I am in the process of composing and editing a piece inspired by the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) debate.
The TMT is a multi-national interest telescope project that would be constructed at the summit of Mauna Kea, on its northern plateau, disturbing over eight acres of land during construction (http://kahea.org/issues/sacred-summits/sacred-summits-documents/fact-sheet-thirty-meter-telescope-tmt). It is currently on hold because of strong opposition to the project. The opposition has really escalated this year and now has a Change.org petition with almost 59,000 signatures. It has been opposed for several years, but did not gain so much traction until a groundbreaking ceremony was going to be done (including visiting international dignitaries!) despite ongoing court opposition.
Regardless of the outcome of the debate (which could halt the TMT construction entirely), a huge range of discussions have come about, inciting ignorant comments all over the web. I hope that with this piece, I am able to showcase at least a fraction of the roots and values of Respect, Recognition, and Reciprocity that are so large a part of the Hawaiian Culture. One of the greatest issues in this debate, culturally, is that Mauna Kea
Being Native Hawaiian, having grown up in Maui, Maryland, Virginia, and California, I empathize with desires on both sides. However, as I have read and watched pieces regarding the TMT In this composition, I am utilizing virtual instruments, recorded acoustic instrument audio, recorded rally audio, and Creative Commons 0 public domain audio files to create a blending and clashing of music styles. The aesthetics I am attempting to capture are those of very synthesizer heavy ambient and electronic music, the acoustic texture of Hawaiian kahiko (ancient) hula and music, and the Western style, harmony-heavy modern textures of Hawaiian music today (not island/reggae).
I will be showcasing this piece at the end of May/start of June, along with a video that may provide more context and direction to the piece.
I am hoping to accompany these pieces with a research paper, detailing some of the information I have come across in my research and the ideas that I've developed and grappled with as I move forward in my work.
(1) Invoke a sense of darkness, bubbling lava of the Hawaiian archipelago, and the navigation of the Polynesian voyagers who first settled these islands. --Navigation using the stars is an important topic to touch upon in this section (aurally and visually), because there are arguments that support and stand against the TMT, which use the astronomical skills and history of Hawaiians as a basis. --Upper register, tinny and reverberant bells should "twinkle" in bursts --Harmonic motion in the primary virtual instrument track increases after first couple of star bursts --Percussion sounds of the 'ulī'ulī can blend and part from the wave/ocean audio, or stand in place of water audio.
- to be continued asap.
(2) The voyagers became stewards of the land and sea - trying to find equilibrium in a cycle of giving and taking from the land - Ua mau ke ea o ka 'āina i ka pono = The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. --It is important to introduce voices early on in the piece so that use of rally audio is not too jarring later in the piece.
"Temple Under Siege" http://oiwi.tv/oiwitv/mauna-kea-temple-under-siege/
2014 Trailer for 'Ike: Wisdom to Whisper, https://vimeo.com/95314125
Interesting overview on Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/13/hawaii-telescope-protests-tmt-mauna-kea_n_7044164.html
Helpful footage: https://vimeo.com/34264320
Nice animation from the Bishop Museum Planetarium show on recent developments in Hawaiian Navigation systems after Polynesian navigation revival: https://vimeo.com/100267622
Very little helpful footage: https://vimeo.com/28217520
Nice video on Pacific, polynesian voyaging history https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghojMWv5AZA
Archival ship + ocean + island Hawaii footage (Must contact Penn Museum Archives for permission to use this in anyway). (1) https://archive.org/details/upenn-f16-0415_1930_Pacific_Ocean_Voyage (2) https://archive.org/details/upenn-f16-0497_1930_Honolulu
NASA's royalty free resources for creative use http://www.nasa.gov/connect/artspace/participate/royalty_free_resources.html
Values to bring into the composition: https://apps.ksbe.edu/cphc/ike-nohona-hawaii