Raise Hawaiki, Hōkūleʻa symphony by award-winning UH composer has world premiereUniversity of Hawaiʻi
Chief Communications Officer, UH Communications
Link to video and sound (details below): https://bit.ly/2I0fzWb
What: The world premiere of Raise Hawaiki, composed by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s award-winning Michael-Thomas Foumai, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the artistic interpretation of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s (PVS) Mālama Honua worldwide voyage.
The Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra performed with the O‘ahu Choral society, joined by choirs from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and with choral participation from Kapi‘olani Community College and UH West O‘ahu.
The choirs sang the words of Polynesian voyaging greats Eddie Aikau, Nainoa Thompson, Mau Piailug, Sam Ka‘ai and Sam Low.
Who: Raise Hawaiki was composed by UH Mānoa music lecturer Michael-Thomas Foumai, winner of the 2017 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Foundation (ASCAP) young composer award.
When: Thursday, March 28, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Neal. S. Blaisdell Center Concert Hall
Why: Inspired by the return of Hōkūle‘a from her worldwide voyage Mālama Honua, the large-scale symphonic work brought together Hawai‘i’s major institutions of performance, learning and voyaging, mirroring Hōkūle‘a’s voyages that bring communities together across the planet to embrace and care for their culture and natural environments.
How: It was philanthropist Elizabeth Wong who dreamed of a symphony in honor of the Hōkūleʻa and its Mālama Honua Voyage around the world. Through her friend SaraLyn Smith at the UH Foundation, she sought out Foumai to compose it. Together, the three of them built a collaborative team to bring the music and artistic communities together with the PVS in a historic retelling of Hōkūleʻa’s story through symphony orchestra and chorus.
This performance was, like the PVS Mālama Honua, a three-year journey and is an historic collaboration of UH Foundation, UH Mānoa Music Department, PVS, O‘ahu Choral Society, Hawai‘i Youth Opera Chorus, UH West O‘ahu, Kapi‘olani CC, IONA Contemporary Dance Theatre and community choirs.
Sponsored in part by the Wallace, Elizabeth and Isabella Wong Family Foundation.
The event featured a cast of a thousand, including 200 musicians and singers, hula choreographed by Lauren Kanoelani Chang Williams, projection visuals from the PVSy/‘Ōiwi TV, historical photos by Sam Low and Ben Young, artwork by Herbert Kāne and voyager Hana Yoshihata and a pre-show performance from IONA Contemporary Dance Theatre.
BROLL (sound up of performance): (TRT: 2:18)
At 1:58, composer Michael-Thomas Foumai enters stage to be acknowledged by the audience