One of the many haunting songs of Polynesia is the plaintive "Isa Lei," a song of love and farewell from Fiji. My version is one of the first arrangements I developed from a vocal. "Isa Lei" was part of Gabby Pahinui's "Farewell Medley" but my arrangement is based on the soulful singing of his son, "Bla," who performed the song on the Pahinui Brothers album.
I never play the song without a thought for our friends Vili and Koto. If you're cruising the internet I hope you see this, it's for you.
I included "Isa Lei" on my "Kaleponi" CD, and recently returned the song to my active repertoire thanks to a request by a friend. I played the song when I opened for Led Kaapana on his January 2010 tour of Northern California. This video is from the show at the beautiful new Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse, now transformed into a luxurious 400 seat theater in downtown Berkeley, CA. Led and I played the last week of the old Freight so it was quite a thrill to put our names on the wall of the green room at the new space. thefreight.org
This video is comprised of shots from three cameras and an audio track kindly provided by Allen Lam, the FOH engineer from heaven who often works at the Freight. allenlam.com I placed the Kodak Zi8 on the stage for the back and audience shot. The Sanyo Xacti HD2000 was halfway back in the house, at the mixing desk. And Tony Yamamoto yamamotoguitar.com/ shot my Lumix TS1 handheld from the front row. This is the first clip I've edited in the wonderful Edius Neo Booster NLE. It's handling the heavy compression of Panasonic AVCHD on my Lenovo X200 laptop with barely a stutter. I still have a lot to learn in all directions, but it's a lot more fun exploring in this environment than my previous PE7.
The guitar is my faithful Kathy Wingert Model E, with a B-Band AST pickup straight into the Freight's DI. The echo on the track was provided by the board and the room. The tuning is taropatch or open G: D G D G B D low to high.
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