On June 9th, 2012 I was standing deep in the jungle on the eastern end of Hawai`i Island. In the silence of the moment I looked up and saw a falling star streak across the sky. In the still of one of the remotest places in the world, where I had not heard a sound for hours, in the distance a dog barked. I knew my friend had arrived safely on the other side.
I first saw Braddah Smitty at the Broiler in Waimea after I had returned home from college. I walked into the bar area and saw a well built Hawaiian man in a palaka shirt singing music that reminded me of the time from my childhood. It was that peculiar singing so unique to the people of Hawai`i and the odd rhythmic strumming of the guitar. This was the sound I had longed to hear. It had been locked in my memory from the braddahs under the tree at Napo`opo`o Beach and from the gatherings in the backyards of South Kona. I needed to know who he was, I needed to know how this sound is created, I needed to know how I could find my way onto a seat at this jam session.
Over the next 5 years I had the privilege and honor to get to know Braddah Smitty, to get to know how this sound was created and finally onto a seat at the greatest jam session I ever got to know. What happened is what I have come to know as HO`ANALU….to go beyond known boundaries. This phrase was given to me by a keeper of the knowledge of the Hawaiian way. What my experiences in playing music has taught me is that there is a place beyond what is known. There is something existing, not beneath the surface, but further past the limits of what we think we know.
I would like to explore these boundaries. Through the stories shared with me, through the things I have seen and through the knowledge passed to me, it is my time and I would like to share. I would like to use this blog to HO`ANALU….to go beyond known boundaries. It was in that moment standing in the dark amongst the trees around me and the damp grass beneath my feet that I was confronted with his spirit. And what he told me will stay with me forever. I knew it was my time, it was time to HO`ANALU….