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Black Sand - Ledward Kaapana Slack Key Guitar

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Published on Apr 6, 2012

Back before the lava came, the little village of Kalapana in the district of Puna on Hawai`i Island was known for three things: a magnificent black sand beach, the queen's bath, and a remarkable concentration of musicians. Members of the Kaapana and Konanui clans settled there, with Fred Punahoa, George Kaapana and his wife Tina among the most widely known. The parties were legendary, with various family members showing off their favorite numbers and jam sessions that went on for days.

Two of George and Tina's kids, the twin brothers Ledward and Nedward, went on to form Hui Ohana, a legendary group in Hawaiian music.

George Kaapana only recorded once, but he composed a number of slack key pieces that Ledward has kept alive in his repertoire. This tune was originally called "Portuguese Slack Key" (well, actually they used the traditional slang) and Ledward changed the name to honor the lost beaches of Kalapana and his small kid days. He recorded "Black Sand" for a CD of the same name, a nahenahe masterpiece still available from Dancing Cat Records.

We shot this duet in Ledward's backyard in Kane`ohe, on O`ahu. I faded the beginning and ending because of the noise of passing trucks and jet airplanes. I captured the wide shot on a Panasonic Lumix GH2, with a Sanyo Xacti HD2000 for the closeup. Ledward's audio was recorded on a Sony PCM-D50, while I used a Zoom Q3HD to record my guitar. All editing was done in Edius Neo.

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