‘ohana is changing its name, starting with the release of the “Time Now Choreography Mixes”, which features the new tracks “Time Now” and “Some Time”, composed for Lizzie MacKenzie’s new work “Time Now” for Extensions Dance Company.
‘ohana is the Hawaiian word for “family”, and when we started making music under this name about ten years ago, the internet was much less developed -- no iTunes, no Myspace, no Facebook, none of the thousands of places where everything that goes on anywhere can be grouped together. Because the idea of family is such an important feature of Hawaiian culture, the internet is now crowded with references to ‘ohana.
The idea of ‘ohana is still the essence of how our projects are made, although not in the literal sense of an actual family. The idea of what we do is much more like the extended Hawaiian families I used to see together in Ala Moana park, between the beach and the first Banyan tree, where different layers of friendship bridged nationality and age and appearance, where I would see large, really large groups of people sharing in something that all of them could enjoy. Everybody didn’t always look like everybody else, and you really couldn’t tell who was family and who were friends of the family. But everybody liked what they were doing together, and everybody had a share in making sure that what they shared and the way they shared turned out well.
Since this is also just about the best way there can be to make music, when I started doing projects with the very wide gathering of people who have been part of these tracks, we called the group ‘ohana. That’s still the beginning of this idea, in many ways the heart of this idea. Because our project has become such a surprising blend of music that wouldn’t usually go together (surprising to us, too), this is a perfect chance to try to include a better idea of what we do in the name people call us by. We’ve added two of the best things you can do while listening to our music, two of the best ways you can write and produce new music, two of the most beautiful things in life: to dream and to dance. Now our name is practically an invitation. ‘ohana Dreamdance.