Summit reached, gratitude, and new beginnings… please read!

Mission Accomplished!

All composition, recording, and filming for Expedition #K2K’s 13 songs and videos are complete, and we have successfully completed our sea to summit journey from Cape Town’s drying coast to Tanzania’s melting glacier. We are so grateful for all of the support we have received along the way, we could not have done this without you!

Here is a list of just a few things we have accomplished this year with your help:

    • 45,000+ photos taken
    • 20,000+ hours worked by 20+ volunteers
    • 400 days on the road
    • 260 hours of footage
    • 150+ supporting individuals and groups
    • 30 new artists/groups
    • 25 organizational partnerships
    • 22 Interviews
    • 20+ new volunteers from 13+ countries
    • 13 songs and 13 music videos
    • 12 terabytes of digital media
    • 9 countries impacted
    • 4 local chapters: Lesotho, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania
    • 4 international conferences – CGSS, EEASA, OYW, UNEA
    • 3 school visits
    • 2 community workshops
    • 1 hit song in Zambia, “Samalilani” comes on TV daily
    • 1 article on nationalgeographic.com
    • 1 article with Thomson Reuters Foundation, pending publication

Gratitude

We want to extend our deepest gratitude to all of the individuals and organizations on our route who have supported this long journey however they could. Please find a list of these incredible souls below. Friends and supporters abroad, you know who you are, and we love you!

Cape Town, South Africa
Africa Sun Studios
Amandla Development
Buck Rogers
Chuma Mgcoyi
Cuan Thomas
Devon Concar
Explore4Knowledge
Gershan Lombard
Greenpop
Jack Mantis
John Lucas
Misha Teasdale
Paulo Costa
Phil Pells
Rob Coutts
Susi Bayer
Yugesh Pillay

Lesotho
Conservation Music Lesotho
Lerato Lesoetsa
Mosa Theko
Professor Mokuku
Rebel Sol
Reekelitsoe Molapo
Village of Tlokoeng

eSwatini
Bholoja
Black Rhino
Buddy Masango
Bushfire Festival
Jiggs Thorne
Pachanga
Qibho Intalektual
Robert Grenoble
Sands
Smiles Makama
Toby Matoskah Allison
Velemseni

Gauteng, South Africa
Albert Craftsman
Gally Ngoveni
Haikuu
Hanneke Van Linge
Jake Taylor
Nosh Food Rescue
Thabiso Thabethe
Tribute “Birdie” Mboweni

Botswana
David Sandenbergh
Gaone Ranthloiwa
Helene Forward
Leeroy Nyoni
Matthew Lee Merritt
National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project
Old Bridge Backpackers
Patrick John
Stanley Kaseke
Stiger Sola
Tomeletso Sereetsi

Livingstone, Zambia
Frank Tyrol
Heather Coltman
Uncle Ben Mibenge
Wayne Emmanuel
Yes Rasta!

Hwange, Zimbabwe
African Bush Camps Foundation
Fadzai Muungani
Main Camp Primary School
Mambanje Community
Ms. Rebecca
Mwachayingwe
Polite Chipembere
Stanley Mutatisi
Tormenta

Harare, Zimbabwe
Dr. Oliver Mtukudzi (Rest In Peace)
Leroy Gora
Ngoma Nehosho
Tom Brickhill
Tuku Music
Walter Wanyanya

Lusaka, Zambia
African Education Program
Brian Mutale
Chanda ‘Chanx’ Musanya
Edwin ‘Nyno’ Kabeba
Elvie Njeka
James Sakala
Joy Mweemba
Julie-Anne Savarit-Cosenza
Maureen Lilanda
Mr. Champs
Pompi
Shaps Mutambo
Students of Amos Academy
Theresa N’gambi
Time Lyne Entertainments

Malawi
Faith Mussa
Farhai Masamba
Jeremiah Chigwenembe
Judah Mkandawire
Kelvin Before Gumbi
Kim of Diamonds
Lilongwe Wildlife Trust
Matthew Mphande
Ndaba Nyanda
Sangie
Suffix

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Beka Flavour
Jaymondy
Lucky Stone
Minister January Makamba
Nana Paul
One The Incredible
Shubert Mwarabu
Students of TaSUBa
Tania and Hamish Hamilton
TaSUBa College of Arts
Darsh Pandit
Wanene Entertainment

 

Zanzibar
Dhow Countries Music Academy
Dipesh Pabari
Finnegan Flint
Flipflopi Expedition
Lorenz Hermann
Sauti za Busara Festival
Siti and the Band
Stone Town Records
Yusuf Mahmoud

Arusha, Tanzania
CAC Fusion Band
Daz Naledge
Ellisha James
Michael Moshi
Mtingo Traditional Band
SUA Music Movement
Tumaini University
Makumira Cultural Arts Centre (CAC)

New Board Members

It is also our pleasure to introduce you to four new members of our global board of directors, helping our movement to grow in the most balanced and sustainable way possible for the next two years and beyond! If you are interested in a board position or know someone who would be a good fit, please don’t hesitate to reach out to info@conservationmusic.org.

Reekelitsoe Molapo

Reekelitsoe Molapo is a 25-year-old social entrepreneur from Lesotho with over 3 years’ experience in the field. She is an environmental activist who is passionate about education, sustainable development, and responsible production and consumption. She is versatile and multi-skilled; with training in research, entrepreneurship, energy, leadership, and African studies. In the past she has worked and volunteered with organisations like the Global Business Roundtable, MM-Holdings, World Vision, US Embassy and EU Maseru amongst many; which equipped her with various skills. She believes in sustainability and doing impactful business and this led her to found Alternatives Co; a green start-up that provides eco-packaging, biofuels, and clean energy gadgets.
Outside of her professional work, she works closely with Lesotho’s Ministry of Gender and Youth in their various youth programs and has co-founded Conservation Music Lesotho and Educate Your Peer Foundation which are organisations centered around community and youth development. She recently completed a short leadership course with the University of Cambridge and has plans to pursue studies in social entrepreneurship this year. She is a One Young World Ambassador, a Pitch at Palace Commonwealth alumni, a YALI RLC alumni, a Queen’s Young Leaders Awardee and a Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Awardee.

Katie Kendall

Katie has 7 years of experience in helping organizations and businesses succeed to accomplish their business goals. Focusing predominantly on organizations in the Agriculture and Agribusiness sector, she has experience in research, project management, financial analysis, organizational coaching, and leadership coaching. Her educational background includes an Undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences, as well as a Masters degree in Agriculture Sciences, where she completed a research-based thesis on the use of crop waste to produce biofuels.

Currently, Katie is considering transitioning into a career in teaching with the hopes of having more flexibility and impact around the world. Her passion for international development led her to spend 2018 working as an advisor with Care International in Mozambique, where she advised on a 5-year Malnutrition project. This is where her path crossed with Conservation Music.
Katie is an ex-varsity level athlete, photographer, trained royal conservatory musician, and an avid public speaker and facilitator.

Jon Fleming

Jon has over 25 years of leadership and management experience inside Fortune 50 and start-up companies in wireless telecom, payments, media, advertising, and software. He has had executive leadership roles in strategy, marketing, sales, business development, product management, software development, and operations. Jon has extensive international experience managing in multi-cultural environments in Latin America, Western and Central Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.  A Ten-year military veteran, Jon is a decorated USMC officer and aviator.

Currently the Vice President and Country Manager of Audible Canada (an Amazon company), he has responsibility for P/L, strategy, marketing, business development, operations, content acquisition, and programming development, and Corporate Social Responsibility.  Jon is also a founder and Chair of the Global Advisory Committee for James Madison University’s Center for Global Engagement, whose mission is to broaden worldviews and promote global understanding for the JMU community by cultivating, facilitating, and supporting global engagement at home and abroad.

Originally from Washington, D.C., Jon is a proud graduate of James Madison University with a degree in Foreign Languages.  He was also an International Management Fellow while obtaining a Masters of Business Administration from the Anderson School at UCLA.  Jon resides in Seattle, Washington with his wife and fourteen-year-old boy/girl twins.  They also have a son who is a freshman at JMU.  In his free time, Jon enjoys live music, open water swimming, watching Charlie’s Angels re-runs, and skiing.

Mac Thayer

Mac Thayer is the founder and executive director of New Business Associates, Startup Virginia, and the Junior Golf Scoreboard, a website designed to give players, parents, and coaches easy access to information on the world of competitive junior golf worldwide. He attended St. Lawrence University and served as an officer in the United States Navy before attending the renowned Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Mac is an experienced business mentor and has previously chaired many boards.

As the chairman of the Conservation Music board, Mac brings to the table not only a wealth of experience and knowledge but also a great deal of passion to deal with Climate Change, which he sees as the greatest challenge of our time. Having witnessed the inspirational and catalytic power of music firsthand during the Vietnam protests, he has no doubt that music is an answer.

Stay Current with CM & Donate

If you would like to support the next stage of Conservation Music, bolstering our new local chapters and their partnerships with NGOs and government, developing handbooks and materials to enable exponential growth of the movement worldwide, and creating new and innovative types of educational content, please consider becoming a monthly patron at any level, or make an individual donation below.

This post was written by Charles Ross for Conservation Music

About Conservation Music

Our Musical Nonprofit For Conservation

of Conservation Music

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

Conservation Music is on a mission to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, with an emphasis on rural developing communities, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts. Currently, the organization primarily collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more.

About the Editor

Alex Paullin

of Conservation Music

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Throughout his life, he aims to expand the Conservation Music movement globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.


Field Notes: Expedition #K2K – The Mountain

We’re Back!

We have missed you! Here is where we’ve been and who we’ve worked with…we can’t wait to share the finished results with you soon! If you would like to contribute to Conservation Music‘s (CM) Expedition #K2K, please visit our Patreon page, where you can schedule monthly donations of any amount, or make a single donation via the button in the top right of our website.

“Samalilani” from Lusaka Goes Viral

  • Samalilani video is on National TV after the news daily in Zambia
  • Artists have attended frequent radio interviews and are preparing for 2 different TV programs
  • Song is on daily rotation on multiple radio stations
  • Online it has gathered hundreds of thousands of views, reactions, and comments
  • It has successfully spurred a national conversation on Climate Change

During the month of November, the CM movement joined forces with some of Lusaka’s foremost artists to create a truly special song and music video. From the start of the month, a team of talented vocalists and songwriters such as Shaps Mutambo, Theresa N’gambi, and the ever-popular James Sakala came together as a powerhouse of talent for the Earth. With the help of local producer and beatmaker Mr. Champs, these artists created an impactful and moving song that uses poignant storytelling to tackle local environmental issues such as tree cutting, charcoal burning, and water management, along with humanity’s neglect of such problems. Soon enough, the legendary singer Maureen Lilanda lent her voice and profound lyrics, as she sang of a past time of fellowship and regard for the earth. Shortly after, Zambia’s smash hit Pompi, the African Eagle, jumped in on the bridge with a heightened call to action, taking to the streets and rooftops, megaphone in hand, to awaken our Zambian brothers and sisters. The track, entitled Samalilani, is the culmination of multiple award-winning Zambian artists and the Conservation Music movement, coming together for the greater good, and is a prime example of what can be accomplished when people from all over the world put their heads together to create music for change in Zambia.

 

Lilongwe, Malawi

After wrapping up a fruitful eco-production in Lusaka, Zambia, the CM crew headed to the landlocked paradise, Lilongwe, Malawi. Despite its renowned beauty, the country is heavily impacted by climate change, causing pressing issues such as a drying lake that is overfished, frequent burning, rising temperatures, littering, and pollution. To highlight these points, we brought on Faith Mussa Official, KIM, Sangie Angel,  KBG – Nyalimuzik & Suffix. The music flowed while being inspired by the surrounding Lilongwe Wildlife Trust.

 

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

After departing from Malawi, CM headed to Tanzania, where the final three months of Expedition #K2K would be completed. Our first stop was Dar Es Salaam, where we worked with Shubert Mwarabu, Lucky Stone, Nana Paul, One The Incredible, Shubert Mwarabu, and Beka Flavour, Geline Gee Fuko. Big thanks to Wanene Studios for helping bring our eco-song “Mazingira” to life.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

With just two months left, CM headed to the island of Zanzibar to tell the tale of an island as a microcosm for our planet. Throughout the month, we worked closely with the super talented Siti and the Band. While bringing another eco-production to life, CM also connected with Stone Town Records, The Flipflopi Expedition, Sauti za Busara, UN Environment, and many others on the island!  Lastly, we would like to thank the super talented Shamsi Music from Nairobi for the onstage CM shout out at Sauti za Busara. Can’t wait to work with these guys in Kenya!

What’s Next? Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Here’s what is happening in the coming weeks as we wrap up the 13-month Expedition #K2K with a series of extremely special initiatives that you have made possible with us…

  • The stage is set for our 13th and final production all across the Kilimanjaro region, featuring underground rappers from Arusha town, members of Chagga and Maasai communities, and a special guest to be announced after the 16th! We will be covering topics like glacial melting due to climate change and soil abuse, littering, and deforestation.
  • Tomorrow we embark for the UN Environment Assembly, one of the biggest environmental summits in the world. We have been invited to speak up at dialogues, perform at an event, display our music videos, and represent our cause at a booth in the Sustainable Innovation Expo. Our delegation is composed of founder Alex Paullin, board member Mac Thayer, and CM Lesotho co-founder Reekelitsoe Molapo.
  • At the end of our final production, Conservation Music will complete our sea-to-summit expedition at Africa’s highest point… Uhuru Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro. From drying coast to melting glacier.

None of this would be possible without your support… please stay tuned into our social channels Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin and if you are able, consider making a donation to help us complete Expedition #K2K, empower our new local chapters, finish our productions, and make it to the next step of our journey as we deepen our impact with dozens of incredible people in Africa and beyond.

Get Involved & Donate

Expedition #K2K is our third iteration of long-term fieldwork, and it is by far the most exciting. To learn more about CM, and to stay connected throughout the mission, please subscribe to our Newsletter below and follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube. If you would like to contribute to Expedition #K2K, please visit our Patreon page, where you can schedule monthly donations of any amount.

 

This post was written by Charles Ross for Conservation Music

About Conservation Music

Our Musical Nonprofit For Conservation

of Conservation Music

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

Conservation Music is on a mission to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, with an emphasis on rural developing communities, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts. Currently, the organization primarily collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more.

