On April 3, award-winning San Francisco-based Kumu Hula Patrick Makuakāne released “Hānau,” the first single from his upcoming debut album. The debut single expands the known boundaries of Hawaiian music.
Makuakāne, Founder and Artistic Director of the Hawaiian dance company Nā Lei Hulu i ka Wēkiu (“the many feathered wreaths at the summit, held in high esteem”), has joined forces with Saddle Road Productions from Hawai’i Island to form a collaborative group called Eō. Their response to the pandemic is the haunting first single from the album of the same name. Hānau the album will be released later this year.
Makuakāne is renowned for pushing boundaries in hula while remaining rooted in traditional Hawaiian culture. Nā Lei Hulu’s annual shows routinely sell out the Palace of Fine Arts, and Makuakāne has taken his work to many unusual places, including the streets of San Francisco and New York City, San Quentin Prison, and the Burning Man festival. “Hānau” is Makuakāne’s first foray into creating original music outside of his stage performances.
“Hānau” is an epic creation chant chronicling the birth of the Hawaiian Islands, as told by the Hawaiian historian Kahakuikamoana. It establishes genealogical ties with the ancestral homelands of Nu’umea, Hōlani, and Tahiti.
The ancient story is woven into a mesmerizing soundscape that swells with a hypnotic urgency; a compelling blend of tradition and innovation that leaps forward in surprising ways.
Hānau means born; to give birth. It also represents the nascency of Eō; and, in a sense, a call for a new beginning. Eō means to call; to answer. We respond with a creative collaboration that builds upon the foundation of our ancestors, celebrating their spirit of innovation and adventure.
Eō features Patrick Makuakāne (of Nā Lei Hulu i ka Wēkiu), and Patrick and Scarlet Eskildsen (of Saddle Road Productions). They and an array of talented guest artists will be included on several tracks for Hānau with a release date scheduled for later this year.
The single “Hānau” is available for download on all digital platforms like Itunes, Spotify, and Apple music.