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We Are Here To Harness the Power of Music

MUSIC

EARTH

HUMANITY

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What We Want

Our Mission

To produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts, with an emphasis on rural developing communities.

What We Aim For

Our Vision

A world in which the memorable, emotional, and unifying power of music contributes to the healing of the Earth upon which we depend, which is especially important for developing communities living subsistence lifestyles.

How We Do It

Our Work

Composition

Our skilled team of composers collaborates with artists all over Africa to create something unique with a powerful message. We are also available for song commissions.

Recording

Whether using our own mobile studio or borrowing a personal or professional studio space, we have the chops to record, mix, and master a quality track.

Video

We specialize in music videos, but it 2017 we are adding a webseries, Virtual Reality experiences, and a documentary film!

Live Events

Collaborations with festivals like Bushfire and Rocking the Daisies have us excited to bring our inspired friends around the world! We’ve also thrown plenty of benefit concerts, and our founder Alex is available for public speaking, too!

What We Do

Our Roles

Producers

Collaboration with local musicians in local styles and languages is at the core of our in-house productions. We combine our technical production abilities and environmental knowledge with the cultural abilities of our musical friends to create unique, unforgettable media.

Promoters

We disseminate song recordings, music videos, and related media via national radio and television broadcasting services and online media outlets. We also work to “keep the conversation going” on social media to attract and maintain an engaged following.

Platform

We aim to be a resource for all people interested in the union of music and the environment. As such, we share relevant work being done by other groups and individuals. We love collaboration. We are currently designing a digital platform for like-minded musicians to meet and collaborate internationally.

What We Teach

The Issues

Climate Change

Climate Change is by far the most significant environmental crisis we are facing, and it exacerbates the magnitude of all of the rest. The causes and effects can be noticed at a worldwide scale. According to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index for 2015, seven of the ten countries most at risk from climate change are in Africa. The parts of Africa where CM is currently working are in semi-arid and arid regions, which when combined with widespread poverty will spell catastrophe if global warming isn’t stopped, and rural solutions and adaptations are spread widely. We broadcast our songs over national radio to reach thousands of people.

Erosion

In countries like Lesotho, which is expected to lose all of its arable topsoil by 2040, erosion is a deadly issue. Exacerbated by Climate Change, harsh droughts followed by massive significant rainfall spells doom for subsistence communities reliant on their topsoil to provide enough nutrition for their families. With music, we are spreading Conservation Agriculture ethics and techniques.

Overfishing

The spread of gill nets – and worse, mosquito nets – is depleting freshwater fisheries all over Africa. Mosquito nets are especially bad, catching every single fish to cross their path, including young fish which have never had a chance to breed and carry on their species. On top of this, as one country depletes its own fishery, another sees a chance to profit and starts exporting its fish stock, which is hastening the problem exponentially. If the ethics of sustainable fishing aren’t spread, it will spell disaster for thousands of people.

Poaching

Poaching is a difficult beast to bring down. Massive foreign syndicates extort innocent people to poach for them or face gruesome consequences in their village. Extreme poverty and desperation leads some to join the poaching black market voluntarily. To those working in the poaching arena, the truth is clear: there will be no end to poaching without enlisting the help of communities. We have already been approached to write a song encouraging anti-poaching ethics, accountability, and participation by rural villagers. Poaching must end, before it is too late.

Deforestation

No matter what the regional climate may be, losing forests is bad for everyone. For rural villagers, it means walking further and further for cooking fuel and building material. For wildlife it means habitat and biodiversity loss. And on a global scale, it means the loss of crucial carbon sequestration to mitigate global warming. Sustainable forestry must be universal. We’ve already done one tree planting song with our friends in Zambia, and we look forward to doing more, as well as spreading seeds about Farmer Managed Natural Regrowth, which you can learn about by clicking the button below.

Desertification

Linked to deforestation and hastened by Climate Change, desertification is affecting many hundreds of communities in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere. To push back expanding deserts, sustainable forestry is crucial. New trees must be planted, and old trees must be tended to encourage regrowth.

Littering

Littering in the developing world can be staggering. Plastic bottles and bags, tattered clothes and unsalvageable shoes, bits of metal and rusted machinery are strewn about the roads almost everywhere. This waste can carry dangerous germs and disease, can kill both livestock and wildlife, and it will eventually make it to rivers and oceans where it will carry on torturing and toxifying animals that we may one day eat. It also contributes to ocean acidification, which is killing our reefs and destroying the ocean’s ability to absorb excess heat from the atmosphere. It may seem small, but as a whole, the repercussions of litter are global, and it must be stopped.