About the Editor

Alex Paullin

of Conservation Music

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Throughout his life, he aims to expand the Conservation Music movement globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.

Field Notes: Expedition #K2K – Lusaka, Zambia

Conservation Music Calls for Change in Zambia

At the start of November, Conservation Music (CM) landed in Lusaka, Zambia, to continue Expedition #K2K. On the trek over from Harare, Zimbabwe, we stopped in Kafue, a small town outside of Lusaka, to spend time at the Amos Youth Centre (AYC) for several days. We were linked here through Director Julie-Anne, whom we met while in Livingstone in August, to learn about her work and educate the students about CM’s mission. Before we left for Lusaka, we met with our good friend and talented singer, Shaps Mutambo, who would be helping us with this month’s eco-song and connecting us with local artists to work with. Together, we created an impactful and moving song that uses poignant storytelling to tackle local environmental issues such as tree cutting, charcoal burning, and water management, along with humanity’s neglect of such problems. Global Platform Zambia (GPZ), a hub for social, health, and environmentally-based organizations, also welcomed our arrival and provided us with dorms for the entire stay. Throughout the month, our plans were set to produce the new eco-song “Samalilani”, film it’s music video, and attend a local conference where Alex would present CM’s mission while networking for potential collaborations in Lusaka. Tune into more of CM’s stories and videos on National Geographic’s OpenExplorer platform. If you would like to contribute to Expedition #K2K, please visit our Patreon page, where you can schedule monthly donations of any amount.

Amos Youth Centre

Our visit to Kafue was short, but we had a memorable time thanks to our friend Julie-Anne, who runs the AYC. She invited our crew to run a miniature workshop with the students, where we showed CM videos and then created a simple eco-song. It was a delight to see their excitement and engagement, while they questioned and discovered all aspects of the CM mission. Brighton was moved to share how he is “encouraged because, on our way, most of us end up in a situation of giving up. You know, life is a journey and then we face a lot of things and there are so many challenges that we face in life. But looking at you, I was asking myself questions: How is it possible that these people, they started this. And, now you’re working and I can tell that it is not easy. That conservation to prevent climate change, that I really appreciate. I’ve learned a lot from you.” This micro-workshop was a great success and we can’t wait to hold more in schools along our journeys.

CM Connects with Local Musicians to Create Eco-song “Samalilani”

After just a few hours of meeting with Shaps Mutambo, he introduced us to music producer Mr. Champs, singer/songwriters James Sakala and Theresa N’gambi. With this group of musicians, we held our first meeting, including a proper introduction of CM and discussion on the type of song that we desired for this month. Theresa gave us a head start by presenting one of her own songs, a composition already themed around the environment. Our first meeting was extremely productive as we set a melody, rhythm, chorus and track title.

With the eco-song moving along nicely, we met with a group of young locals who had contacted CM last year with desires to start a local CM chapter. We invited them to join our second artist meeting, where they were brought up to speed on the project and shadowed the production work. A lot was learned through the immersive experience as we recorded first runs of Theresa and James’s guitar parts, while Mr. Champs composed a modern beat to match the folky, down-tempo acoustic guitars. Next, our field crew headed over to Tyme Lyne Entertainments (TLE) to begin the tracking process. Thanks to James, we connected with Nyno, the producer and sound engineer at TLE. The studio was spacious and ambient, fully decked out with vocal and drum booths. We began with Theresa on guitar and then recorded a few surprise contributions from Chanda on guitar, Elvie on bass, and Brian on drums. During the following studio sessions, we recorded the remaining parts from Theresa, James, and Shaps. Soon enough, we made our way back to Kafue to record the children at the AYC. The group sang along to the chorus to create a climatic finale filled with many local voices.

 To build out the song a bit more, we met with locally renowned artists, Maureen Lilanda and Pompi. Maureen listened in on a session and returned home to develop lyrics in her own time. Later, we met at her home and recorded her bits with our mobile studio set-up. We fleshed out the track out a bit more by recording Pompi’s additions. Luckily, GPZ provided us with a studio space, which typically is used as a radio studio. Pompi contributed a powerful call to action for humanity to take the issue of climate change seriously. As we wrapped up recording, we tracked “Samalilani” and began spreading it to the masses.

With “Samalilani” airing on ZNBC national network, Maureen Lilanda continued to spread the song’s message and CM’s mission during an interview with Zambia’s NationLifestyle newspaper. “CLIMATE change is real hence the need to promote behavioral change in terms of how we use nature and its connection to Climate change, says Zambian veteran songbird Maureen Lilanda. The music artist said she has been featured in a music video on conservation aimed at educating people on the importance of conservation of natural resources into the impact of climate change. She revealed that the concept of the song “Samalilani” was written originally by Theresa Ng’ambi with support by an organisation called Conservation Music that are on a mission to warn mankind on issues of climate change. “So they invited me to be part of the project. I’m also just featured in the song, the project is called Conservation Music.” She explained. Maureen Lupo Lilanda is a household name in Zambia. She is an afro-jazz singer and songwriter with over twenty-five years in the music industry. She has also named international recognition especially in Europe and Asia. To my fans may God bless you all with good health and long lives, so that you may continue to support me. That’s the reason I still exist. I thank them for the love they have and continue to give me. As long as they’re there, I’ll be here,” she concluded (Noel Iyombwa, NationLifestyle).

The track, entitled “Samalilani”, is the culmination of multiple award-winning Zambian artists and the Conservation Music movement, coming together for the greater good, and is a prime example of what can be accomplished when people from all over the world put their heads together to create music for change in Zambia.

CM Shoots for the “Samalilani” Music Video

While our eco-song “Samalilani” continued to make an impact in Zambia, the field crew geared up for location shooting. We connected with Mr. Chipamoonga, a local Kafue elder, who allowed CM to use his land for the first location shoot. Here, we filmed the chorus with Theresa, James, Maureen, and Shaps walking together by a beautiful stream. Mr. Chipamoonga also graced us with a poetry reading, which we laid over the intro. Soon enough, Maureen lent her voice and profound lyrics, as she sang of a past time of fellowship and regard for the earth. We continued the location shoots as Pompi jumped in on the bridge with a heightened call to action, taking to the streets and rooftops, megaphone in hand, to awaken our Zambian brothers and sisters. Then we filmed Theresa’s verse in front of a large stack of charcoal, to highlight the harmful effects of charcoal burning. The crew wrapped up the location shooting at the AYC with all of the children chanting the chorus behind Shaps. The footage that we filmed throughout this eco-production is extremely powerful, matching the energy of the song.

CM’s Final Week in Lusaka

As the crew finalized the eco-production, we attended a local conference alongside Self Help Africa, where Alex presented CM’s mission and discussed potential collaborations with several organizations in Lusaka.

Next, we headed to Kafue National Park, which was a long, beautiful drive out into the bush, far away from civilization. We stayed at McBride’s Camp and were warmly welcomed by the park owners, Charlotte and Chris. Charlotte was warm and accommodating, while Chris was witty and very knowledgeable about the local animal and plant life. Our campsite was settled on the Kafue river, which we shared with pods of hippos, crocodiles, and many species of birds. At night, we were greeted by a small, cat-like mammal known as a genet. We were informed that despite its cat-like appearance, it is actually in the mongoose family, which is noted by its long, slender frame and tail. The field crew captured amazing wildlife footage and enjoyed time spent in the park. With just a few nights left, we headed back to the town to say goodbye to all of our new friends and prepare for the next phase of Expedition #K2K.

Our plans were set to move on to Lilongwe, Malawi, and the crew is excited for what is to come. Tune into more of CM’s stories and videos on National Geographic’s OpenExplorer platform. If you would like to contribute to Expedition #K2K, please visit our Patreon page, where you can schedule monthly donations of any amount.

 

This post was written by Charles Ross for Conservation Music

About Conservation Music

Our Musical Nonprofit For Conservation

of Conservation Music

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

Conservation Music is on a mission to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, with an emphasis on rural developing communities, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts. Currently, the organization primarily collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more.

About the Editor

Alex Paullin

of Conservation Music

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Throughout his life, he aims to expand the Conservation Music movement globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.

Field Notes: Expedition #K2K – Mambanje, Zimbabwe

Conservation Music Galvanizes Mambanje, Zimbabwe to Support Conservation

In early September, Conservation Music (CM) headed to the Mambanje village of Zimbabwe for the next leg of Expedition #K2K. We were invited by the African Bush Camps Foundation (ABCF) to build awareness and conversation within the community by focusing on deforestation, poaching, and ABCF’s Mobile Cattle Boma Initiative throughout the creation of this month’s eco-educational music production, “Hayilondo Teni Nyika Yedu” meaning “Let’s Conserve Our Nature.” As the project developed, we integrated the musical talent of several local villagers and students from the primary school’s marimba band. Check out more of CM’s stories and videos on National Geographic’s OpenExplorer platform. If you would like to contribute to Expedition #K2K, please visit our Patreon page, where you can schedule monthly donations of any amount.

The immersion into the small, isolated community of Mambanje was a sure change from our previous month spent in Livingstone, Zambia. Our travels in between took us over the iconic Victoria Falls bridge, into forests of Baobabs and through the gateway town of Dete, leading us to Mambanje and the Main Camp of Hwange National Park. Without stores, petrol stations or grocers in sight, we settled into the small community of which we called home for the next month. We were housed in teachers’ cottages at the Mambanje Primary School, allowing the crew to rest off the journey and prepare for the next day’s village council meeting.

The following morning the community welcomed CM as we introduced the movement and detailed our specific plans in the village. Many intrigued musicians connected with us, stimulating the process of finding collaborators for this month’s eco-educational music production. We first linked with a local singer named Tatenda, who also goes by Tormeta. He then introduced us to his grandfather, Machaingwe, who hadn’t picked up a stringed instrument in years, yet was able to surprise the crew with his highly skilled talent once we handed him a guitar. The engagement we were seeing already was extremely positive and free-flowing, all good signs for this month’s production.

That afternoon, the village Lion Guardian Polite showed us the mobile bomas, which are movable shelter systems used to prevent cattle hunting by lions and hinder the ensuing human-wildlife conflict. The mobile bomas hide cattle from being in plain sight of predators, while also reflecting moonlight to discourage the predators’ approach. Since the animals are kept inside the bomas, their concentrated presence benefits the land by breaking up compacted soil and fertilizing it with their urine and feces while restricting grazing to one area at a time. The bomas are systematically relocated throughout the land, leaving behind fertile plots while tending to new ones. After Polite showed us the bomas, he lead us to a nearby kraal, a traditional wooden shelter system. These are unfortunately more transparent and accessible to predators. Without local grocers, the community relies heavily on their livestock and local food sources, making these shelter systems a very important life aspect. Unfortunately, cattle attacks from large predators lead to reactions of poaching, which is an issue that we are trying to highlight and further develop solutions to. Learn more about the importance and effectiveness of ABCF’s Mobile Cattle Boma Initiative.

Connecting with Mambanje’s Primary School

Before heading back to the village to write the song, we headed to Main Camp Primary School in Hwange National Park to visit the student marimba band. To our surprise, the five youths in the band had already started composing a rhythm and melody, which we used to form the skeleton of our eco-song. The Marimba band played their parts individually, allowing us to record pieces to bring back to the village to compose further. Before heading back, we gave a short presentation to explain the CM movement and the power that music has to help change the world.


Developing an Eco-educational Song with Local Musicians

Back in Mambanje, we started piecing together the song’s structure with Machaingwe on guitar and bass, then conducted a series of meetings where we further composed the lyrics with Tormeta. Local teacher Rebecca helped us with lyrical translations so that Tormeta could hit every major theme of the song, allowing him to develop very memorable and relatable lyrics. In no time, we had tracked the rhythm, lead, bass guitars, a Zim dancehall riff, and drums played by Polite’s wife Zanele. The song was naturally developing into a high-energy, locally styled composition.

As we moved into the recording phases of the production, we worked with Machaingwe on both the guitar and bass pieces. Despite his 20-year absence from stringed instruments, writing and recording with him was a breeze. Tormeta joined his efforts as they collaboratively worked out the keyboard recordings for the Zim dancehall bridge. Zim dancehall is a popular local style of music that utilizes upbeat percussive elements and synthesized leads, with heavily auto-tuned vocals. With the music flowing, it was finally time to record Tormeta’s vocals. A local family graciously shared their homestead with us, so that we could record in a quiet setting. The peaceful experience was followed up with sharing some tea and bread.

Over the next few days, we continued to meet with other community members, who contributed backing vocals to the track. A few students added vocals for the chorus and an exciting dance performance, which we filmed for the music video. We prepared for the next coming days, which were set to be full of location video shoots throughout the village and surrounding areas.

Filming Location Shoots to Highlight Local Environmental Issues & Solutions

We kicked off the location shoots with Tormeta by heading to a nearby dried river bed within a heavily deforested area. We continued to film Tormeta’s parts in front of a few riverside gardens, which we included to highlight the illegal practice and how it leads to soil erosion. As we moved along, we captured more shots in the nearby mobile bomas. A few exciting final additions to the video were filmed during our visit to Hwange National Park, where we were able to shoot amazing footage of elephants, giraffes, baboons, kudu, wildebeests, and lions. Our focus for the day was on obtaining footage of lions, which we were graced with towards the end of our time in the park. On the way out we came across a pride of about fourteen lions lounging in the middle of the road. This wildlife footage is an essential aspect to our music video as key points in the lyrics pertain to pressing human-wildlife issues. We ended the location shoots on a high note and headed back to the village to wrap up our project so that we could screen it to the community prior to leaving.

Community Screening & Educational Discussions

With the song and video finalized, we held a community event consisting of several live performances of the song, integrated community discussions on the topics, and a debut screening of the music video. The crowd continued to expand throughout the night, as the music lured in members of the community and created a platform for conversation on conservation, health, and other sustainable development priorities. We were extremely pleased with the turnout and interaction from the villagers as they asked questions, learned, danced, and sang along.

Instead of leaving on the scheduled departure, we surprised the community by staying for an additional day. This impulsive decision led to a few amazing developments, as we recorded several more musical contributions from community drummers and a mbira player. Our additional time in the village also granted incredibly empowering interviews with Polite, Machaingwe, and Tormeta. The month spent in this village, and amongst these beautiful people, was a success as we brought together people from all over the world to learn, discuss, and take action on our shared environmental problems.

