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Posts Tagged ‘documentary’

Aloha gang!

I am so excited to share the news:

Our album, MELE O HĀLAWA, has made it to the preliminary ballot for the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards!

(Note: This isn’t the final ballot. This is the BIG ballot, the preliminary one, that has hundreds of entries. Hopefully enough folks will vote for it and it will appear on final ballot. At that point, we can consider ourselves official “nominees.”)

During the first discussions we had about the documentary SONS OF HĀLAWA, we talked about the necessity and the challenge of incorporating music into the film. That can be a difficult-to-navigate area, a full-time job. I was naive. I was optimistic. I said to Matt Yamashita, the filmmaker, “Why don’t I just write songs for the film? Then you can have them and we’ll be good to go.”

It never dawned on me that writing songs might be, um… a bit challenging  Ha!  As soon as I realized what I’d said, I knew I was in for a wild ride!

Thankfully, the soundtrack for the film included music by other folks as well. Pops, an accomplished haku mele (songwriter) contributed two songs to the album. And Molokai’s own amazing musician/producer, Lono, contributed two songs. With my own two compositions, we had six original tracks and we used traditional music from Molokai to round out the album. Each song was chosen for its own special reasons, making it a deeply personal collection of heart-filled songs from Molokai.

One of the greatest things the album offers is a rare glimpse into the rich and diverse musical landscape of Molokai and Hālawa Valley. Some of these songs on the album have never really been heard outside of the valley!  It’s intense!

We recorded the tracks in marathon-style when I was on island for a week. Lono put together beautifully layered instrumental tracks. Pops and I sang our faces off in the studio. And then Lono finessed and produced the finished musical project in time for the songs to be woven into stunningly beautiful documentary, SONS OF HĀLAWA.

What started out as a soundtrack for the film has become a legacy album–a way for future generations to hear, study and (most importantly) enjoy the music of one of Hawaii’s most beautiful and remote islands.

It’s such an honor to see the album’s journey and the film’s journey, reaching audiences we never dreamed of.

And it’s a blessing to know that future audiences, future generations, will be able to witness it all, too.

If you are a HARA member, please consider voting for our “little album that could” in the following categories:

Group of the Year: Pilipo and Jason with Lonomusic

Island Music Album of the Year: MELE O HĀLAWA

Favorite Entertainer of the Year: Pilipo and Jason with Lonomusic

Album of the Year: MELE O HĀLAWA

Who would have thought that a kupuna (elder) from Molokai’s remote Hālawa Valley and a dude from New York City (along with the always-amazing Lonomusic!) would record an album together?

MELE O HĀLAWA is a dream come true.

The album is for sale online via MKAloha.com and Mele.com.

#SupportHawaiianMusic!

Mahalo. Thank you.

And…

Right on.

2 Comments

A MUSIC VIDEO: HEALING WATERS

Monday, December 14, 2015

Have you seen it?

Matt Yamashita (Quazifilms) made a fantastic music video for my original song, HEALING WATERS!

I love it so much!  Matt recorded new footage of me singing down by the river in Hālawa Valley the day after the Molokai premier of the documentary Sons of Hālawa!  (Yup. True story. That really is the river behind me–no green screen involved!  We were so blessed with lighting and weather conditions that afternoon.  Matt set up a microphone for me to use a prop along with my headphones to create a “studio vibe.”  And here’s a fun fact for you: I used a recording of HEALING WATERS from Matt’s phone to sing along with. The phone was discretely tucked into my pocket.)

The video weaves together the newly recorded footage along with images from the film. It’s spectacular and I hope you’ll click on the link above and watch it. (And re-watch again and again!)

The video originally premiered on Facebook on Thanksgiving day. (It’s been viewed over 3,000 times already!) That was something to be thankful for, for sure! I was excited to learn he’d recently posted it on Youtube, too. Now I can share it with you!

Another video is being created for my song LIFE IN HĀLAWA, also featured on the soundtrack for the film. (Note: The songs have all been amazingly arranged and recorded by Molokai’s own LONO.  And there are 2 of his fantastic original mele on the soundtrack, too!)

More details about that and the film and the amazingly cool experience of attending the film’s premier at the Honolulu International Film Festival coming soon!

Until then, kick back and relax and let your mind go to beautiful Hālawa Valley with this video.

Right on.

With warm Aloha

Jason

 

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Aloha, gang!

Here’s a quick video check-in about the upcoming word premier of the documentary Sons of Hālawa!

I am so excited!  One week from today!

Let the magic begin.

Right on.

*Please be sure to check out the Quazifilms website (click HERE) for more information about other exciting projects.

*For the schedule of the film’s showings, please click HERE.

4 Comments

You’ve seen it, right? The trailer for the soon-to-be-released documentary SONS OF HALAWA?

(Be sure to click on the photo above to watch it!)

As of this writing, the trailer has been viewed on Facebook over 54,000 times!  And it’s been shared almost 2,400 times!

This amazing documentary will be making its WORLD PREMIER at the Honolulu International Film Festival next month on O’ahu!

(Please click HERE for more details about showtimes and ticketing.)

I wanted to make sure you guys knew about this.

But you already did, right?

Because this “little film from Molokai” is already making a lot of beautiful noise.

Right on.

How many times have YOU viewed the trailer? Drop me a line and let me know!

