Music in the American Wild at Lyon Arboretum

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Raedelle R M Van Fossen, (808) 988-0461
Education Manager, Lyon Arboretum
Posted: Feb 3, 2020

The American Wild Ensemble
The American Wild Ensemble
Music in the American Wild
Music in the American Wild

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Lyon Arboretum will host the American Wild Ensemble as part of the group’s Music in the American Wild project. The performance on Saturday, February 15, 3:30-5:30 p.m. will culminate its 10-day Hawaiʻi tour. The Friends of Lyon Arboretum is sponsoring the concert to help support the arboretum. Tickets can be purchased online

American Wild Ensemble performs in the majestic settings of national parks across the U.S. The original compositions it plays inspires audiences to experience the environment through a different perspective, fostering a relationship between the musicians, audience and the location. 

“We are so thrilled that we're able to return with our ensemble, and especially to perform in such an amazing and beautiful place,” Emlyn Johnson, American Wild Ensemble’s co-director said about Lyon Arboretum. “I was in awe of the incredible vibrancy of the plant life in the gardens, and I especially loved the wild variety of gingers, the amazing roots of the blue marble trees, and the mini-ecosystems created by many of the trees in the arboretum, as they act as hosts ferns, orchids, and so much other wildlife.”

The group’s performance at Lyon Arboretum will feature works by UH Mānoa music department faculty members Takuma Itoh, Michael-Thomas Foumai and Byron Yasui. It will also perform music by world renowned composer Tonia Ko, who was inspired by her childhood in Hawaiʻi. The music focuses on Hawaiian wildlife, geography and culture, and is meant to raise awareness about environmental issues and efforts throughout the state and beyond. 

Itoh’s new piece, Adaptation Variations, is supported by a grant from Chamber Music America and is inspired by the adaptive radiation of Hawaiian honeycreepers. Foumai’s composition, E Mālama I Ke Kai, encourages the care and protection of the marine ecosystems of Hawaiʻi. The piece by Yasui, Dance of the Goddess (Pelehonuamea), reflects the volcanic activity on Hawaiʻi Island. 

“We are really looking forward to sharing new music by Hawaiʻi-based composers that both celebrates the beauty of Hawaiʻi and raises awareness about both the state of our delicate environment and the conservation movement that is happening in Hawaiʻi,” Johnson said.

In addition to its Lyon Arboretum performance, the American Wild Ensemble will perform at Orvis Auditorium at UH Mānoa on February 7, and Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on Hawaiʻi Island on February 11. The ensemble will also visit several schools–ʻIolani, Punahou, Kailua Intermediate, and schools in the Waiākea district on Hawaiʻi island. 

See video courtesy of American Wild Ensemble:

More about Lyon Arboretum

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Harold L. Lyon Arboretum is the only university botanical garden in the U.S. located in a tropical rainforest. The arboretum celebrated its centennial year in 2018. It has more than seven miles of hiking trails and boasts more than 6,000 taxa of tropical and sub-tropical plants on nearly 200 acres. Lyon Arboretum was also recently featured in a New York Times article highlighting places to visit in Honolulu in just 36 hours.

More information about Lyon Arboretum.

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