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Post new topic 'Pua Rose' David Keli'i
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Author Topic:  'Pua Rose' David Keli'i
Guy Cundell


From:
More idle ramblings from South Australia
Post Posted 10 Aug 2017 2:36 pm     Reply with quote

This is an attempt by me at a new format of presentation on Youtube. I see other material done like this in a sophisticated way but my method was pretty rough and ready. Just drop a few screen shots on top of the mp3 in IMovie and set the Russell scroll to go left to right for each image.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1ucmJ0tPQg&t=1s

I find the tune very moving. Whether it speaks of personal tragedy or the pain of First Nation people, I don’t know. I have no details about the song other than the steeler is David Keli’i and it was recorded around 1938 by Al Kealoha and the Singing Surfriders. Clearly it is Keli’i’s track but whether he composed the tune or not, I don’t know.

I have determined that this was played on an E7 tuning. Yes, Keli’i had two six string necks available and I considered whether the 6th voicing was on another neck. However, the intonation convinced me that it is played on this tuning. The forward slant across bars 18 & 19 had me wondering too, but that slant gives a major triad on strings 5,4,3 & 2 on consecutive frets and is pretty much in tune. I think I am right but, as usual, this is a percentage game. Always hoping for a 100% but not always getting it.

The tune is not that difficult but the harmony is interesting with that big fat key change in bars 9 – 12. I am not sure whether the volume swells are done with the hand or the foot. It might be too intricate for the hand but I would be interested in opinions on this. Did Keli’i have a pedal? Is that one in the photo?

One thing this exercise clearly demonstrates is the inadequacy of notation to capture the intricacies and nuances of performance. But there’s not a lot of reward for the labour of going too deeply, IMO.

The piece seems to have two parts to me, the initial evocative dyadic melody with its chordal response, and the sweeping parallel dominant sevenths that sound like the wind in the trees. Playing them is sort of like waving your hand or dragging your fingers through sand. To me it is like the sounds of nature, continuing on, oblivious to the pain expressed in the melody. But maybe I’m over thinking it. Anyway, it is a wonderful tune that I hope can be enjoyed through this transcription.

As usual, email me for a PDF.






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Bill Creller


From:
Saginaw, Michigan, USA
Post Posted 10 Aug 2017 7:52 pm     Reply with quote

Wonderful ! Love the tune, and of course, David was a supreme player ! Very Happy
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Einar Baldursson


From:
Stockholm, Sweden
Post Posted 10 Aug 2017 9:16 pm     Reply with quote

This performance is one of my favourite musical moments. Really sublime and it always makes me think of dusk, soft breeze in the palm trees and slow, heavy waves. Surprised about the tuning!
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Sebastian Müller


From:
Berlin / Germany
Post Posted 10 Aug 2017 11:19 pm     Reply with quote

Very beautiful Guy, thanks for sharing! Very unusual chord changes, great stuff. I can hear some similarities in Style with Benny Rogers, I wonder who influenced who.
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Jim Mckay


From:
New Zealand
Post Posted 10 Aug 2017 11:45 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for posting Guy, only heard that song maybe twice before.
Guy, a person gave me some training videos a few years ago made by Lorene Ruymar of the "Hawaiian Steel Guitar association". In these two videos she has put some footage of some players at previous conventions. In one video is Herbert Hanawahine playing "Pua Rose" Herbert's playing goes straight to the hart, he was Aunty Genoa Keawe's steel player before he moved to the mainland US.
You can hear the same chord changes that Sebastian commented on, very emotional playing indeed.
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 11 Aug 2017 1:53 am     Reply with quote

Thanks Guy, for Keli’i was a master and I'm happy to have another E7 tuning chart!

http://territorialairwaves.com/index.php?page=30&id=399

Sonny Chillingworth, 1977, with David Keli'i on steel
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 11 Aug 2017 11:31 am     Reply with quote

Beautiful playing and very impressive musical archeology and a huge set of ears, Guy.
You may in fact literally have a huge pair of ears - I don't know - but I'm speaking metaphorically. Smile

I also checked out some of the other clips of yours on YouTube: you sir are very well versed in a number of areas of music and we are very lucky to have you as part of our community. I should add that Guy has been very kind to me personally in helping with my musical notation learning curve.
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Guy Cundell


From:
More idle ramblings from South Australia
Post Posted 11 Aug 2017 11:19 pm     Reply with quote

Most gratifying that this bit of work is appreciated, gentlemen. And that's rather extravagant praise Andy, but thank you and very happy to help you advance the instrument with your books. It is such a tiny ecosystem here when you think of how big steel guitar once was. Will it return? Well, I am waiting for all my guitar mates of my vintage to front up for lessons when the RSI or arthritis puts underarm style out of contention. Smile There are a few candidates down at the gypsy jazz club.

