This compelling look at Hawaiian Slack Key guitar unveils a cultural richness that is uniquely Hawaiian.The story is told not by a narrator, but by each artist telling their story in their own words, and the spirit and feeling that is within the culture of the Hawaiian people emerges. The development of slack key corresponds to Hawaiian history, and tells of the changes within Hawaiian culture while preserving its tradition in form and verse. Slack Key guitar is a traditional solo fingerpicking style unique to Hawaii. Hawaiians have been playing slack key since the early 1800s when traditional guitars were brought to the islands by the Spanish cowboys. The Hawaiians tuned or "slacked" the strings to suit their own music. The tradition extends beyond the islands to influence many musicians including Ry Cooder and Chet Atkins. This film tells the story of slack key guitar through an intimate portrait of Raymond Kane, a man who holds a special place in the domain of traditional Hawaiian music. The style of the films reflects the "down home" feeling of the slack key guitar, and of Raymond Kane himself. "It's sweet, it's good for the soul" Raymond says. Over four years in the making, this film, with its infectious musical aspects that are specifically Hawaiian, its fascinating main character and its rich visual material and verité sequences, will be an important document of Hawaiian culture to share with contemporary audiences.
L'Edward Kaapana, Diana Aki, Sonny Chillingworth, Apoliona Haunani, Jr. George Kahomoku