For the Record, Op. 132: Mana Music Quartet's 'Music of Queen Lili'uokalani'

September 17, 2020, 3:21 PM · Welcome to "For the Record,"'s weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

Mana Music Quartet
Members of Mana Music Quartet.

Mana Music Quartet: Queen Lili'uokalani
Eric Silberger, violin
Mann-Wen Lo, violin
Duane Padilla, viola
Joshua Akira Nakazawa, cello

When violinist Mann-Wen Lo came to Honolulu in March for a performance, little did she know that a global pandemic would keep her there for the next six months, despite the fact that her home was in Los Angeles. She was there at the invitation of cellist Joshua Nakazawa, performing also with violinists Eric Silberger and Duane Padilla. "I only planned to be in Hawaii for a few days, but the day after the performance, Covid-19 escalated in the U.S.; all kinds of travel bans and restrictions were implemented. On top of that, upcoming concerts were getting cancelled or rescheduled, and school was going online. This was when cellist Joshua Nakazawa generously offered for Eric and myself to stay at his apartment to wait things out, since it was dangerous to travel. During this time, we met up to read a string quartet arrangement by violinist Duane Padilla, from a song by queen Lili‘uokalani (the last monarch of the Hawaii Kingdom) called 'Ku’u Pua I Paoakalani.' The song was written by the queen while she was under house arrest. One of her followers would bring flowers to her from the estate’s garden when she was imprisoned, wrapping them in newspapers so that she could keep up with events of the day. Having learned the story behind the song, we all felt chills running down our spine. She was in confinement while she wrote the piece, and we were in quarantine while playing her music." The group decided to record an album of some of the queen's music, with Duane writing more arrangements. The new album includes 15 of the queen's 165 known compositions. The album also features special guests Jake Shimabukuro (ukulele superstar), Benny Rietveld (bassist for Carlos Santana), and Greg Sardinha (steel guitar legend). BELOW: Hawaiian Music Queen Lili'uokalani- "Kuu Pua i Paokalani":

If you have a new recording you would like us to consider for inclusion in our Thursday "For the Record" feature, please e-mail Editor Laurie Niles. Be sure to include the name of your album, a link to it and a short description of what it includes.

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September 18, 2020 at 06:26 PM · Beautiful! Hawaii is so beautiful and so are its indigenous people and their culture and language.

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