After our extended stay, we departed from the village and headed to the city of Maun in Botswana to visit with old friends and take part in the Okavango Delta Music Festival. Our time in Maun is set to be a week long, before heading off to start leg eight of Expedition #K2K in Harare, Zimbabwe with the one and only Oliver Mtukudzi.

Get Involved & Donate

Expedition #K2K is our third iteration of long-term fieldwork, and it is by far the most exciting. To learn more about CM, and to stay connected throughout the mission, please subscribe to our Newsletter below, check out our blog on National Geographic, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. For live updates from the field, be sure to check out our page on National Geographic’s newest digital journalism platform, OpenExplorer. If you would like to contribute to Expedition #K2K, please visit our Patreon page, where you can schedule monthly donations of any amount.

 

This post was written by Charles Ross for Conservation Music.

About Conservation Music

Our Musical Nonprofit For Conservation

of Conservation Music

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

Conservation Music is on a mission to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, with an emphasis on rural developing communities, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts. Currently, the organization primarily collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more.

About the Editor

Alex Paullin

of Conservation Music

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Throughout his life, he aims to expand the Conservation Music movement globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.

 

Field Notes: Expediton #K2K – Okavango Delta, Botswana

CM Highlights Transboundary Water Issues in the Okavango

Following a thriving month in Pretoria, South Africa, Conservation Music (CM) headed to Botswana to combat transboundary water issues in the Okavango Delta for Expedition #K2K. We gathered artists from Gaborone and then headed to Maun, where we set off in mekoro (traditional canoes) for a four day wilderness expedition. This deep immersion into the local environment and culture made for a great month of eco-production and education. Take a look at Episode 9 of CM’s Webseries: On The Beating Path, which shares highlights from our field work, allowing you to trek with us throughout the entire experience! Check out more of CM’s stories and videos on National Geographic’s OpenExplorer platform. If you would like to contribute to Expedition #K2K, please visit our Patreon page, where you can schedule monthly donations of any amount.

Redefining Music as an Educational Tool with Local Artists

In Gaborone, we linked up with our new friend Stan who hosted us for the first week. He commonly hosts backpackers and travelers alike, yet his hospitality served great purpose for CM, as it allowed us to ground into the community and establish a core group of local musicians for the eco-song collaboration. First, we met with Tomeletso Sereetsi, a big name in the local scene who revolutionized the four-string sound by incorporating unique jazz chords. Then Tom recommended Gaone Rantlhoiwa, a local female singer with an unbelievable voice and wide array of styles. With our two main artists on board, we moved smoothly into the composition phase. The production crew sounded the melodies and rhythms, while Tom and Gaone wrote the lyrics. Inspired by the Okavango Delta’s transboundary water issues, the lyrics naturally called to bordering countries to preserve the delta’s diverse presence of life.

“I believe music is a really powerful tool. It’s the one thing I know that really unites people. It makes it easier for people to be receptive to messages because we all don’t like great talkers, so people talk all the time but people don’t listen… With music it’s really great because people are bound to listen and bound to enjoy the message. So it’s a tool that really should be used for community mobilization and community education. I think we should be doing more and more of that; using the power of the arts to bring people around issues and talk about them. I’ve seen this happen even in my own music…people are more likely to discuss issues that are taboo when the issues are in a song. It can be a beautiful ice-breaker! Artists have this artistic license and they can say stuff that most people don’t usually say and listeners can then talk about it because it is in the context of a song. They don’t realize they are talking about issues, they think they are just discussing a song. So I think music is a really powerful vehicle that we should be using more than we are actually doing right now.” ~Tomeletso Sereetsi | Gaborone, Botswana

As we moved forward into tracking, Tom linked us with Leroy Nyoni, an amazing sound engineer at Village Sound Studios. Leroy not only helped us with recording the song, but also added a back beat with incredible drumming. Field crew members Jake Taylor and Chris Volosevich, rounded it out with a few of their own bass and electric guitar phases. As the crew finalized tracking, CM Founder Alex Paullin flew to Canada to participate in a Summit Series entitled “Cultivating the Globally Sustainable Self” for a few days, where he discussed environmental sustainability with academics and practitioners from around the world.

With Alex back in the field, and production progressing, we geared up for the ten hour drive north to Maun, a city just outside the Okavango Delta. Upon arrival we settled into the Old Bridge Backpackers lodging, where we met with Matthew Merritt, CM’s Outreach Manager from the United States. Matthew spent two years in Lesotho with the Peace Corps, and now recruits for the Peace Corps, while volunteering for CM by inspiring stakeholders, sponsors, and partners to join the movement. Integrated into his six week backpacking trip through Southern Africa, Matt hopped aboard CM’s field crew for a few weeks to help with this month’s project. His experience in the field greatly benefited CM, and is one that he will carry back to the states. Connect with us to learn how to become a remote volunteer for CM.

Poling Into the Delta’s Wilderness

Early the following morning, we loaded into safari vehicles, linked with our guides, and headed towards the delta for four days of video shooting, cultural exchange, and nature immersion. After a two hour drive, we arrived at the launch station and transferred into mekoro, which are traditional canoes that we used to travel to each campsite. With production gear, instruments, an off-grid solar studio, volunteers, and artists in tow, we loaded seven mekoro and set off for our journey. As we weaved through the narrow waterways, we encountered herds of elephants, hippos, giraffes, zebras, hornbills and many other bird species. After long days of poling deep into the bush, we set up camp, recorded delta-inspired vocals, and filmed location shoots for the music video. At night we filmed more vocals by the fire, which was intentionally built large to keep the animals away as we slept. We shared delicious food, stories, and various improv jam sessions with the guitar, ukulele, and djembe. Tom and Gaone even had the chance to debut their song in Setswana, a Bantu language closely related to Sesotho, to an audience of local guides who then provided feedback and stimulated further discussions on the future of the delta waterways. It is such a reward when the educational ability of music can be seen first hand.

Field Recap from Matthew Merritt:

“The conversations held around the fire following the song were groundbreaking. It was then that we discovered that while the guides and polers had spent their whole lives on the delta, they were unaware that the water originated in Angola. It wasn’t until they heard the song that they asked questions about where the water came from and what was happening to cause the waters to lower. This was the reason we were here; to bring environmental education to rural communities in need. It was iconic and something I will never forget.”

With each rising sun, we set out by foot on guided safaris to explore the area and seek out wildlife. We encountered mixed herds of giraffes, zebras, antelope, ostriches, and elephants. The elephants made for the most memorable experiences as we witnessed a herd of over fifty travelling together, as well as unknowingly trekking into the wrong territory and getting false charged by one from the side. Luckily, everyone walked away safely with a humbling reminder of nature’s power. We followed up with supplementary filming, including shots for Gaone’s location shoot and a few ad-libs from Tom. On the last day we set out for one last shoot to wrap up filming before heading back to Maun.

CM’s Lesotho Chapter Lands a Grant

Earlier this year, our first local chapter Conservation Music Lesotho was built by local volunteers. Led by four women, the chapter landed its first grant this month, which will directly support local screenings of CM content to further educate students and rural citizens around the country. This is a landmark achievement for both the local chapter and the CM movement at large. Each step further proves that our scalable vision for a global network of self-sustaining chapters and implemented partners is viable. We are very proud of our local chapter and excited to see what the future holds!

Spreading Awareness

We landed back at the Old Bridge Backpackers lodging and connected with our good friends Helene Forward and Stiger Sola Molefi. Helene is a multi-talented artist, who also owns the Old Bridge Backpackers. Stiger has been performing in and around Botswana for decades and it’s always an honor to spend time with him. Together, we composed and recorded the song’s finishing touches, as Helene added flute and fiddle and Stiger closed out the track with his four-string guitar. With the month coming to a close, Helene allowed us to perform at the Old Bridge Backpackers, where we were able to share our message and collect some gas money for the road to Zambia. The performance was a beautiful memory to end on as we jammed with Helene and other new friends beneath a fig tree on the Thamalakane River. This month was packed with fulfilling work, intense wilderness expeditions, and countless memories. After we said our goodbyes, we hit the road for Livingstone, Zambia, where we were set to take on leg six of Expedition #K2K. Stay tuned for more stories!

Expedition #K2K is our third iteration of long-term field work, and it is by far the most exciting. To learn more about CM, and to stay connected throughout the mission, please subscribe to our Newsletter below, check out our blog on National Geographic, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. For live updates from the field, be sure to check out our page on National Geographic’s newest digital journalism platform, OpenExplorer. If you would like to contribute to Expedition #K2K, please visit our Patreon page, where you can schedule monthly donations of any amount.

This post was written by Charles Ross for Conservation Music.

About Conservation Music

Our Musical Nonprofit For Conservation

of Conservation Music

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

Conservation Music is on a mission to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, with an emphasis on rural developing communities, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts. Currently, the organization primarily collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more.

About the Editor

Alex Paullin

of Conservation Music

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Throughout his life he aims to expand the Conservation Music movement globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.

Conservation Music’s 2018 Mid-Year Review

Welcome to our 2018 Mid-Year Review!

As a global community, it is our responsibility to take care of one another and the planet that we all inhabit together. Over the past six months at Conservation Music (CM), we have continued to empower music as a tool to spread this message across the globe and radiate a sustainable beat from the motherland, Africa. Join us on Expedition #K2K, as we trek from Cape Town, South Africa to Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, to create thirteen globally-inspiring eco-songs and music videos with local artists in local languages.

Expedition #K2K is our third iteration of long-term field work, and it is by far the most exciting. To learn more about CM, and to stay connected throughout the mission, please check out our blog on National Geographic, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. For live updates from the field, be sure to check out our page on National Geographic’s newest digital journaling platform, OpenExplorer. If you would like to contribute to Expedition #K2K, please visit our Patreon page, where you can schedule monthly donations of any amount.

Expedition #K2K

Year after year, as we trek through Southern Africa’s environmentally threatened areas, our voice grows louder and our mission spreads further. Messages of climate change, land management, water scarcity, and tree planting spread from the hearts of local artists and NGO’s. Here are a few of our latest stories and eco-productions from 2018:

Cape Town, South Africa

In late February, we finalized administrative work in the United States and then flew to Cape Town, South Africa to kick off leg one of Expedition #K2K. Our first project aimed to raise awareness on Cape Town’s water crisis, an issue rapidly heading towards #DayZero. Learn more about the issue by heading to the Day Zero Dashboard. Throughout the production, we worked closely with local artists to record eco-song and music video, “Day Zero.” Our new friend and owner of Africa Sun Studios, Philip Pells, graciously shared his home, studio, and sound engineering expertise for the production of the track. Tune into Episode 5 of CM’s Webseries: On The Beating Path, as we recap on March and take you through the drying Theewaterskloof Dam, a hopeful Philippi Township, and the rebounding Platbos Indigenous Forest. (Read More on Leg 1)

CM’s eco-production, “Day Zero,” featuring Jack Mantis Band, Gershan Lombard: KhoisanBoy.Man, and Chuma Preshy Mgcoyii, was recorded this past March to raise awareness on Cape Town’s water crisis. After three years of catastrophic drought conditions, Cape Town was hit by intense flash floods. As the conditions continued to get worse, Mmusi Maimane, of the Democratic Alliance political party, announced that #DayZero would be pushed past the end of 2018. Their plan is to desalinate ocean water, a practice which can cause significant environmental damage. CM encourages decentralized grassroots solutions to these issues. As Cape Town’s population continues to grow, the people will need to continue their grassroots action to ensure a better future.

Tlokoeng, Lesotho

In early April, CM kicked off leg two of Expedition #K2K with a 12-hour drive from Cape Town, South Africa to Maseru, Lesotho. A few weeks prior to our arrival, Lesotho’s climate swung from harsh droughts to historic rain and hail storms, highlighting exactly why we are here. Our focus for the month resided in the rural village of Tlokoeng, where our music theme was set to raise awareness on “Rural Water Challenges,” a project in partnership with Conservation Music Lesotho and Professor Tsepo Mokuku from the National University of Lesotho (NUL). The second leg concluded in the village, with a community screening of the eco-production and a brief impact evaluation to compare to the pre-evaluations taken earlier in the month. Our final days were filled with unity, as we all gathered to celebrate a successful song and music video, one that the Tlokoeng community can be proud to share with generations to come. Take a visual leap into CM’s fieldwork by checking out Episode 6 of CM’s Webseries: On The Beating Path. (Read More on Leg 2)

CM’s eco-production, “Metsi A Rona” (“Our Water”), featuring members of the Tlokoeng village community in northern Lesotho, was produced to share true stories of Tlokoeng’s deep history of droughts and harsh storms. We were assisted by Conservation Music Lesotho, Professor Tsepo Mokuku from the NUL, and several local artists. In this production, people living in Tlokoeng tell their own stories in their own way, using Famo music to highlight their rural water challenges. The music video was shot atop a nearby mountain, once home to the Batlokoa people who lived inside its giant caves. We wrapped up the shoot in the valley below, surrounded by sorghum, maize, rivers, and dongas. We are so grateful to have spent such quality time in Tlokoeng, and are eager to return and continue our collaboration with the community!

Pretoria, South Africa

For the month of June, CM headed to Pretoria, South Africa, to complete Leg 4 of Expedition #K2K. Through the month, we worked with Greenpeace Africa and Projekt 23 – Greening Our Communities to spread environmental awareness throughout the cities, create eco-music, and educate the younger generations to build brighter future. In recent years, the water infrastructure in Pretoria has aged to the point of irreversible leakages and contamination. With growing stresses from population increases and mining activities, this issue has become more urgent than ever and poses a massive threat to the future of the northern communities of South Africa. Assisted by a wide-range of talented artists, we created the eco-song, “Protect Our Water,” to inspire action regarding socio-political disputes about the distribution and protection of dwindling clean water resources. Take a visual dive into our fieldwork by watching Episode 8 of CM’s Webseries: On The Beating Path. (Read More on Leg 4)


CM’s latest eco-production, “Protect Our Water,” features the students of Tlakukani Primary School, Xolani “Haikuu” Mhlanga, Thabiso Thabethe, Tribute “Birdie” Mboweni, accompanied by instrumentalists Albert Craftsman, Taelo Mpatsi, Gally Ngoveni, and Thulani Sithela. The track was recorded at Haikuu’s house in Pretoria, South Africa, and the Oakfields College Lynnwood Campus Studio. The music video was shot on location at Haikuu’s house, Slovo Village, the #DefendWater Greenpeace Africa mural in downtown Johannesburg, and Pretoria National Botanical Gardens. This song was produced to inspire action regarding issues surrounding clean water resources. In recent years, the water infrastructure in Pretoria has aged to the point of irreversible leakages and contamination. This is alarming, considering billions of Rand are required in order to curtail this crisis. The population in the Gauteng region is growing by the thousands each month, adding further stress to the infrastructure. Additionally, according to Greenpeace Africa, the major South African mining companies aim to utilize more of the already decreasing water supply for their new mining initiatives. The need to address this issue has become more urgent than ever and poses a massive threat to the future of the northern communities of South Africa. In this production, the artists from Pretoria share stories and warnings of the inescapable water crisis to come and urge listeners to increase and sustain their awareness, so as to prevent their beautiful landscape from becoming more desolate and arid.

