One of the first pieces we played together was a string quartet that Duane Padilla arranged
based on music written by Queen Lili‘uokalani. Queen Lili‘uokalani was the last sovereign
monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom. She was overthrown on January 17, 1893 and confined to
her palace room as a prisoner and charged for conspiracy of treason. During this time, she
composed many pieces of music. The feelings of being forced into confinement due to the
pandemic opened a portal into the past, mirroring what the queen might have felt whilst
confined in her Palace. As we were playing, with goose bumps and neck hairs raised, we felt
overcome with an intense connection with the music. With this deeper insight, situated just a
few blocks away from her palace, we played as though we were connected with her emotions.
The magic of our first run-through of the quartet was shared mutually through our glances at each other on the final note ending the piece.