Our Islands, Our Future

A pair of Maui musicians, five-time Grammy Award winner George Kahumoku Jr. and KAOI radio host Cindy Paulos, a UNESCO Cross-Cultural and Peace Crafters Award winner, teamed with musician and filmmaker Rupam Sarmah to produce a special CD release titled Aum─Aloha Blessings. Kahumoku said, “Throughout the CD the aloha chant connects our ha (breath) with the aina (land) and the kai (ocean) creating lokahi (harmony) and peace between man, the creatures of the earth, the plants, and the fruits and vegetables that sustain us.”

Using music for uplifting, redirecting, and reflecting the emotions is vital to improve wellbeing during these challenging times. “The stress of Covid made me turn to the creative side within me to find something positive to do to counter the flood of bad news and fear that was present in the news,” said Paulos. “It felt so good creating this project in a time of such need. The results are direct and immediate.”

The new release, Aum─Aloha Blessings, is available in stereo and Dolby Atmos® on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Tidal, and other platforms. It has 154 minutes of eight tracks plus an additional eight instrumental tracks for meditation. “The divine sound is music for the soul,” Kahumoku emphasized. “The chanting and healing energies from around the world are over 7000 years old.” 

Aum─Aloha Blessings was inspired by Sarmah’s visit to Maui when he showed his film One Little Finger at the McCoy theater. His feature film made history with a cast of over eighty persons with disabilities. “One Little Finger is not just a film,” said Kahumoku. “It’s a movement to promote inclusion and diversity to break the barriers of stigma in disability. I worked on the project long-distance during the pandemic with over 100 musicians to create the blending of Indian music with Hawaiian chant and spoken-word invocation.”

Sarmah reflected, “The aloha tradition combined with ancient mantras produces forward-thinking creations of sound. The music compositions will help in meditation, yoga, and healing our minds, with proceeds going to the nonprofit One Little Finger Global Foundation. Our work reflects the message of oneness, peace, and aloha.”

We get to know each other through music. It brings joy amid the pandemic and it is a wonderful way to connect us.

George Kahumoku Jr., Maui Grammy Award winner