Next Phase

As we moved into the second quarter of 2018, the team wrapped up a strong leg five in Botswana, and heads to Zambia to begin leg six. For the month of July in Botswana, we worked with Tomeletso Sereetsi, a big name in the local scene, and Gaone Ranthloiwa, a local female singer with an unbelievable voice and wide-range of skill. Together, our goal is to build awareness around trans-boundary water issues in the Okavango Delta, by calling upon Botswana and its neighboring countries to come together to preserve the delta. With music and environmental projects on our minds, we had to remain aware for the large wildlife that live about the locations we camped and recorded footage in. Stay tuned to hear more about our eco-music production, work within the communities, and close experiences with elephants and hippos!

Get Involved & Donate

Expedition #K2K is our third iteration of long-term field work, and it is by far the most exciting. To learn more about CM, and to stay connected throughout the mission, please subscribe to our Newsletter below, check out our blog on National Geographic, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. For live updates from the field, be sure to check out our page on National Geographic’s newest digital journaling platform, OpenExplorer. If you would like to contribute to Expedition #K2K, please visit our Patreon page, where you can schedule monthly donations of any amount.

This post was written by Charles Ross for Conservation Music.

About Conservation Music

Our Musical Nonprofit For Conservation

of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

Conservation Music is on a mission to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, with an emphasis on rural developing communities, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts. Currently, the organization primarily collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more.

About the Editor

Alex Paullin

of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Throughout his life he aims to expand the Conservation Music movement globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.

 

Field Notes: Expedition #K2K – Pretoria, South Africa

Exploring Climate Issues in Pretoria

For the month of June, Conservation Music (CM) headed to Pretoria, South Africa to complete Leg 4 of Expedition #K2K. Through the month, we worked with Greenpeace Africa and Projekt 23 – Greening Our Communities to spread environmental awareness throughout the cities, create eco-music, and educate the younger generations to build a brighter future. In recent years, the water infrastructure in Pretoria has aged to the point of irreversible leakages and contamination. With growing stresses from population increases and mining activities, this issue has become more urgent than ever and poses a massive threat to the future of the northern communities of South Africa. Assisted by a wide-range of talented artists, we created the eco-song, “Protect Our Water,” to inspire action regarding socio-political disputes about the distribution and protection of dwindling clean water resources. Take a visual dive into our fieldwork by watching Episode 8 of CM’s Webseries: On The Beating Path.


For this leg of Expedition #K2K, we moved into the headquarters of X Factor Crafts and Nosh Food Rescue, owned by our friend Hanneke. This brilliant conservationist and homesteader invites backpackers from all over the world to her house, where her lush gardens provide for homemade teas, oils, kombuchas, and tinctures. We couldn’t be happier with our accomodations for the Pretoria leg of the journey! Check out more of CM’s stories and videos on National Geographic’s OpenExplorer platform.

CM’s Crew Brings Life to a New Collaboration

To gain clarity for this month’s eco-song collaboration, we headed to a nearby park to meet with longtime friend, conservationist, talented singer, and Founder of Projekt 23, Tribute “Birdie” Mboweni, and her music director, Thulani ST Sithela. Together, we envisioned the song’s composition and then split ways, so that we could trek to Winterveld to meet our longtime friend Thabiso Thabethe and invite him to join the song. With need for one more vocalist to join the trio, Thabiso linked us to Xolani “Haikuu” Petrus Mhlanga, a multi-instrumentalist, rapper, filmmaker, and producer, who also graciously allowed the collective to use his garage as a session space in Waterkloof.

On June 6th, World Environment Day, we met with Greenpeace Africa and Projekt 23 – Greening Our Communities at the Tlakukani Primary School in Mamelodi, for an educational workshop on the importance of water conservation. The day began with eco-education games, followed by a lesson in defending water by Greenpeace Africa. Conservation Music rounded out the day by allowing the students to write and record their own part for this month’s eco-song collaboration. Birdie guided the students through their part, leading to the creation of a beautiful chorus.

Our next session was at Haikuu’s place, where we could feel the momentum of the project building as we gathered musicians to write and compose the instrumentals for the track. Thabiso and CM Founder, Alex Paullin, exchanged ideas and riffs, as keys player Taelo Mpatsi laid down accompanying melodies to further flesh out the tune. Haikuu was also incredibly excited to add a rap verse and lead guitar melodies to the eco-song. For two weeks, we spent time at Haikuu’s studio, rehearsing and recording the majority of the track. Thabiso and Haikuu helped us integrate essential guitar strains, while bassist Gally Ngoveni laid out the low end. We met Gally earlier this year at MTN Bushfire, and are grateful to reconnect, as well as add his talented touch to the song. Next, we headed to Oakfields College Lynnwood Campus Studio, where we recorded Thulane ripping through drum takes, and even providing some backing harmonies.

Alex Paullin Takes CM to Germany for Refugium

As we continued to work on the eco-song, Alex geared up for a symposium at Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in Germany. There he would offer a series of lectures and workshops, while producing a new #CrowdStudio track with a group of refugees and music students for the yearly Refugium Music and Arts Festival. Prior to Alex’s departure, we welcomed in Jake Taylor, CM volunteer and multi-instrumentalist, for the next two months of the expedition. Jake’s presence set an amazingly new dynamic and level of production to the group. With an expanded crew, we headed to a local cafe to watch Gershan Lombard: KhoisanBoy.Man, an artist featured in our “Day Zero” song, perform before he set off for a tour around Europe.

CM Location Shooting for “Protect Our Water”

After Alex returned from a successful trip to Germany, we wrapped up tracking and began shooting for the production’s music video. We started with Thabiso’s part at a dried out river in the Slovo Village of Winterveld. This location exceeded our expectations and we are eager to show you more from this golden hour.

For the second location shoot, the collective ventured into the city of Johannesburg to film Haikuu’s rap verse. The set lies in front of a Greenpeace Africa #DefendWater mural, which was painted to raise awareness about water as a human right. The backdrop set a heavy tone for this production and highlights the severity of South Africa’s water issues.

For the third and final shooting location, we headed to Pretoria National Botanical Garden with Birdie, who put on a moving performance for the video. The serenity of the botanical gardens, coupled with Birdie’s colorful outfit, made for some unforgettable footage that will bring this production to the next level.

Wrapping Up the Production

Our final recording session for “Protect Our Water” was with our good friend Albert Craftsman, who blessed us with congas, djembe, udu, and rainstick from his percussion arsenal. His additions brought motion and cohesion to the song and rounded it out so that we can enter the final mixing and mastering stages.

Before trekking onto our next project, Haikuu graced us with a rap verse for the expedition’s #CrowdStudio track, which will continue to grow over the remainder of the expedition. We also want to give thanks to Mount Skylight, a crew that is creating a short film and donating 5% of the proceeds to Conservation Music. Check out the teaser! With production from leg 4 behind us, we wrapped up post-production on both songs and videos from Pretoria and Eichstatt, and then set out to Botswana for leg 5 of the expedition to create a song pertaining to transboundary water issues. We hope you stay tuned for future updates on Expedition #K2K.

Expedition #K2K is our third iteration of long-term field work, and it is by far the most exciting. To learn more about CM, and to stay connected throughout the mission, please subscribe to our Newsletter below, check out our blog on National Geographic, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. For live updates from the field, be sure to check out our page on National Geographic’s newest digital journaling platform, OpenExplorer. If you would like to contribute to Expedition #K2K, please visit our Patreon page, where you can schedule monthly donations of any amount.

This post was written by Charles Ross for Conservation Music.

About Conservation Music

Our Musical Nonprofit For Conservation

of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

Conservation Music is on a mission to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, with an emphasis on rural developing communities, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts. Currently, the organization primarily collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more.

About the Editor

Alex Paullin

of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Throughout his life he aims to expand the Conservation Music movement globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.

 

Field Notes: Expedition #K2K – Tlokoeng, Lesotho

Exploring Climate Issues in Lesotho

Conservation Music (CM) kicked off leg two of Expedition #K2K with a 12-hour drive from Cape Town, South Africa to Maseru, Lesotho. A few weeks prior to our arrival, Lesotho’s climate swung from harsh droughts to historic rain and hail storms, highlighting exactly why we are here. Our focus for the month resided in the rural village of Tlokoeng, where our music theme was set to raise awareness on “Rural Water Challenges,” a project in partnership with Conservation Music Lesotho and Professor Tsepo Mokuku from the National University of Lesotho (NUL). Take a visual leap into CM’s fieldwork by checking out our Web series video below.

Upon arriving to Tlokoeng, we began our mission with a quest for musicians to assist in the creation of our eco-song, Metsi A Rona (Our Water). The search naturally led us to the home of Ntate Motolinyane, the principle mamokhorong player in the village. We later learned that he is also the man in charge of maintaining the water pumps that supply the community taps.

“I’ve noticed a change in the rain, the patterns of the rain. While I was still young, rain was always there but it was never a type of rain that would bring floods. Everything was there, the land was green, there was a lot of maize. Rain was always coming, but nowadays what we get is no rain at all but when it comes, it comes with a heavy pour and it messes things up.“ ~Motolinyane | Tlokoeng, Lesotho

We ventured on to the closest mountain, a common place for local artists to convene around sunset. As we approached, local eyes raised and revealed a familiar musical nature. It’s incredible how musicians from any combination of cultures can somehow identify one another through a common wavelength. Our group of artists continued to expand and range from experienced elders to younger vocalists, all eager to be a part of a movement bigger than themselves. This amalgam of the old and the new is exactly the kind of collaborative effort we strive to capture.

The crew continued to ignite conversation regarding the effect that climate change has had on the locals and their village, and how we can work together to better the issues at hand. An initial focus group discussion allowed us to better understand the existing local knowledge of water conservation, and to make note of true stories relating to drought and harsh storms in the village. Together, we identified four key points to be depicted through the storytelling of the verses, while the chorus reinforced the general message. We finalized the verses together with the vocalists and then began rehearsals. Meanwhile, we sat down with locals Limakatso, Motolinyane, and Mokotjo Marake, as well as our own local team member, Rebel Sol, for some brief documentary interviews. Check out more of CM’s stories and videos on National Geographic’s OpenExplorer platform.

CM’s Diverse Crew Sings Loudly

As the songs composition solidified, we headed into week two and began recording in the nearby thatched-roof rondavel. The track developed further with a variety of vocals, the mamokhorong, moropa drum, guitar, bass, jaw harp, tsoelia whistling, and ululations. Woven between the core song and video production were interviews and testimonials with both artists and locals of the village. They weighed in on not only music’s role as an activator for change, but each individual’s role in the community, and the world at large.

With a diverse and unique track recorded, we trekked deeper into the mountains to begin filming for the song’s video. Up the steep slopes, we found giant caves that once served as homes for the Batlokoa people, and later King Moshoeshoe. Currently, these caves are essential for balisana (shepherds) to use as kraals (corrals) to keep their animals from overgrazing the lands. From the caverns to the mountain’s ridgeline, the immersion into this cultural and historical space was a surreal experience and a perfect shooting location to display visuals coherent with our song’s message. The following day we spent time in the valley surrounded by sorghum, maize, rivers, and dongas to wrap up the shoot. With remote shooting locations such as these, it’s important that we have a proper sound system to play back recordings to ensure proper vocal dubbing while editing. We are not only grateful for the help from our volunteers, but also to DreamWave South Africa for supplying us with their Elemental Bluetooth speaker, which has 30 watts of power to maximize our sessions no matter where we are. This tool benefits the mission daily and allows us to continue spreading environmental knowledge through our eco-song and music video creations.

Tlokoeng Gathers for a Community Screening of Metsi A Rona

The second leg of Expedition #K2K concluded in Tlokoeng with a brief impact evaluation and a community screening of their very own music video. Following the screening, we conducted a series of surveys to compare against the preliminary results, which will allow our team to evaluate the production’s educational impact amongst the villagers. Our final days were filled with unity as we all gathered to celebrate a successful song and music video, one that the Tlokoeng community can be proud to share with generations to come. We are so grateful to have spent such quality time in Tlokoeng, and are eager to return as soon as possible to continue our collaboration with the community! Next stop, eSwatini.

Expedition #K2K is our third iteration of long-term field work, and it is by far the most exciting. To learn more about CM, and to stay connected throughout the mission, please subscribe to our Newsletter below, check out our blog on National Geographic, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. For live updates from the field, be sure to check out our page on National Geographic’s newest digital journaling platform, OpenExplorer. If you would like to contribute to Expedition #K2K, please visit our Patreon page, where you can schedule monthly donations of any amount.

This post was written by Charles Ross for Conservation Music.

About Conservation Music

Our Musical Nonprofit For Conservation

of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

Conservation Music is on a mission to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, with an emphasis on rural developing communities, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts. Currently, the organization primarily collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more.

About the Editor

Alex Paullin

of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Throughout his life he aims to expand the Conservation Music movement globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.

 

Field Notes: Expedition #K2K – Cape Town, South Africa

Preparing for the Expedition

A week prior to March, Alex Paullin, our Founder at Conservation Music (CM), landed in Africa to lay groundwork and prepare for Expedition #K2K, a 13-month sea-to-summit caravan from Cape Town’s drying coast to Tanzania’s melting glacier. Throughout the expedition, our plans are to develop thirteen new globally inspiring educational songs and videos in local languages, amplify the voices of local eco-nonprofits and relevant organizations, offer global exposure to local eco-artists, while following up on past CM projects and scouting for future ones. We believe strongly in our work, knowing that it speaks loudly within the global conversation of our suffering planet.

