Cyril Pahinui: The Meaning of Life and the Creation of Life’s Music

Cyril Pahinui at Heeia-photo by Chelle PahinuiExcellence Reporter: Cyril, what is the meaning of life?

Cyril Pahinui: I am most inspired by a quote I once read by Albert Einstein, “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”

The universe is filled with opposites like music and silence. Without one we cannot fully experience the other. As a musician life’s meaning is found in the interweaving of melodic lines and the relationship of separate independent voices augmented with dissonant intervals or “tensions”.  “Resolves” to a consonant chord usually sounds pleasant to the ear, when there is a balance between the consonant and dissonant sounds. In simple words, that occurs when there is a balance between “tense” and “relaxed” moments.

As individuals, we act as the creative process of Akua (god), creating and allow the experience of things that have never been before, through our own unique inspirations and that could not happen without us. Our lives are vital to the ever changing process and creation of life’s music, an ongoing process and only possible in the moment. Without that there would be nothing.


~Cyril Lani Pahinui is a slack-key guitarist and singer of Hawaiian music. He has contributed to more than 35 Hawaiian musucial releases and three Grammy Award-winning compilations of Hawaiian music. In 2014, Cyril received a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award for perpetuating the craft of slack key music through performance and teaching.

Copyright © 2016 Excellence Reporter

Categories: Excellence, Music

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