Rhythm and Roots

We are delighted to present to you the second video as part of our “Guide to the Birdsong of South America” album released in 2014. This animated video for Dengue Dengue Dengue’s track Remolinera Real is a magical realism spiked spiritual journey through the Latin American psyche and one’s man’s mission to protect a bird in his dreams. The video was created by the hand of Joery Santos Gómez, an award winning director and animator currently living in Sweden.

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We can also accompany this great news with some more great news: having reached our target we are now working towards gathering donations for a second NGO! Rhythm and Roots earlier this year donated $6,500 to the Ecuadorian NGO Fundación Jocotoco to sponsor head ranger Franco Mendoza who has been working with the endangered Jocotoco Antpitta (one of the birds featured on the album) for nearly 15 years. We are now aiming to raise over $1,500 to support Aves Argentinas’ new programme against illegal wildlife trade, something that impacts directly threatened and fragile species such as the Yellow Cardinal and the Marsh Seedeater (interpreted by Tremor and Barrio Lindo respectively on the album).

You can continue to support the album and the project via Bandcamp while we hatch plans on how to take the #Birdsong to the next level, or at least the next continent 😉

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Five months after Rhythm and Root’s first album “A Guide to the Birdsong of South America” was released (listen here if you haven’t already!) we have sold out of vinyl albums, received some incredible media coverage, are looking to organise our first live showcase later this year and have managed to raise over $7,000!

All this is thanks to you.

Thank you!

None of this would have been possible without the incredible support the project received from all over the world. It would not have been possible without those early believers, backing the project on Kickstarter, it would not have been possible without the good will, time and creativity of the musicians, of the designers, sound engineer and vinyl producers. Last but by no means least it would not have been possible without all the people that bought the album, the T-shirt, the postcards, the posters or the vinyl and helped support the music and the project. If you would still like to support the project and help us raise even more money for protecting endangered birds in South America you can still purchase the album here or donate below via Paypal.

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Where will the money go?

The project aimed to bring together the freshest South American musical talent and challenge them to create a track inspired by the song an endangered bird from their country. All the proceeds would go towards conservation efforts to save these magnificent species. Since the very beginning we wanted this project to have a tangible, visible and practical output. Something direct that the money could go towards, a grassroots project in South America that could have a measurable impact on bird conservation in the region.

Fundación Jocotoco

Fundación Jocotoco is an Ecuadorian NGO that has been working to protect the habitat of globally threatened bird species in Ecuador since 1998. Their work focusses on protecting land from exploitation and managing it instead as an ecological reserve. The fundación has so far established ten reserves protecting some 30,000 acres of land in the country which are known to be home to over 800 species of birds, including 50 that are globally threatened or near-threatened and more than 100 are restricted-range or endemic species.

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Perhaps the organisation’s most emblematic species is the organisation’s namesake, the enigmatic and enchanting Jocotoco Antpitta, also one of the stars from “A Guide to the Birdsong of South America”. The Tapichalaca reserve is the last stronghold of this bird and one of the key people helping to ensure it’s survival is the reserve’s chief ranger Franco Mendoza.

Working with the Fundación’s team in Ecuador we will be donating all of the proceeds from the album towards paying Franco’s salary for the next year, freeing up further funds within the organisation to support their important work across the country. We are in close contact with the Fundación staff to ensure the money is put to good use and we can report on how it is spent. We are very proud that, thanks to all your support, we are able to contribute to raising awareness about the plight of endangered birds in South America and ensuring species like the Jocotoco Antpitta have a future.

The next chapter…

Given the success of the project so far I am truly inspired. Inspired to build on this album and start working on the next chapter of “A Guide to the Birdsong of..”. So, watch this space and sign up below to be the first to hear about the next chapter in the series that unites new music with some of our planet’s most incredible birds, trying to save these magical songs from extinction.

Keep up to date by signing up to our mailing list here:

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It has been over a month since we released ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America‘ and we have been humbled by the response around the world, from personal messages of support via Bandcamp to interviews from Colombia to Switzerland. From the beginning this project has been all about collaboration with artists, designers, record producers and those that backed the project on Kickstarter coming together on behalf of the cause we are supporting – protecting endangered birds in South America.

Alongside the musicians, one of the key people that helped us to give these rare birds a profile was the American designer Scott Partridge who created the incredible designs for all of the bird species, the cover artwork and much more. This is the first in a series of blog posts revealing the people behind the ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America’

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You can help us raise more money to protect these birds by buying a unique print of Scott’s work or a limited edition postcard set detailing all the species in the project here.

Originally from Kentucky in the US but now based in Charlotte, North Carolina Scott Partridge made a name for himself for his unique designs and interpretations mainly of the natural world, using vibrant colours and transforming owls, tigers and birds of paradise into biomorphic shapes and offering a new perspective of how we see nature. Scott’s work is inspired and influenced by classic natural history illustrators like John James Audubon and Charley Harper but he also draws on artists like Miró and the surrealist school of painters.

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You can purchase Scott’s magical work as a print from sites including SocietyCurioosRedbubbleZazzle and Saatchi Online. Thanks Scott!