With the expedition launch date looming, Alex booked it from the International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, over to Lobamba, Swaziland, to pick up our Nissan X-trail. After several days of setting preparations for our Swazi-based project this upcoming May, Alex headed over to Lesotho for a few meetings, and then further south to Cape Town’s International Airport to meet up with incoming field crew members, Chris Velosovich and Bryan Murphy. Alex enjoyed the last hours of his solo journey by visiting the Valley of Desolation and connecting with Giant Flag, a carbon sequestering project in Graaff Reinet, South Africa. Take an inside look into Alex’s preparations and pit stops by checking out these YouTube videos filmed throughout his travels from Swaziland to Lesotho, Lesotho to Graaf Reinet, and Graaff Reinet to Cape Town.

Leg 1 of Expedition #K2K is Underway!

Watch CM’s Production Crew pack for the 13-month expedition!

On February 28th, the rest of us joined Alex in Cape Town, South Africa, lugging along the production and field gear needed for thirteen months of producing sound and video content along Africa’s weathered coast. Check out this behind the scenes YouTube video from CM’s Visual Production Manager, Bryan Murphy, to see how the production crew packed for this grand expedition.

When we headed to claim our luggage, all of our gear was searched and possessed by airport customs. Without a resolution at hand, we decided to get to work by collaborating with Jack Mantis Band and Gershan Lombard: KhoisanBoy.Man on CM’s first #K2K project, an eco-song and music video regarding climate change, water scarcity, and unity. The focus of this production stems from the pressing issue of Cape Town’s water crisis, which is rapidly heading towards #DayZero. Learn more about #DayZero on Cape Town’s Day Zero Dashboard.

Throughout our time in Cape Town, we were set to work closely with Gershan, Jack, and Jack’s friend Philip Pells, as they graciously shared their home and studio spaces with us. As owner of Africa Sun Studios, Phil not only shared his space with us, but also contributed top-notch sound engineering skills and bass playing to the track. After rehearsing and working out the kinks, we brought on Chuma Preshy Mgcoyi, a Xhosa singer, to add beautiful vocals in her native tongue. Together, we meticulously crafted and recorded beautiful content for the #DayZero eco-production.

Despite focusing heavily on the #DayZero eco-production, we pressed forward on other media projects, including content for our field updates on National Geographic’s OpenExplorer platform and amazing footage for CM’s fifth WebSeries episode, our first of Expedition #K2K. As we wrapped up our first week in Cape Town, we found it necessary to travel to a local freshwater spring to replenish drinking water for our household. With a daily limit of 25-litres, each of us carried five 5-litre bottles to fill. We were shocked to learn that the spring drains directly into the ocean, wasting millions of gallons of potable water each day. This is exactly what we are on the lookout for, and unfortunately these environmental impacts aren’t hard to spot. With the eco-production flowing nicely, we headed over to Elandsbaai, a secluded surf spot, for two nights of camping and hanging with friends. As the track continued to expand, we brought in Paulo Costa on clarinet, Rob Coutts on sax, and Buck Roger on violin.

The Field Crew Sets Out to Film a Music Video for CM’s #DayZero eco-Production

Check out CM’s aerial footage of Theewaterskloof Dam!

Following the short break, we grooved back into the workflow by tracking the eco-song and venturing to several impacted locations to shoot the music video with Jack, Gershan, and Chuma. Our first shoot took place at Theewaterskloof Dam, a once thriving source of water and destination for boating and fishing. Now, most of the area is completely dry, revealing remains of dead fish, capsized yachts, desolate vineyards, and collapsed villages. Check out the aerial footage that we recorded while flying our drone throughout the barren lands. Theewaterskloof is an unfortunate example of how extreme Cape Town’s water crisis is, making it a perfect location to film. With most of our camera gear still held up at customs, we weren’t certain how we would complete the video. We ended up crossing paths with a fellow American from Philadelphia, Luke, who is a young filmmaker also documenting the water crisis. He decided to spend time with us and help out with the shoot. The odds of that happening blew us all away, and we could not be more grateful for the turn of events.

After a day and a half of shooting at Theewaterskloof, we ventured to Philippi Township, an extremely low-income area that is home to many people and programs with hope for the future. The Philippi Dance crew is a great example, as their team of young dancers, led by our friends Cosmos and Suzie, lend a traditional Xhosa Rain dance as footage for our #DayZero music video. It was inspiring to film these optimistic young teens, and we are excited to include them in our eco-production.

On March 22nd, we performed an acoustic rendition of the song at Café Roux in Noordhoek during Jack’s solo show, including other brilliant guest musicians throughout the night. The evening was a tremendous success for CM, as we made many new connections and friends, including Lorraine, an Afrikaans artist and model. We invited her back to the studio so that she could face paint Jack, Gershan, Chuma, which we ended up filming in an incredible time lapse video.

To wrap up location shooting for the #DayZero music video, we joined our friends at GreenPop in the Platbos Forest Reserve for their Reforest Fest. Over the course of two consecutive weekends, volunteers planted over 8,000 trees, soaked in environmental education, and intensified their connection with the planet.

CM Wraps Up Projects in Cape Town and Prepares for Leg 2 of Expedition #K2K

With the doors closing on March, we remained gearless and unsure of how we could move forward with the expedition. Luckily, Phil made a few phone calls, and successfully retrieved all of our gear from customs. Aside from owning the studio, Phil also works at a music equipment warehouse and importer company, called Paul Bothner, where he was able to sponsor us amazing new gear, including microphones, Bluetooth speakers, and various cables. With our gear finally in hand, along with some new additions, we extended our gratitude and respect to the Cape Town crew, and then headed out for the second leg of the expedition to Lesotho.

As we begin our next project in Maseru, Lesotho, we are excited to share the full Webseries On The Beating Path… Episode 5: #K2K Leg 1 of 13 – Cape Town, which recaps on all the work we completed last month. Throughout each phase of the expedition, we will continue sharing content illustrating our travels, the people we work with, the process behind each eco-production, and a feature song and music video from each location. Stay tuned for the debut of our #DayZero production, due for release in early April, we think you’re going to love it.

Expedition #K2K is our third iteration of long-term field work, and it is by far the most exciting. To learn more about CM, and to stay connected throughout the mission, please subscribe to our Newsletter below, check out our blog on National Geographic, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. For live updates from the field, be sure to check out our page on National Geographic’s newest digital journaling platform, OpenExplorer. If you would like to contribute to Expedition #K2K, please visit our Patreon page, where you can schedule monthly donations of any amount.

This post was written by Charles Ross for Conservation Music.

 

About Conservation Music

Our Musical Nonprofit For Conservation

of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

Conservation Music is on a mission to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, with an emphasis on rural developing communities, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts. Currently, the organization primarily collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more.

About the Editor

Alex Paullin

of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Throughout his life he aims to expand the Conservation Music movement globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.

Conservation Music’s Expedition #K2K

A NOTE FROM THE FOUNDER:

“2017 WAS A LANDMARK YEAR FOR CONSERVATION MUSIC. SINCE I BEGAN THIS JOURNEY IN 2015 WITH A GUITAR, A CAMERA, A MIC AND A MOTORBIKE, WE HAVE EXPANDED TO A SMALL BUT GROWING FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH, SPREADING KNOWLEDGE AND MOBILIZING MUSIC CREATORS AND LOVERS ALL OVER THE WORLD! IT’S BEEN A GREAT TWO MONTHS BACK HOME, AND I CAN’T WAIT TO GET BACK TO THE FIELD FOR WHAT IS SURE TO BE A POWERFUL AND IMPACTFUL YEAR OF STRONG COLLABORATIONS. 2018 IS OUR YEAR TO SHINE, AND IN THIS TIME OF GLOBAL CRISIS IT’S IMPERATIVE THAT WE DO SO. I’LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD. LET’S DO THIS!”

 

ALEX PAULLIN
FOUNDER/CEO
CONSERVATION MUSIC, 501(C)3 NONPROFIT

Kaapstad (Cape Town) to Kilimanjaro

After a couple of months in the United States, the CM Field Crew is heading back to Africa to launch Expedition #K2K, a sea-to-summit caravan from Cape Town’s drying coast to Tanzania’s melting glacier! Conservation Music (CM) will be forming eco-educational music collaborations, while working with and amplifying the existing efforts of local NGOs along the way. Throughout our travels, we will work with incredible local artists, collaborate with many new and existing partners, and document it all in a number of ways so that you can join the 13-month journey!

Alex Paullin, CM’s founder, will be flying down first to lay some groundwork for the mission, and we will be joining him in Cape Town this March. Once the crew is united, we will complete one song and music video in each destination, resulting in a compilation of 12 educational productions, recorded in many different languages. Using the same #CrowdStudio tactics from our travels in 2017, we will also develop a thirteenth song through collaborations with local artists. At the Bushfire Festival last year, we recorded our first #CrowdStudio track, “Heal it Now,” with dozens of artists in twelve different languages, recording over 50 tracks in total, which were then arranged and mixed down into one empowering song. Now, imagine one of these across 8 different countries!

Expedition Itinerary

  1. March 2018 – Cape Town, South Africa
  2. April 2018 – Maseru and Malealea, Lesotho
  3. May 2018 – Malkerns and Ezulwini, Swaziland
  4. June 2018 – Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa
  5. July 2018 – Maun, Botswana
  6. August 2018 – Livingstone, Zambia
  7. September 2018 – Hwange, Zimbabwe
  8. October 2018 – Harare, Zimbabwe
  9. November 2018 – Lusaka, Zambia
  10. December 2019 – Malawi
  11. January 2019 – Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
  12. February 2019 – Zanzibar, Tanzania
  13. March 2019 – Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Want to know more about these countries? Check out CM’s Where We Work!

Learn more about who we will be working with!

Conservation Music (CM) would not be where it is today without the help of our friends. Read more about a few of the many organizations that we will be working with throughout Expedition #K2K.

Greenpop

We are thrilled to have Greenpop as an NGO partner for Cape Town, South Africa! Greenpop is leading the Treevolution across Southern Africa, planting trees, spreading environmental awareness, and hosting eco-festivals and workshops. We are inspired by the work they’ve done and cannot wait to collaborate in Cape Town come this March. For more information on Greenpop, check out https://greenpop.org/. Feel free to log on to: www.conservationmusic.org/k2k to see the full list of artists and NGOs, find more information about the expedition, and discover how to get involved!

Explore4Knowledge

Environmental education is a key component in what we at Conservation Music do. Our friends at Explore4Knowledge do just that by promoting “environmental education through adventure” expeditions across Southern Africa. They have agreed to partner with us in Cape Town, South Africa for March 2018 and we couldn’t more excited. For more information, check out: http://www.explore4knowledge.com/

Conservation Music Lesotho

We’re heading back to the Mountain Kingdom and can’t wait to make Malealea, Lesotho our home again for April 2018. We’ll be partnering with our friends at Conservation Music Lesotho! CM Lesotho is an organization of Basotho musicians, eco-advocates, and private sponsors that decided to make Conservation Music local. We hope that CM Lesotho becomes a model for surrounding countries across Southern Africa.

MTN Bushfire Festival

In May 2018, Conservation Music will be traveling to Swaziland’s biggest music festival of the year, MTN Bushfire Festival. Last year, the Bushfire crew launched the “Green Your Fire” campaign, committing to become a more eco-friendly event by promoting environmental sustainability to festival participants. The Bushfire Festival was the birthplace of our CM #CrowdStudio, resulting in over 50 musicians collaborating to create “CM Studios: Heal it Now – The 2017 Bushfire #CrowdStudio Project” seen here: https://www.facebook.com/conservationmusic/videos/1969370016672596/ For more infomation on MTN Bushfire and the incredible work that they do, click here: https://www.bush-fire.com/

Big Game Parks

Swaziland is home to beautiful wildlife and our friends at Big Game Parks are committed to promoting sustainable eco-tourism and environmental literacy. We will be partnering together in Ezulwini, Swaziland for May 2018. For the past 50 years, “Big Game Parks has remained a pioneer in both conservation and tourism in Swaziland.” For more information, check out: https://biggameparks.org/

Projekt 23

June 2018 will bring Conservation Music to the South African cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg! We will be working with our main NGO, Projekt 23. Projekt 23 aims “to create an awareness of environmental challenges prevalent in local communities and vulnerable natural environments.” Through their Conservation Awareness and Participation approach, they empower local communities to find sustainable solutions addressing environmental challenges. We are grateful for their partnership and can’t wait to see their work in person. For more information, check out: http://www.projekt23.org.za/

African Bush Camps Foundation

The African Bush Camps Foundation empowers rural communities to become economically sustainable and ensure that natural resources are protected and cared for. With a mission like that, it’s no surprise that Conservation Music is partnering with them in Hwange, Zimbabwe for September 2018! For more information, check out: https://www.africanbushcamps.com/

Agents of Change

Conservation Music is heading to Lusaka, Zambia for November 2018 to partner with Agents of Change Foundation Zambia. They use story tellings and the power of radio to spread HIV/AIDS awareness, environmental sustainability, and inform youth about human rights across Lusaka.

To fulfill our mission, we will need your help! Here’s how you can contribute:

Artist Partners — Join the movement!

We exist to amplify our fellow artists’ voices towards a better world to live in. If you’re based along our route and you would like to get involved, please get in touch!

NGO Partners — Join the movement!

Are you an environmental or musical nonprofit based along our route? We want to tell your story and reinforce your impact! Please get in touch!

Production Partners — Join the movement!

Are you based along our route and experienced in audio/video/photo production? If you want to lend your skills to our movement, let’s find a way to work together!

Lodging Partners — Join the movement!

Are you able to sponsor us lodging at any points along our route? We will happily share our experience at your establishment(s) with our growing global following!

Food Partners — Join the movement!

Are you a grocery, restaurant, or catering company with locations along our route? We cannot do any of this without food! If you’d like to join our movement we will gladly spread the good word.

Transport Partners — Join the movement!

Can you provide us with vehicles, fuel, maintenance, parts, or repairs along our route? Please get in touch about a partnership or sponsorship!

Media Partners — Join the movement!

Are you a producer, writer, editor, DJ, social media specialist, or another person at a media outlet anywhere in the world?

We’ve already been featured online, on the air, and in print around the globe. Be it individual interviews or missives from the field, please get in touch if you take interest in our story!

Financial Partners — Join the movement!

