Hula Records International
ISLAND EXPATRIATE Riley Lee and Maui-based Jeff Peterson introduce a fresh note in island music as they blend the familiar sound of slack-key guitar with that of the shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute). Lee (shakuhachi) and Peterson (guitar) play as equal partners in reinterpreting popular island melodies ranging from “Kawika” to “Ku’u Home O Kahalu’u”.
The ambience is mellow enough to call the music “New Age” but the textures of the guitar and flute create a pleasant, natural organic sound that much “New Age” stuff lacks. The duo is clearly taking Hawaiian music in a fresh and imaginative new direction that has worldwide appeal.
Extensive annotation makes this a perfect introduction to the artists and the musical traditions they represent. Astute packaging ensures that even casual record store bin browsers can recognisze the uniqueness of this album.
– John Berger
From the Honolulu Advertiser (February 2001):
RILEY LEE IS Hawai’i’s best-known shakuhachi artist; Jeff Peterson is a guitarist with a classical and jazz background. Together, the bamboo flute and the ki ho’alu guitar yield a very poetic, very resourceful sound, evoking romantic and rhapsodic images of the Island lifestyle.
The title tune is Peterson’s composition, a subtle yet vibrant ear canvas of Maui images of sunrises over Haleakala, of rain forests in Hana, of lapping waves at Makena. It’s a beaut.
– Wayne Harada