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

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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.