Are you a philanthropist, large NGO, corporate representative, famous musician, or otherwise in a position to donate?

We’re raising money to cover expedition expenses, incentives for artists and local collaborators, carbon neutral sequestration, and other costs required to continue our work.

We are excited for CM’s growth alongside our partners throughout this next year, and we are honored to bring you along on our journey. Stay tuned and be sure to connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube for even more updates and stories!

This post was written by the Conservation Music Crew for Conservation Music.

About Conservation Music

Our Musical Nonprofit For Conservation

of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

Conservation Music is on a mission to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, with an emphasis on rural developing communities, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts. Currently, the organization primarily collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more.

About the Editor

Alex Paullin

of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Throughout his life he aims to expand the Conservation Music movement globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.

 

2017: A Landmark Year for Conservation Music

Welcome to our Review of 2017!

Dear friends and colleagues,

Alex Paullin here, Founder of Conservation Music (“CM”) and National Geographic Explorer. It is with the utmost of gratitude and respect that I’m writing this letter today. It’s certainly a long time coming… the first month of 2018 has already nearly passed us by! Needless to say, it’s been a very busy start of the year, as we wrap up last year’s projects (Especially Our Music, Our Environment [OMOE] with the National Geographic Society) and prepare for our upcoming 13-month #K2K Expedition.

I am grateful for the chance to sit down now and extend my thanks to all of those who have gotten us this far. I am excited to fill you all in on the numerous accomplishments we made throughout our nine months in the field, thanks to your help! It didn’t come easy, but the organization grew in so many positive directions. So… before diving into what we were up to as we worked towards last year’s end, I want to summarize some of the specific steps of progress we were able to make because of your support and generosity.

  • Purchased Liam Nissan, our 4×4 (SUV) vehicle (CM began on just a motorbike!)
    • Upgraded with roof rack and tow bar
  • Expanded CM’s field crew to 3 members
    • Myself (Alex Paullin), Founder/CEO
    • Chris Volosevich, Audio Production Manager
    • Bryan Murphy, Visual Production Manager
  • Facilitated 2 #CrowdStudio recording workshops (What’s a #CrowdStudio?!)
    • Heal it Now (Swaziland, May 2017)
    • Over The Lands And The Oceans (Zambia, July 2017) (launching soon!)
  • Held our first village Conservation Concert in Malealea, Lesotho as part of Our Music, Our Environment (seen in Featured Image above)
  • Wrote, recorded, performed, and/or produced 17 new eco-songs and videos:
    • Lesotho (compilation album on the way…!)
      • Manyabolo (Alex Paullin, Pitso Rah Makhula feat. Mapule Masioua: Climate)
      • Notsi (Pitso Rah Makhula feat. Reekelitsoe Molapo: Bees)
      • Temo Ea Moshoelella (Rebel Sol feat. Reekelitsoe Molapo: Conservation Agriculture)
      • Puta, Puta, Puta (Mapule Masioua feat. Tsepang Khobotle)
      • Climate Song (Reekelitsoe Molapo, Mookho, Tsepang Khobotle: Climate)
      • Mother Earth (Mookho: Drought)
      • Ngope la Musi (Sotho Sounds: Erosion [2016])
      • Lifate (Sotho Sounds: Trees)
      • Thutsoana Ya Ebaka Thaba (Sotho Sounds: Burning)
      • Lekhulo Meraka (Pitso Rah Makhula feat. Qacha Leine: Responsible Herding)
      • Makhulo (Puseletso Seema feat. Pitso Rah Makhula: Responsible Herding)
      • Rato La Naha (Selimo Thabane feat. Pitso Rah Makhula: Responsible Herding)
    • Swaziland:
      • Heal It Now (#CrowdStudio feat. Bholoja, Velemseni & Black Rhino: Climate)
      • There Goes the Bee (Buddy Masango: Bees)
    • Zambia:
      • Over The Lands And The Oceans (#CrowdStudio feat. Flying Bantu: Nature)
      • Tushange Isamu (Mosi Oa Tunya Band: Trees [2016])
    • Mozambique:
      • Somos Academia (Peri Urban “Spice Girls”: Girls Empowerment & Conservation Agriculture)
  • Visited Phelisanong Children’s Center (a home for orphans and disabled children) for some musical fun
  • Planted trees with King Letsie III of Lesotho
  • Joined and documented a community cleanup in Morija, Lesotho
  • Conducted a successful research project to quantify our impact
  • Created our first documentary film, Our Music, Our Environment (link to teaser)
  • Registered our first satellite organization, Conservation Music Lesotho
  • Received our first corporate funding, from Metropolitan Lesotho
  • Won our first contract from a large international NGO
  • Received a sponsorship of 5 guitars from Mitech Direct
  • Increased our network in all locations listed above, plus the eastern cape of South Africa
  • Met with stakeholders in Cape Town to plan launch of 2018 Kaapstad to Kilimanjaro Expedition
  • Began planning for Expedition #K2K

It was truly an honor to work alongside so many wonderful partners and individuals to create impactful, beautiful works of art with a message! A beautiful chapter in the story of our vision for a global community that stewards the Earth, in which the memorable, emotional, and unifying power of music contributes to the balance between humankind, nature, and society.

As you can see, we stayed busy in 2017, and 2018 is no different. This year we’ve planned a 13-month sea-to-summit caravan from Cape Town’s drying coast to Kilimanjaro’s melting glacier, forming partnerships with eco-NGOs and musicians along the way. This eco-musical expedition intends to amplify the messaging of all of our NGO partners, both locally and globally, and to empower our fellow musicians with knowledge that they can use to foster better futures for their communities, their country, and the world.

To learn more about our upcoming Expedition #K2K, and to join us in making this impactful effort possible by partnering, supporting, or referring your friends and your colleagues to such opportunities, please visit the Kaapstad to Kilimanjaro website and get in touch!

Thank you for your interest and gracious support thus far… I look forward to taking you on this next journey with us through social media posts (facebookinstatwitter), our webseries, and of course, through this blog and other platforms of the National Geographic Society.

All my best,

 

 

 

Alex Paullin
Founder, Conservation Music

Get In Touch with Alex and Conservation Music:

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Field Notes: Conservation Music Gains Momentum

CM’s Field Crew Grows

With a solid experience at GreenPop’s Festival of Action in the books, we took advantage of the remaining time in Johannesburg, South Africa to plan the next stages of Conservation Music’s (CM) trek. Not only were there big projects on the horizon, but Bryan Murphy, CM’s Field Photographer from the United States, was due to join us for the remainder of the journey. We are pumped for Bryan to land on African soil, as he offers a specialized skillset and expertise in the realm of professional photography and video production.

Alex Paullin, CEO/Founder, and Chris Volosevich, Project Manager, wrapped up a few of CM’s loose ends, and then it was time to head over to the OR Töambo Airport in Johannesburg to welcome Bryan. The flight was longer than expected, and Bryan was experiencing minor culture shock, so Alex decided to take the crew out for some genuine African food. We unloaded Bryan’s gear at a friends place in Kensington, our home for the next few nights, and then hit the streets in search for the promised grub. The first place that we walked into was called “Africana Restaurant,” which sounded ideal, but ended up being some sort of makeshift computer lab. We laughed off the awkward encounter and then headed to a nearby pizza joint, selling cheap slices and 2-liter ginger beers. Stuffed and satisfied, we headed back to the pad and caught up on overdue sleep.

Over the following week, we showed Bryan all the local hot spots, which mostly consisted of food joints. Cafe J’s waffle topper, a plate stacked with two waffles, an egg, bacon, avocado, and hollandaise sauce, seemed to be the crew favorite. Despite the copious amounts of comfort food, it took Bryan a few days to fully ground himself to the African lands. We used the extra downtime to fit in a few jam sessions and set solid plans for the next months to come.

After a long hiatus, we decided to return back to Maseru, the capital city of Lesotho. We spent four hours winding through congested city streets, dodging pot holes and impatient drivers, before finally arriving. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a place to stay in the city, and ended up driving 45 minutes out of town to the Trading Post in Roma. It’s a much different scene here, as mountains and trees jutted above the skyline in place of the tall buildings that we were expecting. We arrived at the Trading Post and decided to rent a rondavel, a structure similar to a yurt. The place was amazing, but too expensive and far from the city. Luckily, after a few days, Tsepo, a musician, friend and avid supporter of CM, invited the crew to stay at his house for the week. This was definitely an upgrade, as we managed to save money, but we were still a good ways from the city. Tsepo shared his endless advice and support for CM’s mission, even claiming that he would make the Our Music, Our Environmentdocumentary the biggest film to ever hit Africa. Over the next few days, we gathered and activated everyone who will be involved with the film’s production. Alex made use of our trips to the city by meeting with partners, investors, and several talented, local musicians.

UNEP’s Young Champions of the Earth Grant

On our last day in Roma, we rose with the early morning sun to get started on a new filming project for the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Young Champions of the Earth (YCE) grant. Among a large group of applicants, Alex was chosen to be one of two North American finalists. In the next voting round, an international jury will choose six young environmentalists from the remaining contestants to receive $15,000 towards helping their ideas come to life. This grant could boost CM to a new level, so everyone put all of their energy into producing the video. We shot footage all morning, with a break for lunch, and then hiked a local mountaintop that overlooks Ha Thetsane, one of the nearby villages. With yet another spectacle of natural light, Bryan captured breathtaking footage of Alex’s testimony, lit by the backdrop of a dazzling sky. Over the next few days, we continued to record footage that would be wrapped up by the end of the week. Bryan was pumped with how everything was turning out, and couldn’t wait to share it with the world. Watch the full-length video here!

Energizing the System

With the video complete, and no immediate plans, we headed out to the mountains in Ha Ramabanta for a community gathering and campout led by friends, Tereo and Langa. These two are environmentally charged artists, who are escaping the busy city life in Maseru by creating an artistic community in the mountains. We didn’t know what to expect, but after driving through the beautiful mountain roads, we arrived and were warmly embraced by a group of like-minded individuals. Everyone spent the evening joined around a fire, while singing songs and playing a wide mix of djembes, guitars, and shakers. We shared beans and porridge, and then everyone slowly dispersed into their personal dwellings. The nights were frigid and hard to sleep in, but well worth the amount of wisdom and energy exchanged each day. As Bryan and Chris hiked through the surrounding areas, they had a chance to take in all of it’s natural beauty. Sadly, it was evident that the lands were affected by environmental issues, such as burning, erosion, low water tables, and pollution. Bryan felt CM’s purpose come full circle, and had a first-hand encounter with why the earth truly needs our help.

The Field Crew Wraps Up Loose Ends in Maseru

As the weekend came to a close, we were unsure of our next destination. Luckily, as everyone was packing up the car, Langa’s parents invited us to stay at their place in Maseru. With the comfort of week long plans, we tied up loose ends in the city, polished digital content, and laid further groundwork for the Our Music, Our Environment documentary. Tsepo continued to contribute to the project by connecting the team with supporters and fundraisers. Finally, after catching up on our work, we headed to Thaba Bosiu with Pitso Rah Mahkula, on the outskirts of the city. This was the birthplace of “Manyabolo,” a climate change and water scarcity song,and the plan was to complete it. It wouldn’t have been the same without the unexpected contributions by local female artist, Mapule. Her eloquent voice meshed right into “Manyabolo,” which gave us the idea to include it in the webseries video as well. That night we all crashed in one of Pitso’s cabins, and woke up the next morning completely surrounded by his beautiful gardens. 

CM heads to South Africa

The following morning we continued our journey to the much anticipated Pump For Peace event in Pretoria, South Africa. Pump for Peace is a global initiative, created by Velosolutions, that unites the community through multi-genre music events combined with mountain bike races. The venue was fully stacked with pump tracks, food vendors, and a huge stage. The concert featured a plethora of music with amazing acts such as Karen Zoid, The Parlotones, Tidal Waves, Desmond and the Tutus, Black Cat Bones, and The Sweet Resistance. Alex and Chris set up CM’s booth, while Bryan photographed the event’s most incredible moments. Towards the end of the weekend, MiTech Direct granted CM a sponsorship fully loaded with five brand new guitars, one of which was symbolically handed off to Alex on the main stage after being invited to promote CM’s movement. Alex was also interviewed live by StreamIt360 shortly after. This event boosted CM more than anyone could have imagined.

Following another long weekend of field work, we headed over to Shoshanguve to visit Albert, the “Drum Whisperer,” who the crew met earlier this year at the MTN Bushfire Festival (Bushfire Festival). We were able to catch up and spend quality time together by heading out to a local Jazz Injection event. It was an open jam session, where musicians collaborated with bass, keys, guitar, djembes, and drums. The music being produced sounded incredible, as the various instruments naturally melted together, laying a perfect platform for poets, rappers, and singers to lay lyrics on top of. At the end of the night, Albert was kind enough to let us crash in his room, allowing for enough rest to complete the next leg of the adventure.

The next morning we grabbed a quick breakfast with Albert and then hit the road for our five hour journey to Swaziland. The accommodations for the next two weeks were with Rob, who generously offered his giant studio building as a homebase. If you aren’t familiar with Rob, he’s the legend who housed us for awhile after the Bushfire Festival, and connected CM with many artists and musicians. Once again, Rob showed off his amazing pizza making skills and made sure everyone was well fed. His guidance, hospitality, and support for CM cannot be replaced.

Throughout the first week, Alex discussed a contract for next year with executives from the Bushfire Festival, while Chris and Bryan focused on post-production work. We were able to release our first web series, detailing CM’s past work, and then immediately began documenting for the next episode. We had many opportunities to explore the surrounding area, including a visit to the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. Rob had to conduct business in the area, so we all traveled to the other side of the mountain together. The ride over was gorgeous, but the real views were waiting for us inside the reserve. It wasn’t long before we saw countless antelope and impala scattered throughout the grassy plains. Further in, we saw warthogs and zebras, but we really wanted to catch sight of the iconic wildebeest. Alex had to stop at the headquarters to meet with the reserve’s marketing team, and then we set off to experience more of the lands. As the sun was setting, we ventured up a mountain road and found a small herd of wildebeest. Bryan snuck on the roof, where he was able to capture beautiful photographs of the moment. After traversing down the backside of the mountain in the dark, we stopped at Execution Rock in search of an abandoned railway that supposedly cuts through the mountain. We hiked all the way to the base of the mountain, but decided to turn back due to the realization that wild animals were in our presence. We returned to Rob’s, and rested up for another day of work. 