**A giant CONGRATULATIONS to my hānai Molokai brother, filmmaker Matt Yamashita and Quazifilms!   AND… Sons of Halawa will be shown as part of a double-feature along with another fantastic Quazifilms production, The Roots of ʻUlu!

 

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Jason Poole, accidental hawaiian crooner, molokai, anakala pilipo, pilipo solatorio, halawa valley, return to halawa, documentary, talk story, talk-story, hawaiian music, new york city

After filming the talk-story in Manhattan with filmmaker Allan Piper. (June 9, 2014)

Aloha, gang!

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of working with NYC-based filmmaker, Allan Piper.  We spent the afternoon together, filming the NYC-portion of the upcoming documentary, Return to Hālawa: The Life & Music of ‘Anakala Pilipo.

It was pretty unbelievable.

Why?

It started back in November of last year when I was on Molokai to record the soundtrack for the film. Matt Yamashita, the fearless filmmaker of the documentary, said that he wanted an NYC portion of the film.  My first reaction: You’re crazy, dude.  I don’t know the first thing about filmmaking.  And I even imagine how you go about setting up something like that in New York City.  No way.

Thankfully, Matt is patient and persistent.  He explained that it would be awesome to show that the things Pops has shared with me are traveling beyond Molokai’s shores, that I’m truly carrying them out into the world and sharing and teaching.  He asked about the possibility of filming me teaching in NYC public schools.  Again, I said NO WAY as the schools don’t let us bring cameras into the classroom because the kids are minors.

(Who knew I could be such a downer?)

And then he had a great idea:  I could do a talk-story/presentation, just like Pops and I do on Molokai.  Nothing major–small and intimate.  And it would be great if I could get keiki/kids there, too.  The whole thing could be filmed.

And… in an ideal world, moments that were filmed on Molokai (like me getting ready in the morning, packing up to go to the presentation, traveling to the venue, etc) would be filmed in the Big Apple–highlighting the differences in my two very different worlds, NewYork City and Hālawa Valley.

I still thought he was crazy.  But it was definitely worth a shot.

Finding a filmmaker to shoot the portion in NYC wasn’t as tough as I’d imagined.  Especially when you know someone like Allan Piper, an established filmmaker and documentarian.  I was thrilled when he said he could do the filming for us.  And then we actually found a time that we could shoot it. (Coordinating schedules to meet up for dinner with friends can sometimes be impossible.  I’m still amazed we found a time to make this happen!)

Once a date had been secured, I needed to send out an email to folks to invite them to the talk-story.  Matt had envisioned something intimate like we’d done on Molokai.  ”No need to have a big audience.”

I thought we’d be lucky if we got 10 people.  Sundays are precious days here in the Big Apple.  Folks cherish those few weekend moments and fill them quickly–especially when they have kids.  I crossed my fingers that we’d have enough folks there to do it. (Or that Allan would be such a filmmaking wiz that he could make 3 people look like a crowd.)

Allan showed up at my apartment and we were able to recreate a lot of the shots that I remember from Molokai–even a scene where I’m brushing my teeth!  I’m not sure either scene will make it into the final cut of the film, but I thought it would please Matt to see things come full-circle.  This is how it happened on Molokai/this is how it happened in New York City.

He filmed my commute to the venue, including walking down the chaotic, traffic-filled streets of midtown Manhattan. A huge difference from Molokai where there isn’t a single traffic light.  (*Note: At the time of this writing, there may be a temporary traffic light while they work on one of the bridges.)

And then at the venue… WOW!

A beautiful space in midtown Mahattan (lovingly gifted to us for the afternoon by one of the Crooner team, the fantastic Mariko Gordon!) with windows that looked out at skyscrapers and a park.  The room filled up quickly with (count ‘em!) 18 people–including 6 young folks!  Amazing!  I mean absolutely amazing!

And the icing on the cake: we had beautiful blue, sun-filled skies yesterday here in NYC.  Talk about a blessing!

The talk-story went really well–even though I wasn’t sure HOW I was going to craft a presentation that was family friendly, short and included enough interaction that it would read well (maybe even without sound) in the final cut.  But I could imagine Pops telling me, “Iakona, just go as the makani (winds) blow.”

The audience was a ton of fun to work with.  They were the real stars of the day. I shared stories about some of the animals we have down in the valley because that always seems to make folks’ jaws drop.  Yes, we have cats and dogs and birds in the valley, but we also have wild boars, goats and lizards.  (And sometimes you might find a lizard in the toilet–but that’s another story…) I even shared one of the songs with motions, a short hula noho (school kid-kine) that I’d written. An epic audience participation moment!

And then… we were blessed with a hula by the lovely Ms. Eleanor.  She danced her beautiful choreography to my song, Healing Waters.  Such a gift to have something like that captured on film.  I wish you all could have seen the faces of the folks in the audience–all smiles and even a few tears.  (Mahalo for that, Ms. Eleanor!)

Time flew by and before I knew it, we needed to wrap up and head home.

I’m still in shock that it all came together, all of those moving parts.

I can’t wait to see how it fits into the final film.

We’ll keep you posted.

Right on.

(The next time I make a snap judgement and say NO WAY, remind me of this, Ok?)

 

4 Comments

Aloha, gang!

Here’s a video blog post to tell you about the big trip back to Molokai. The time has come! Uihā!

And please check out our other videos on our Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/CroonerVideo

 

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