Burning

In countries such as Angola and Zambia, slash-and-burn agriculture and charcoal production are exacerbated more by persistent burning of the landscape. Vast swaths of grasssland and forest are burned every year, killing hundreds of animals or leading them to death by a poacher’s rifle. Large amounts of carbon are released into the atmosphere, and erosion goes entirely unmitigated as root systems fail after years and years of burning. This leads rivers to siltify, and nutrients to be leached from their landscapes forever.

Wildlife Conflict

From a traditional fear bordering on hatred of reptiles to animosity towards elephants and lions, there are significant issues with how many rural people view the wildlife surrounding them. While it must be acknowledged and respected that these people can and do lose life-sustaining croplands and livestock to animals. We hope to write songs that encourage a balanced perspective on wildlife both big and small, and spread the word about the most effective wildlife mitigation methods known for megafauna management.

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Meet the Musicians

Our Conservation Ambassadors
  • Sotho Sounds

    Malealea, Lesotho

    The Sotho Sounds are a dynamic traditional group from the small mountain village of Malealea, Lesotho. Fiery, positive energy grooves and shoulders flying during fantastic gumboot dancing are just a few things to look forward to during this Basotho crew’s unforgettable act. Using entirely upcycled instruments made from tin cans, old wire, and inner tubes, this dancing band has an inspiring story and a truly larger-than-life sound. Look for them in our Erosion production from Lesotho, “Ngope la Musi.”

  • Morena Leraba

    Maseru, Lesotho

    Morena Leraba is a Mosotho musician and shepherd from of Ha-Mojela in Mafeteng district, located south of Lesotho’s capital Maseru. Lebara’s music (especially lyrics) is deeply rooted in Lesotho’s traditional music, poetry, and it’s sub-genre, Famo, which was introduced as early as the 1920s when Basotho men were migrant workers in South African mines. However, the approach in the beat is significantly different as it hurls almost everything from Electro, Electronica, Afro-House, Folk, and Hip-Hop.

  • Pitso Rah Makhula

    Maseru, Lesotho

    Pitso Rah Makhula is a talented conscious rapper, poet, and lyricist from Maseru, Lesotho. A proper mountain rastafarian, his heart is as big as his creative spirit. We had the pleasure of featuring Pitso in our first production ever… “Ngope la Musi,” regarding the late Fanwell Musi who dammed the erosion that plagued his family’s land.

  • HT Tautona

    Maun, Botswana

    HT-Tautona is a Motswana, born and raised in Maun. “I am doing hip hop music in my vernacular language, Setswana. All my songs are written in rich, pure and poetic Setswana. I took this initiative to do my music in my language because I master it and most people in Botswana understand.

    I incorporated hip hop beats with my lyrics written in Setswana, touching all aspects of life, from the social ills, culture and all other topics relevant to our day to day life. My songs carry valuable messages for the young, old, rich and poor, so everyone in every class could relate to the music.”

  • Leshie Lovesong

    Gaborone, Botswana

    Leshie Lovesong is a Singing Performance Poet, based in Botswana. In 2006, she became Exodus Live Poetry’s Slam Champion, and became a member of the collective itself in 2007. As of November 2007, the young poetess has displayed her craft at every Infinite Word Festival in Gaborone. As an advocate for Environmental Sustainability, the poet has work shopped drama scripts which included her poetry in Angola, Luanda, and Namibia, Rundu, the focus being on the Okavango River.

  • Stiger Sola

    Maun, Botswana

    A living legend in Botswana, we are honored to call Stiger Sola our friend. He’s got a heart of gold, and a voice that personifies years of experience singing and storytelling in Setswana and his mother tongue, se’Yei. Literally born inside the Okavango Delta wilderness, Stiger has that “star quality” that’s hard to describe, but as soon as you meet him, you know that he’s a very special human, and a talented musician!

  • Tomeletso Sereetsi

    Gaborone, Botswana

    When we first met Tom, he was a talented musician and writer with a dream. He had just finished his book, “The Four String Guitar Of Botswana,” and was about to release his first album. Tom has revolutionized traditional fourstring guitar by transcribing complex “jazz chords” all over the neck. He weaves traditional rhythms with modern harmonies to create something truly unique, and since our first jam session, his popularity has skyrocketed, and he’s quickly taken over Botswana. Now he’s playing internationally, and we’re excited to work with him too!

