Conservation Music takes songs through Africa
January 25, 2019
For 3 years, Alex Paullin has been traveling to rural places throughout Africa with his non-profit, Conservation Music, on a mission to spread the word about the environment and climate change.
Conservation Music’s initiative K2K is a 13-month long journey that started in March 2018 from Cape Town (Kaapstad). During this time, they developed, produced and recorded a song with a video centered on each region’s environmental issues such as drought, wildfires, deforestation, charcoal burning, erosion, poaching and overgrazing.
Reaching the population is critical — taking a grassroots approach, they collaborate with composers, musicians, singers and dancers in the local language, instruments and styles. They use their own mobile studio or borrow personal or professional studio spaces to record, mix and master a track.
Although composing a song and filming a video sounds fun and easy, Paullin and Conservation Music face many obstacles, like difficult roads, remote filming locations, and forging collaborations through word of mouth. The focus is on rural, uninformed subsistence communities that are falling out of balance with the natural environment sustaining them. The goal is to create successful songs that get aired on local radio stations, and videos for distribution on multiple platforms.
The impact that compositions in the universal language of music can offer is the reason Conservation Music takes time to create these songs. The belief that a pathway to expressing personal feelings and beliefs can be made.CM believes that feelings can be wrapped around a song and emotion can enhance a learning experience.
The long journey will end in March 2019 after one year on the road covering the arid and semi-arid countries of South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland, Botswana and Tanzania. Paullin’s dream is to have his own record label that deals exclusively with music about the environment and to take the songs global. He says, “In the era of climate change, every day must become Earth Day… for the next generation, for the planet, for ourselves.”
Paullin and Conservation Music’s work is particularly important to the EDN’s Earth Day 2019’s Protect Our Species campaign. Poaching, loss of habitat, climate change, unsustainable practices are some of the leading causes that iconic species in Africa — from the giraffe to elephants, rhinos, and even migratory birds, are facing a crisis, so Paullin’s awareness is exactly what is needed.
You can help by learning more about Earth Day Network’s campaign to Protect Our Species and by supporting our efforts.