Sunday, June 12, 2016

When the National Park Service decided to create a CD of songs about the parks to promote their Junior Ranger program, all National Parks were offered the chance to submit something appropriate. From all the parks in all 50 states only 12 songs were selected for the final project. "Fly Manu, Fly", from songwriters Janet Fisher and Rance Pinao, speaks about the Ala Kahakai Trail, the abundant nature found there, and the connection with Hawaiian ancestors who trod the same path in ancient times.

Janet Fisher has over 100 songs in film, television shows, and ads, and Rance Pinao, a long time musician and performer, teaches ukulele and Hawaiian language songs every Monday at the Kaloko Honokohau National Historical Park. The two musicians met during kanikapila (jam) sessions at Lanihau Center in Kailua Kona, and started working on the song for the park late last year. They recorded it in Waimea, submitted it to the park project, and was notified their song was slated to be on the CD project.

"We are so proud to be included," said Fisher. "We made it a point to speak about the Hawaiian culture and language in the song and to capture the native respect for nature and the importance of the past. We wanted listeners to get a picture of the true Hawaii and walking the trail. Working with Rance, Matt (Manewa), and all the other fine musicians here in Kona was an inspiration."

Pinao added, "When first thinking about the song, my thoughts were of an Iwa (frigatebird) flying above little boys and girl walking along enjoying the Ala Kahakai Trail that travels through all our national parks here in Hawaiʻi. 'Fly Manu Fly' was a joint effort between Janet Fisher and I, her expertise in writing the song was truly amazing. We both look forward to continuing writing other songs that reflect the beauty and spirit of our island."

The park recently sponsored a CD release party, and the musicians were awarded their official CDs, which are for sale in all the National Park stores. The song also features background vocals and musical sweetening from other island musicians, Teri Stewart, Carl NaMahoe, Ken Cozine, Matt Manewa, Craig Sauer, and Harrell Baker.


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