The next morning, CM geared up to attend Swaziland’s Umhlanga Ceremony, the “Reed Dance.” Unfortunately, we had an issue locating our press pass, but after that we were quickly immersed in the grand celebration. The entire event is a tribute to Indlovukazi, the “Queen Mother,” where thousands of women scantily wrap their bare bodies in brightly coloured prints, carry hand cut reeds, and dance in grand formations. It lasts for eight days, but CM only attended for one. Bryan captured spectacular footage of the event, and then we all headed back to prepare for our morning travels back to Johannesburg, then Maseru. 

Back to Maseru

On September 8th, we landed back in Maseru to begin the production of the Our Music, Our Environment documentary, and preparation for the concert in Malealea on October 28th. We have been seeking out local, as well as corporate, funding to help with logistical costs for the project, while rallying artists and musicians to help with the songwriting and performance. Shortly after reaching our destination, CM was graciously invited by Alliance Francais de Maseru, to hold a fundraiser during one of their recurring wine tastings. The goal was to help secure additional funding and support from the local businesses and philanthropists attending the event. We had a successful evening, as several businesses pledged generous donations towards CM’s mission. These locally raised funds will be exclusively used to give back to the volunteers and artists involved in our projects.

The next morning we completed further production work for the documentary, and then began writing the responsible herding campaign for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German NGO helping to shape the future of global sustainability. CM and GIZ agreed to a contract, including the creation of three songs, with accompanying music videos centered around responsible herding. We managed to step away from the heavy workload by making a visit to the Phelisanong Children’s Orphanage in Pitseng, a beautiful home for orphaned and disabled children. It was an unforgettable experience for everyone, as we played music for the kids and enjoyed the day together. Just when the children thought it was over, Alex pulled out the drone and sent them all into pure excitement. CM will certainly be making another visit in the near future.

Once we had returned back to the city, we started the next stages of preparing for the documentary, which consisted of a couple of weekend trips to Malealea. We had to meet with the Sotho Sounds and find someone to fill the role of a young shepherd boy. Meanwhile, we have continued to hold meetings with musicians and vocalists, and produce songs of climate change and conservation. Bryan and Chris also managed to catch a ride to Lesotho’s 51st Anniversary of Independence event in Matsieng, where they were a part of a tree planting and donga-filling ceremony hosted by King Letsie. Get an inside view of CM’s story by checking out the latest CM Webseries!

CM is busier than ever before, but we are managing to balance it all. Luckily, CM consists of many volunteers that are willing to donate their time and talents to ensure success. Be sure to stay tuned into CM’s web series, blog, newsletter, and social media for updates on our field work, the UNEP’s Young Champion of the Earth results, as well as the production of the documentary film, Our Music, Our Environment!

 

This post was written by Charles Ross for Conservation Music.

About Conservation Music

Our Musical Nonprofit For Conservation

of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

Conservation Music is on a mission to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, with an emphasis on rural developing communities, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts. Currently, the organization primarily collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more.

About the Editor

Alex Paullin

of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Throughout his life he aims to expand the Conservation Music movement globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.

Field Notes: Conservation Music Teams Up with GreenPop in Zambia!

On The Road to Zambia

After wrapping up an amazing, yet enduring week at the Bushfire Festival, the Conservation Music (CM) crew geared up for their next adventure to Livingstone, Zambia. Greenpop, an environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based out of Cape Town, South Africa, invited CM to contribute to this year’s Zambia Festival of Action. Alex Paullin, CM’s founder, was eager to accept this invitation, as his experience in 2016 was extremely memorable. The entire CM crew believes strongly in Greenpop’s mission and is excited to contribute to their efforts.

On June 18, 2017, the CM crew met up with Greenpop in Johannesburg to prepare for the journey to Livingstone. As Alex prepped his motorbike for the hefty journey, the rest of the crew shoved their gear into Greenpop’s Overlander. There wasn’t much space to work with, as Greenpop had all of their volunteer’s luggage and gear packed in already, but the crew remained extremely grateful for the ride. They spent all day on the road, and spent the night at the beautiful and quaint Tibane Lodge in Mokopane, South Africa.

On day two of the journey, with refreshed crews and hundreds of miles still ahead, Alex attempted to kickstart his bike, but having sat alone for four months prior to this journey, it decided to not cooperate. After several failed attempts at getting it started, he told everyone to hit the road while he stayed behind to work on the bike a bit more. The Overlander continued on through South Africa, weaving through the tall grassy plains and providing unforgettable views of elephants, giraffes, and other wildlife.

Eventually they made their way into Botswana, but not before one of the Overlander’s tires blew out. Setbacks are becoming a commonality on the road, yet the intensity of embracing each situation remains new. Although, high with jovial spirits, the crew of volunteers quickly rebounded and got the Overlander back on the road in enough time to complete their travels to the lodging area. As the evening hours set in, the crew still awaited Alex’s arrival, as his motorbike wouldn’t start, forcing him to leave it locked up at the lodge and hitch a ride with a straggling Greenpop vehicle. Alex did end up arriving later that evening, and everyone was able to get another successful nights sleep.

With the sun rising, the crews rose up again to complete the final leg of the journey into Zambia. Aside from driving for several hours, the main part of their day was spent loading and riding the Kazungula Ferry, which is the only current mode of transportation across the 1,300-ft wide Zambezi River. Watching the robust Overlander board the ship was quite a sight, honestly a little worrisome. After a successful crossing, the vehicles spent the next hour and half trudging down primitive dirt roads and then finally arrived at Greenpop’s campsite in Livingstone.

Week 1: Setting Up the Festival 

In just one week, the first set of participants were expected to show up, and aside from a couple dozen volunteer tents the campsite was pretty much undeveloped. Everyone spent their days cleaning the grounds, setting up tents, and building site features, such as the perimeter fence made from reeds. With all of the shuffling around and necessary site work, the CM workload began to take a backseat, and both Alex and Chris could feel the resulting pressures. To avoid a heavy decline in CM’s productivity, they accepted every opportunity to hitch a ride into town so that they could hunt down a quality Wi-Fi connection. Most of their work consisted of finalizing the mix for the first #CrowdStudio track and completing a rough cut of its music video. The plan was to debut it later that week during movie night at the campsite.

Weeks 2-3: Greenpop Welcomes Their First Round of Participants

As the volunteers wrapped up the festival preparations, the first round of participants piled in. Greenpop dedicated the first two weeks towards working with high school students that are inspired by environmental activism and adventure. The volunteers and participants worked together by planting trees, growing food forests, building with eco-methods, setting up recycling systems, brightening up schools with eco murals, attending sustainability workshops, celebrating with live music, and much more.

The CM crew capped off the week with a debut of the Bushfire Festival #CrowdStudio music video during Friday’s movie night. It was still a rough draft, but the entire audience wholeheartedly responded with support and positivity.  Over the next three weeks, they would continue to add finishing touches, as well as begin the Greenpop #CrowdStudio sessions. The energy and flavor that participants brought to the #CrowdStudio sessions during the first two weeks created a platform for yet another unique track. Just a few weeks ago, when the crew developed the #CrowdStudio concept, they had no clue that it would lead to this.

Week 4: The Second Round of Participants Arrive

It was a bittersweet end to the first phase of the festival, as the first group of participants had to say their goodbyes while the second group began to arrive. Greenpop devoted the final week towards working with participants of all ages. In the past, they have used this time to work with university students opting for an alternative school break, study groups searching for an opportunity of field work, families who strive for adventure, and pretty much any individual looking to get active within the environmental field.

Building off the musical platform that the first round of participants created for the #CrowdStudio track, Alex and Chris developed it further by working with the new arrival of festival participants. Everyone seemed to share the same vision, as the track naturally moved in an amazing direction. The endless effort, energy, and talent put forth by all of the participants was truly special, and made for such a great final week.

After the past few weeks of consistent hard work, the CM crew got the chance to escape for a relaxing outing to Victoria Falls, one of Earth’s greatest wonders. It exceeded any expectations they could of had, as they soaked in all of its thunderous glory. The river gently made it’s way over the edge of the falls and crashed down along the rocky trenches, creating a beautiful rainbow mist in the air.  Alex and Chris, incapable of fully taking a break from work, took advantage of the opportunity in front of them and captured magical footage for the music video. It was an unforgettable experience that they cannot wait to share with the world.

Mosi Oa Tunya, or Victoria Falls. Zimbabwe is pictured bottom center, Zambia bottom right.

With only a few days remaining in Zambia, the crew continued to record a few extra pieces for the #CrowdStudio track, including the crucial contributions of Flying Bantu, an afro-fusion band from Zimbabwe. They travelled out to meet up with CM and assist with the recording and arranging processes of the song. Their talent and insight was greatly appreciated, and certainly added some Zimbabwean spice to the track!

In their downtime, Alex and Chris ventured into town, where they met a local djembe designer named Javani. He shared his talent with the crew by graciously reheading one of their drums. The process was more intense than they had expected, as a local butcher slaughtered and skinned a goat right in front of them. As brutal as this might sound, it is a cultural tradition to use goat skin for the heading of a djembe, while it also feeds around 20 villagers. After Javani finished up the drum, the crew invited him and his drumming troupe back to the Greenpop campsite to conduct a drum workshop for the participants. One of the most beautiful aspects of field work is accepting the unexpected and seeing where it goes!

As the week finally came to a close, everyone worked hard to disassemble tents and clear any impact that they had made on the Greepop’s plot of land. Emotions swayed as the volunteers and participants knew their time together would be over soon. The CM and Greenpop crews really enjoyed their time spent together, while also sharing the beautiful experience with all of the participants.

What’s Ahead for CM?

The next morning CM set out on the road again, with a few stops prior to arriving in Johannesburg. Alex was dropped off to repair his motorbike, while Chris escorted all of CM’s gear to the lodge in Johannesburg. The crew is going to enjoy some downtime as they await the arrival of another CM field crew member, Bryan Murphy. Bryan has been volunteering his time at CM through professional photography, and everyone is excited to see the intensity that he will bring to the field.

Stay tuned for CM’s next adventures!

This post was written by Charles Ross for Conservation Music.

About Conservation Music

Our Musical Nonprofit For Conservation
of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

Conservation Music is on a mission to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, with an emphasis on rural developing communities, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts. Currently, the organization primarily collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more.

About the Editor

Alex Paullin

of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Throughout his life he aims to expand the Conservation Music movement globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.

Field Notes: Conservation Music in Swaziland, Bring Your Fire!

The Crew Travels to the Bushfire Festival

In the final weeks of May, the crew said their goodbyes to Maseru, the beautiful capital of Lesotho. Having lived, worked, and socialized there for the past month and a half, Alex and Chris had begun to feel at home. However, they were thrilled to embark on the next leg of the adventure. On May 21st, 2017, they packed their livelihood from Ntate Tau’s Music Mansion and began the journey to Swaziland for the Bushfire Festival (“Bushfire”), one of the most culturally diverse and exciting music events in Africa, where they would set up their first festival booth in the “Bring Your Fire” activation zone (“BYFZ”).

On the way out of Maseru, Alex and Chris picked up their good friend Pitso Rah Makhula, a talented poet/singer and the co-creator of the influential song Ngope La Musi. As a previous CM volunteer, Pitso was an obvious addition to the CM crew for the festival. Not only would he be of great contribution to our booth, but the crew was excited to share the Bushfire experience with Pitso.

Prior to heading to Swaziland, the crew decided to stop in Johannesburg in order to pick up necessary musical equipment for the booth. It was a bit out of the way, but well worth the five hour ride. The journey was peaceful and filled with striking vistas of rural villages, flat grasslands, and distant mountains. However, as the team approached the city, the air thickened with smoke from multiple grassland fires. Fire is commonly used as an ecosystem management technique, but in this part of the world it is often excessive and unmitigated. As a group of conservationists, it was deeply unsettling to see huge portions of the land set aflame, just as Alex had experienced in Angola with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project..

After hours of driving, the city lights of Johannesburg began to dot the night horizon. This glowing metropolis was a stark contrast to Maseru. The smooth circulatory system of highway roads snaked through giant glass high-rise buildings and under passed modern downtown areas. They soon arrived in Greenside, a peaceful suburb of Johannesburg. The crew stayed there with friends for the next three days, and productively prepared for the festival.

In the early afternoon of May 24th, 2017, they left Johannesburg and completed the final leg of the trek to Swaziland, the mountainous home of Bushfire. They arrived in the evening, leaving little time to set up for the following day’s activities. The crew’s excitement for the festival began to grow as they started preparing their booth in the BYFZ.  The Bring Your Fire Zone hosts local and international NGOs whose work promotes social change, environmentalism, and sustainability. Our own unique form of activation was the first ever CM #CrowdStudio!

Alex and Chris recorded a basic chord progression that would later be developed into a five-minute multi-track song, as over 50 festival goers added their contributions to the piece. Under the glow of the sunset, the crew constructed a vocal booth by stuffing an old wooden box frame with “sound proof” foam, to improve recording quality. They tested it out with energized passersby, and felt confident with the impromptu musical stall. It was dark by the time the setup was complete. The crew wrapped up the long day, and knew they had even more in store for them tomorrow, so they decided to call it a night. This was the beginning of something beautiful!

Bushfire Begins

The next morning, the booth was armed with guitars, djembes, a keyboard, and other instruments for contributors to play and record with. By 10:00 AM, the people arrived and the music began! As the day warmed, the crowd expanded and the #CrowdStudio track began to breathe life. The crew continued to meet with many eclectic, enthusiastic artists, who brought the fire through their own musical individuality. The work seemed to be never ending but the energy brought through creating unique music, and meeting amazing new friends, powered the crew through the rest of the day. As the sun set over the horizon, the crew packed up the essentials, and made their way to the main stage to enjoy exceptional music with the company of new friends.

CM enjoyed two more days of successful recording, informational outreach, and live music. Endless people were turned on to CM’s work, the crew recorded a powerhouse of material for the #CrowdStudio track, and many more friends were made. On the evening of May 28th, 2017, the last act of the festival was performed by Bholoja, a soulful folk guitarist from Swaziland with an incomparable voice. If only he could make it to our studio!! After finishing work for the night, the crew enjoyed an amazing ending to an unforgettable weekend.