  • Mosi Oa Tunya Band

    Livingstone, Zambia

    Pictured above with CM Founder Alex Paullin, the Mosi Oa Tunya band rocked the Zambian airwaves in the golden 1970s. We caught up with them in 2016 with a blend of original members and young apprentices, which made for an interesting lineup! All of the guys in the band are great souls, and we had a great time making “Tushange Isamu,” the Zambian Tree Planting Song!

  • Banda Progresso

    Menongue, Angola

    Progresso is a talented group of musicians who have staked their claim in isolated southeastern Angola. Angola is a country known for poverty, remnants of war, and corruption, all of which we have experienced firsthand. But when the difficult larger picture is boiled down to individuals, the true heart of Angola is found in its wonderful people!

  • Bhudaza Mapefane

    Maseru, Lesotho

    We befriended Afro Jazz legend Bhudaza while filming his collaboration with Brooklyn’s Maya Azucena when she visited Lesotho with her band. During that time, we celebrated his birthday, put on many shows, and adventured to Malealea, where he met our friends the Sotho Sounds. Now we’re looking forward to putting together a collaboration!

Meet the Team

Our Volunteers With a Vision
  • Bryan Murphy

    Photographer

    “Sense of fulfillment stems from riding various boards across land, sea, and snow.” When he’s not on a board, Bryan can be found delving into the live music scene around Virginia and the D.C. area. Look for him exploring nature’s abundance with close friends while doing his best to freeze life’s most valuable genuine moments with his camera.

  • Alex Paullin

    Founder, Chief Executive Officer

    Alex Paullin is a lifelong musician with a degree in Geographic Science and a wide breadth of additional environmental education. He is a talented composer and producer of both audio and video alike, able to direct a project from start to finish and fill any role that’s necessary in the field or in the studio. His travel and field experience with National Geographic serve him well as he chases his dream of sustainable development through music.

  • Billy Morgan

    Post Production Engineer

    Billy is a recording engineer from Harrisonburg, Virginia whose desire is to see humanity take on more sustainable lifestyles, so that future generations may enjoy the Earth’s beauty and resources. A conscious rapper, Billy’s own lyrical themes have transformed from mainly social to environmental. His moniker is StarBaby, look him up!

  • Caitlyn Loweth

    Administrative Superhero

    Caitlyn is our jill-of-all-trades, swiss-army admin superhero. She loves playing guitar, cats, crocheting, hiking, and yoga. She is a badass.

  • Chris Volosevich

    Project Manager

    Chris has immersed himself in music and visual arts since he was a child. Brimming with creativity and natural talent, his digital production skills are certainly not the least of what he brings to the table at Conservation Music. He likes long walks on the beach.

  • Charlie Ross

    Blog Guy

    After returning from life in the deep jungles of Costa Rica and Belize, geographer, environmental activist, and writer Charlie was ready to jump onboard another adventure. While the field team is blazing through the bush of Africa to find our next project, Charlie will be relaying updates to the blog. With his deep passion for travel and learning about global creative arts, Charlie has found a new home at CM.

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As seen on National Geographic Voices

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Testimonials

  • I have heard many English songs on conservation and environmental awareness which did stir up emotions within me. But, listening to one in my own tongue is a totally different feeling. I felt I could resonate with the message and it really touched my heart. It was also worth noting that there were so many languages on it, about five I think; all coming from different part of Zambia. I am so excited that such a message can reach the Zambians not fortunate enough to get educated and learn a foreign language.

    Fortune Manda
    Student, Zambia
  • Having collaborated with Conservation Music I have personally seen the positive impact of their work on the ground. A unique concept in environmental education and awareness that inspires and energizes local communities to take action. On top of that we’re also gifted with original music!

    Danny Lurie
    Founder & Filmmaker, Hillside Digital Trust, Lesotho
  • An excellent initiative! Music is one powerful tool that speaks to our need as humans to connect. And it can only be a cause as big as life itself when people and artists connect to save the planet – that’s Conservation Cusic.

    Tomeletso Sereetsi
    Musician & Celebrity, Botswana
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Our Collaborators

We’re all in this together. Collaboration is essential in improving our relations with the Earth and with each other! The above organizations have supported or planned projects with Conservation Music, directly or otherwise, along the way. We welcome opportunities to work together, so please get in touch!

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