The tuning is indeed surprising, Einar, not because it is E7 which is pretty stock for players of the 1930s, as I'm sure you know, but for how much he gets out of it.

Bill Wynne reports that the tune was written by Henry Ka'iliai and was performed on Hawaii Calls. This could have been before this recording, of course. I would love to hear any other recordings of the tune or perhaps someone has the sheet music in an old book.
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Paolo Conti


From:
France
Post Posted 12 Aug 2017 1:00 am     Reply with quote

Guy can you listen to the music which is on this page?

https://www.deezer.com/fr/album/10715554

If so, you will find "Pua Rose" under the name of "Low moon at Waikiki", as Bill Wynne indicated on Facebook. It's a really nice version too.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 12 Aug 2017 5:18 am     Reply with quote

Nice work, Guy. We're lucky to have you on this forum!
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Levi Gemmell


From:
New Zealand
Post Posted 12 Aug 2017 1:59 pm     Reply with quote

Pua Rose is also known as Dargie's Hula, and you can hear Benjamin Rogers play it back to back with 'Imi Au Ia 'Oe here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejHyOJJz1-o

Definitely up there with my favourite Hawaiian melodies - it is an incredibly moving piece no matter who does it! Jerry Byrd has a lesson for Pua Rose in his method. His chart is in the E13th tuning.

Thanks so much for this effort, Guy! I can't wait to try it out.
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George Rout


From:
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 12 Aug 2017 6:57 pm     Reply with quote

A superb presentation Guy, thank you kindly for posting it.
Gep
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Guy Cundell


From:
More idle ramblings from South Australia
Post Posted 13 Aug 2017 5:46 pm     Reply with quote

Hey, George. Good to hear from you again. Glad you liked it.

Levi, thanks for that. An excellent rendition that opens up a path of investigation if the Youtube track is correctly labelled. I see that this Harmony Isles Group recording, with Benny Rogers on steel, is in a whole bunch of medleys recorded in 1953. The ‘Dargie's Hula’ title is interesting as it leads to Sol Ho'op'i's recording 'Hawaiian Hula Song', subtitled ‘Dargie's Hula’, Columbia 40009-D, 1930. I don't know the recording but I wonder if that is the same tune and, if so, is it credited to Ka’ilma? I am going to ask on the Hawaiian Music FB page but if anyone has a copy of Sol’s recording that could be posted it would be appreciated. I don't see it on Youtube.

Paolo, thanks for your effort but I can’t get the link to work. A bit of language problem.

Thanks, Doug. I have to say I’m pleased to be amongst many contributors to this community. Your contribution is pretty substantial and widely appreciated also. And I would add that I find the tenor of the conversation and interaction on this board is very positive in contrast with the negative ‘me me me’ crap that you get used to elsewhere on interweb groups. Bobby Lee must be congratulated for what he has created here, and Brad, too, for its upkeep.
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Sebastian Müller


From:
Berlin / Germany
Post Posted 17 Aug 2017 12:10 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks again Guy for pointing us to this great song, I listened to the Benny Rogers version but prefer the Keli'i version.
I've spent some time with it and it's surprisingly easy to play. I'm pretty sure though that the original key is A instead of Ab, in bar 11 it not sounding like open strings and you can play bar 13 and 14 as a nice diad using strings 2+3:
---
001
000
---
---
---

Try it out and let me know what you think !
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Chris Templeton


From:
The Green Mountain State
Post Posted 17 Aug 2017 3:43 pm     Reply with quote

Beautiful, thanks for posting. I don't what song came first, but there are a lot of similarities to "Nane O Kauai".
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Guy Cundell


From:
More idle ramblings from South Australia
Post Posted 19 Aug 2017 1:08 am     Reply with quote

Cheers, Chris.

Sebastian, I think you may be right. That dyad that you suggest sits nicely. Transfer speeds and lathe speeds always make things a bit dodgy as far as pitch goes.
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