Indefatigable island songwriter Keith Haugen adds several “firsts” to his list of accomplishments with this CD single that commemorates an upcoming visit by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. Haugen sings while Pierre Grill creates most of the instrumental effects on keyboards.
In a second version, Kaha’i Topolinski renders the lyrics as traditional Hawaiian chant with additional noh-style vocals and taiko drumming by Kenny Endo. The project also includes an instrumental rendition of the Japanese national anthem, “Kimi-ga-Yo,” arranged for shakuhachi flute and brass.
Haugen says this is the first Hawaiian song written to honor the emperor of Japan, the first Hawaiian chant to honor the emperor and the first recording to combine chant with taiko drumming and noh vocals.
The tracks are available free to the first 10,000 people who visit www.hawaiiansong.com.
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