain? What is your river? How did you come here? These are the questions at the heart of A Walk by the Sea (Dancetera label) the long-awaited fourth CD by Mahealani Uchiyama. The Bay Area artist is known for her ethereal and lyrical performances which meld music and dance. Mahealani is an artist of African and Native American ancestry, and her new CD is a collection which speaks of Mahealani's search for the spiritual and cultural traditions of her ancestors.
A Walk by the Sea is a ceremony of thanksgiving, a celebration of community, and of finding home. The collection contains a message of healing and peace which transcends the obstacle of language difference.
Mahealani is a dancer, musician, composer, and kumuhula (instructor of hula and ori). She has performed in such venues as San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts, Te Papa Tongarewa (the National Museum of New Zealand, Aotearoa), and the Grand Heiva in Tahiti, French Polynesia. She has won numerous awards for excellence in traditional Hawaiian and Tahitian dance and music.
She writes, “Is the place where we were born the place were we belong? Is home a physical location, or is it the summation of our experiences? Is who we are what we look like, or is it what is inside of us? The search is the same for all of us. The experiences and the results vary from person to person.
Special guests include Hugh Humphrey, one of the Caribbean's most dynamic percussionists, Ashley Moore, a composer, performer, producer and recording engineer whose award-winning work can be heard on radio, television, theater and film, and Aaron Sencil a drummer, choreographer, costume designer, song writer, and artistic director for the award-winning dance company Hui Tama Nui.
In A Walk by the Sea, Mahealani sings in several languages and calls upon all of us to overlook the superficial differences which divide us, and instead, to celebrate our common humanity.