Starr Kalāhiki’s formal training in music included choral singing and classical lessons on the harp and viola. Her professional experiences range from art songs to rock to show tunes. As part of her repertoire though, Hawaiian music remained largely absent, that is until her captivation with the beautiful poetry and songs of Queen Lili`uokalani, which Starr is now compelled to share.
The songs of Lili`uokalani offer and inspire examination of such themes as love, healing, forgiveness, loss, beauty, and gratitude. Starr equates learning the songs and writings of the Queen as a healing process that immersed her more deeply into her own Hawaiian heritage. She relates to the contemplation of Queen Lili’uokalani’s faith, culture and spirit that the Queen so eloquently expressed in a prayer, “Ke Aloha O Ka Haku” that was written when the Queen was under house arrest.
The Lili`u Project premiered in Hawaii April 2014. With a nine-member music ensemble and twenty-five-member chorus, the performance included ten of Lili’uokalani’s compositions and text from the book, Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen, Starr’s next goals are to record an album of the songs in the performance, and to complete the editing of a video of the performance.
The 2015 National Artist Fellowship is recognition to Starr Kalāhiki’s talent and her artistic endeavors.
I view every occasion I sing as an opportunity to lay down positive vibration, and encourage healing
~ Starr Kalāhiki