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Try the Pie Shares “Root to Branch” Video

"Slow, whispering tempo, slanted harmonies and embellished metaphors"

/ December 16, 2015

Photo by Adrien Discipulo

Recently returned home to San Jose, California from a tour with Waxahatchee, Try the Pie‘s Bean Kaloni Tupou has released a video for “Root to Branch,” a track off their upcoming album “Rest” on HHBTM Records. The video explores a critical intersection of ideas including cultural disembodiment, generational patterns, and finding community far away from where your family started. Bean, who seems to always be working in communion with other people and spaces in their community offers a very intimate space to us through the video. They produced the video with their friend Rex Halafihi, who is also Hafekasi (half Tongan). “Alu’a” is a the Tongan word for goodbye when you are staying and the other person is going. The record is committed to this sentiment and is a living document of 3 years of Bean’s music writing and experiences.

The rawness of the album is made clear both by the lyrics, sounds, and how Bean fills the silent cracks in the album. “Sometimes you can hear someone doing dishes or the beep of a dying smoke-detector. This album is an example of the slow, whispering tempo, slanted harmonies and embellished metaphors that I grew up listening to,” they explain. Bean’s art is intentionally focused on their environment, expressing the relevancy of ancestry, and the need to listen to the vibrations around us before deciding how to then participate in the current moment.  The music looks for an infinity to explore in the things we often take for granted.

The poem read at the beginning of the video is “On Joining Pasifika” by Karlo Mila:

When I first met you
we were learning to siva
wearing lavalava tied in awkward knots
our work clothes carefully folded away
both of us
learning a new dance
both of us
finding a different way to move
through life

We have hustled and bustled
and power-walked well
sacrificing the grace
and ease of movement
our grandmothers held in their hands

When we met
both of us
were trying to remember
that earlier beat

Both of us trying to reclaim
a new dance from old memories
both us standing shyly
in the back-row
trying to siva in our sports socks
both of us searching for a rhythm
we’d never quite
been able to find
within ourselves

All of us trying to find time
to ta’olunga
to meke
to tamule
to siva
into our truest selves