An Unexpected Turn

On Monday morning, the crew recorded some final #CrowdStudio contributions from a few more interested festival goers who stopped by while CM was packing up the gear. They also met folks from a performance art collective known as BDI, who graciously lent their talents for the development of the track, and another gentleman named Rob, who ran a pizza truck inside the festival. Curious and interested in what CM was about, Rob graciously invited the CM and BDI crews to head back to his property to crash for the night.

Pitso headed home the next morning, but Alex and Chris ended up staying at Rob’s for the following two weeks. The BDI crew hung around as well and contributed to the #CrowdStudio track by adding sounds from whimsical instruments such as the jaw harp, the water pipe flute, and the musical saw. Over the first few days at Rob’s, Alex and Chris began to realize how useful and enriching their stay there would be. They quickly learned that Rob is a long time veteran in the field of live sound production. He shared his connections with the crew, introducing them to even more artists, providing an even wider range of talent as final additions to the #CrowdStudio track.

During the remainder of the crew’s stay at Rob’s place, the crew edited and perfected the #CrowdStudio project. With each morning, they were welcomed by a glorious view of Execution Rock, a nearby summit surrounded by the grassy plains and diverse fauna of the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. This view was a daily source of inspiration for the crew and certainly brought new life and energy to the track.

The final days at Rob’s place proved to be the most fruitful. Unexpectedly, the crew had the chance to meet Bholoja, their favorite headlining act at the Bushfire Festival! Bholoja and two other incredibly talented Swazi artists, Velemseni and Black Rhino, added a layer of environmentally charged lyrics to our #CrowdStudio song.

Eventually the crew had  to return to Lesotho in order to help the Sotho Sounds band put on a performance. They reluctantly said their goodbyes to Swaziland, and their new friends, and then hit the road. As the crew headed south, they also prepared for their next adventure, a month long stay in Zambia with Greenpop, a Cape Town-based environmental NGO who invited us to contribute to their yearly Zambia Festival of Action. The CM crew couldn’t be more excited for what was to come!

Stay tuned for our next blog post to hear more about our time at GreenPop’s Zambia Festival of Action!

 

This post was written by Lauren Mann and edited by Charlie Ross for Conservation Music.

About Conservation Music

Our Musical Nonprofit For Conservation
of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

Conservation Music is on a mission to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, with an emphasis on rural developing communities, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts. Currently, the organization primarily collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more.

About the Editor

Alex Paullin

of Conservation Music

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

info@conservationmusic.org

After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Throughout his life he aims to expand the Conservation Music movement globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.

Conservation Music Lands in Maseru

With sore shoulders and tired legs, completely weighed down by our gear and equipment, we ambled into Maseru like pack mules. It is still difficult to catch my breath and decipher my thoughts and feelings about this place. As an outsider with a callow amount of international experience, the warmth and camaraderie is present enough to bask in. Impoverished or not, the people here remain highly optimistic, but not credulous or unaware. There’s a certain glimmer in their eyes that indicates familiarity with their situation, as well as a tenacity to live their lives peacefully and with gratitude, something that is all too rare back home in the states. The culture shock is intense, yet gratifying. I am coming to realize this is exactly what I have prepared for, and now understand how important these last few months of hard work and planning have been.

To soften the arrival, we touched base with an American friend, Adam, who lives here year-round with his family. It was comforting to connect with people who have seen life from both sides and fully assimilated into the African culture. We caught up for a few hours, and then luckily remembered that we needed to figure out a place to stay for the night. As fate might have it, Alex got in touch with his friend Ntate Tau, alerting him of our presence in the city and asking for a place to crash. Without hesitation, he invited us to join him at his home, which interestingly used to be a Russian Embassy building, and now has been converted into a makeshift recording studio/office space for local people and businesses. Here, everyone seems to come and go as they please, including us, but in such a way that it feels normal, not threatening. Integration is key to our project so we followed intuition and set up our living and work space here for the next few days. After getting somewhat organized, we headed into town to pick up a few essentials. It’s a small city, but brims with life and emanates a sense of western city living through the presence of a shopping district. The traffic reminded me of the gridlocked roads back in the states. Luckily, here, the motorists are a bit more forgiving to pedestrians. Although, due to my lack of direction in these parts and the flipped road patterns, I still feel the need to keep my head on a swivel. Once we picked up everything that we needed, we hustled back home to chill out and get our groove on.

While stumbling back into HQ, it was hard to ignore the raw beats and musical tones vibrating from one of the other rooms. We had to check it out and, just as we thought, we were lucky enough to find some fellow musicians who were also staying in the building. I guess we caught a second or third, or maybe even fourth wind, and over the next few hours, we listened and jammed to some new, very unique tunes. The talent here is extremely natural and inescapable. It seems like everyone can sing and play, giving us all-day, endless access to amazing material. Following the local songs, we ripped through some Bill Withers, Clapton, and even Daft Punk. Since the night was still young, on African time, we decided to make our way back to Adam’s nearby home to share dinner with him and his family. His children were emphatic and energetic, and easily kept us awake and entertained despite our energies drifting due to intense jet lag. They even donated their 57 rand, an equivalent of 4 US dollars, to the cause. We scarfed down some tasty grub, and then Adam introduced us to his home studio. It was decked out with anything a musician could ever need – a drum set, hand drums, guitar, bass, MOOG synthesizers; this place was a dream. We shared a few drinks, and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to jam on the wide array of instruments to our heart’s content. This was truly a welcoming party that I will never forget. As the night came to a close, we were taken back to our place and fell right into bed.

Still adjusting to the time change, both Alex and I hibernated for 12 hours straight and woke in the late afternoon. We hadn’t felt this amount of sleep in months, it was much needed and well deserved. In order to jump start our systems and assimilate ourselves into the culture a bit more, we decided to take a stroll around town and get a better feel for our surroundings. We checked out a few local digs, and then circled back to the music mansion, where we were pleasantly surprised to see our friend, and local chef, Dougie. He offered to fill our bellies with blue cheese bacon burgers, so without the slightest bit of hesitation we took a seat. Interestingly enough, the first gentleman we ran into upon arriving here at Ntate Tau’s was none other than Dougie himself. Unfortunately, since Alex was last here, Dougies grub hut down the road shut down business. Now he lives here in the ex-embassy, and runs his own operation out of the kitchen. The man is well known and his food highly praised, for good reason. We will definitely enjoy his efforts again in the near future.

Following the meal, we journeyed downstairs into the recording studio to hang out with a group of musicians, called Lekhalong Music, who play a popular style in Lesotho called Famo. It is almost always accompanied by an accordion, and sounds unlike anything I have ever really heard. With a style similar to folk music, it is then modernized a bit by usually incorporating rap verses. For the next couple of hours, we watched them practice their verses, while the accordion and bassist played their respective parts. The melodies and rhythms they were producing were jagged and difficult to pinpoint, but not unstructured. The bass playing is literally all over the neck, with virtually no repeated parts. We let them do their thing and made our way back upstairs to be greeted by Tau and others who had been out at a gig earlier in the night. We all decided to top the night off by grabbing some street beers and jamming in the rehearsal room. For a good 3 hours or so, we all played along to some familiar songs like Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose” as well as some off the cuff arrangements. It was a night I won’t soon forget.

The next few days consisted of general exploration in the early daytime, experiencing the street food and checking out local shops. The street food is one aspect, amongst many, that I will never get enough of. My first taste was from a local woman who sets up shop out of the back of her car, it certainly was the first trunk I have ever seen stuffed with buckets full of meats and sides. The grilled pork, rice, slaw, sweet potato mash, and sweet peas were tastefully reminiscent of the soul-food one would see back in the southern United States. We ate until our bellies were full, almost too stuffed, and then made the walk back to our dwelling. After digesting and kicking back for a few hours, Tau let us know that Tsepo Tshola, a local musical legend, was on his way through town and wanted to stop by and chat with us about Conservation Music. Everyone here knows Tsepo’s music, and to have his involvement was a prospect that we were ecstatic about. At around 11pm, the man himself made an entrance into the main dining room in a way that only he could. Theatrically sincere and boisterously wise, Tsepo talked passionately for hours, running through a gamut of subjects as naturally as they come. As we centered the conversation around collaborating with each other, his excitement and willingness to help was a relieving extension of trust and brotherhood, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on board. After another late night, or shall I say morning since the sun was rising,  it was time to pack it in and get some rest.

The entire week continued to overflow with serendipity as musicians kept walking through the door to connect and collaborate. Morena Leraba and Pitso Ra Makhula, who have both worked with Conservation Music in the past, were just two of the many faces that we are excited to see mixed in the bunch. Bhudaza, another highly regarded musician within the surrounding areas, also stopped by. He is generally soft spoken, but confidently expressed his interest to stay in touch and collaborate on some music together in the future. Things really seemed to be falling into our laps at the best possible time, and we were riding that wave of fate as long as possible. Unfortunately, with spirits high, my hard drive took a dive and crashed as we were finishing up some work on the local hotel’s wi-fi. Panicking, and unable to find an adequate replacement drive, I was unable to get any real work done for the rest of the week. My fears quickly faded away as we gave into the adventures and opportunities that were constantly presenting themselves.

On Thursday, we finally secured a car. The beast is a 99’ moss green Nissan Xtrail, so we aptly named him Liam Nissan. Even as a godsend, it was not without its flaws. The wheels were horribly misaligned, causing the steering wheel to oscillate while driving. One tire was flat, so we changed it out with the spare, which now needs to be replaced. Two out of three of the A/C control knobs were completely jammed. An attempt to rectify the problem caused one of them to snap off completely. All that said, we couldn’t be happier with Liam, as he’s made our lives infinitely more mobile. For our first trip, we decided to drive down to the Maseru Market, where the hustle of the city gathered en masse, rendering mobility without bumper to bumper contact nearly impossible. Within mere minutes after arrival, the sites, smells, and sounds all coalesced into a sensory overload. Our main purpose was to find me a replacement hard drive, but we unfortunately still had no luck. Regardless, we deemed the trip a success as we were able to experience a sort of urban liveliness, which was further enhanced by an unexpected downpour of rain. As the sun began to peek out of the clouds, and the rain showers moved on, we continued to make our way through the remaining vendors in order to investigate and admire the diverse crafts. One booth that caught my eye, and satisfied my curiosity, was what seemed to be some kind of dark holistic medicine display, adorned with myriad elixirs, animal skins, and garments that might be seen on a mage or shaman. We could have stayed here all day and perused through the endless choices, but we were apprehensive to purchase anything and left the market with not much more than a handmade wallet and an empty 25L jug that we plan to use for water reserves. After spending time in a nearby hotel, we ventured out to a nearby club called the Cuban Linx. We met some new friends, had a couple drinks, and then were later invited to another club down the road called 4Forty. This place was a little bit more happening and kept the vibes high with a DJ set outside, allowing people to shake off their week to some good music. This was our opportunity as well, so we joined in.

Despite sore legs from a night full of twisting and turning,  the next morning we woke up early to make our way down to the Roma Trading Post Lodge located in Roma, Lesotho. Here, renowned mountain bikers who are associated with The Lesotho Sky bike race event, teamed up with Velosolutions, a track building and marketing company, to put together a Pump for Peace event for the track’s opening. It was complete with music from very talented artists from all over the region, who performed on a stone stage facing the glorious view of basalt mountains. We arrived at the tail end of a set by Bam Bam Brown, a singer/guitarist from Cape Town, and we became instant fans. The next act happened to be none other than Morena Leraba, who’s blend of modern hip hop beats and lyrics, with a traditional rural wardrobe, made for a truly unique performance. As the music pressed on, adults and children alike weaved and bobbed through the newly installed pump track. This, paired with the overflowing music, drinks, and food, all proved to be more than a spectacular setting for a newcomer like me. We continued to meet some new and interesting artists, while also catching up with some friends of Alex’s from his previous stay.

As we continued to make new connections, and rekindle old ones, the next group up was a reggae band called Tidal Waves. Also out of South Africa, this extremely talented group completely stole the show with their tightly knit dynamics and amazing production. Their own version of Wish You Were Here deeply resonated within my heart. As the sun set and the crowd began to disperse, we set up a moonlight jam session with some of the artists who had performed just hours earlier. Switching off between instruments and musicians, we jammed out renditions of songs by Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, and even some originals. The lights of the stage coupled with the night sky made for a once in a lifetime visual and auditory experience. All of us then made our way to the main building for some homemade, catered Indian cuisine. We ate and continued to meet more people before migrating to the fire pit outside. The musical collaborations and connections resumed late into the night until we laid down in our respective areas of slumber. The next morning we woke up early, with scratchy lungs due to breathing in smoke from the fire, and made our way back to Maseru to use the day as a much needed resting period. The nap naturally extended past our alarms, and sunset, so we forced ourselves out of bed for a few hours of cooking, eating, and catching up on a few small tasks. After a few hours, we ended up crashing as the weight of the previous week dissolved into our dreams.

With the week coming to a close, we are extremely happy with the progress that we have made so far. The hard work has really paid off, and we are scheduled to conduct follow-up meetings with many of the artists that we have met. Our plan is to solidify collaborations with them and talk about how we can move forward together. Aside from that, it is hard to ignore that we will be traveling to Swaziland in just another week for the Bushfire Festival. There, we will be part of their Legacy Project, in which we will be writing and performing music with different artists, as well as conducting workshops with anyone interested in learning an instrument, or simply yearning to play along. From everything that I have heard, I am sure this festival will be a beautiful and life-changing experience. Other than that, we will keep enjoying the opportunities that present themselves in a most positively disruptive way. As a skeptic of coincidence, the amount of linked events that happen almost daily here are more than enough reassurance that we are on the right path. I am truly excited for what the universe has in store for us from here on out. Stay tuned to hear about it in our next field update!


RT if you feel that music can foster a sustainable world! Together with the village band Sotho Sounds, #African celebrity Tsepo Tshola, and many more, CM is creating that reality in #Lesotho.
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This post was written by Christopher Volosevich and edited by Charlie Ross for Conservation Music.

About Conservation Music

Our Musical Nonprofit For Conservation
of Conservation Music

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info@conservationmusic.org

Conservation Music is on a mission to produce and promote musical media that educates listeners and viewers in conservation and sustainability, with an emphasis on rural developing communities, and to serve as a platform for similar efforts. Currently, the organization primarily collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more.

About the Editor

Alex Paullin

of Conservation Music

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info@conservationmusic.org

After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Throughout his life he aims to expand the Conservation Music movement globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.