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It has been a long, winding journey but as I sit here watching the birds on my balcony in Mexico City it is inspiring to know ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America‘ has opened its wings and is flying around the world. The 10 track non-profit compilation released earlier this month highlights some of South America’s most endangered species, such as the Saíra Apunhalada or Cherry Throated Tanager, a species with only 30 – 200 individuals left in the wild.

How? Through music….

The project unites ten of the most exciting musicians and artists from Buenos Aires to Venezuela, artists that are fusing the sounds and rhythms of Latin America in a thoroughly modern context. Rhythm and Roots challenged each of them to take the song of one threatened bird from their country as the starting point for an original piece of music.

Our aim? To not only raise awareness about these birds, but also funds for those organisations, such as the Fundación Jocotoco working to protect and conserve the last homes of these magnificent species. It has been phenomenal to see the support flood in from around the world, starting with a 150% funded Kickstarter project and leading right up to today with people buying the album, giving more than the price on Bandcamp and inspiring us to push even further.

This is a work of collaboration and of collective creativity – from the musicians donating their time, creativity and songs, to the beautiful animation created for free for us by Tomás Pichardo-Espailla. From a crowd funded Kickstarter campaign to the incredible interpretations of these beautiful species by designer Scott Partridge,

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With your support we can make sure the album goes even further and the enchanting songs of these captivating species reach far beyond their native forests, mountains and lakes.

Any support you can give, either by buying the album, tweeting the #BirdMusic hashtag or making a donation to the project would be so greatly appreciated and really, truly go to supporting those working on the ground to make a difference. With this album we wanted to bring a fresh approach to conservation and prove that exciting new music can not only break down sonic borders but also carry a meaningful message.

I truly believe creativity has an incredible potential to fuse with activism to help us build a different world, protect our planet and save the species we share it with.

Buy the album via Bandcamp

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It has been a long while since our last update on ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America’, the first album to be released on Rhythm and Roots, and a lot has happened since we surpassed our Kickstarter target by 150% back in July.

For those of you reading about the album for the first time, this crowdfunded project brought together a group of the most exciting South American producers and musicians and challenged them to create a piece of music inspired by the song of an endangered bird from their country. It unites art and activism: using music to raise awareness about some of the most critically threatened species in South America, with any profits from the compilation going to support organisations working to protect them.

In the first piece of news, we were privileged and excited to announce the last artist to join the project, the wonderfully talented Brazilian singer Alessandra Leão (pictured below).

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Leão chose to worked with the song of the Critically Endangered Cherry Throated Tanager or Saíra Apunhalada, found in only one small area in Brazil. A Pernambuco native, Leão recently released the first in series of EPs on Garganta Records, ‘Pedra de Sal‘, exploring and interpreting the musical traditions of her north-eastern roots.

With all the artists revealed, the final tracklist for the album then looks like this:

  1. Lulacruza – Cucarachero de Niceforo (Colombia / Argentina)
  2. Chancha Via Circuito – El Macá Tobiano (Argentina)
  3. Alessandra Leão – Saíra Apunhalada (Brazil)
  4. Barrio Lindo – Capuchino Pecho Blanco (Argentina)
  5. Nicola Cruz – Jocotoco Antpitta (Ecuador)
  6. Algodón Egipcio – Cotorra del Sol (Venezuela)
  7. Dengue Dengue Dengue – La Remolinera Real (Peru)
  8. Tremor – Cardenal Amarillo (Argentina)
  9. Psilosamples – Soldadinho d Araripe / Periquito Cara-Suja (Brazil)
  10. Matanza – Gallineta Chica (Chile)

In the second piece of news, we have been in contact with an organisation called the Fundación Jocotoco. The Fundación is an Ecuadorian non-government organisation established in 1998 to protect land of critical importance to the conservation of Ecuador’s endangered birds and biodiversity.

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The Fundación manages the Tapichalaca reserve, the only remaining home of the Endangered Jocotoco Antpitta, interpreted by Nicola Cruz on the album and we plan to use any profits to support their work alongside our original collaborator Aves y Conservación. The Fundación has offered to use the money donated from the project to sponsor the wages of the reserve’s chief ranger Franco Mendoza. Franco, a native of the Yangana village, has been working with the foundation since 2001 and is dedicated to protecting the rare Jocotoco. It is really inspiring to know that the money we raise from this project can have a direct benefit to those working to safeguard the future of endangered species.

The music is now all completed and mastered, the merchandise all made and the vinyls about to arrive so we are on the verge of releasing the album to the world with a release date set for early March!

We have lots of other exciting news up our sleeves and if you missed the Kickstarter or want to add to your order you can now pre-order the digital album, vinyl, A3 prints, postcard sets, or one of our fair-trade, organic t-shirts through Bandcamp.

A reminder that by supporting this project you will be helping efforts to ensure these beautiful birds and their unique songs can survive for our future generations with all profits being donated to our partner organisations in South America.

More news coming soon!

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Incredibly, we reached over 3,000 Euros today on the Kickstarter. Now just 24 hours to go so still time  to support the ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America’ project!

On to artist number 9 and one we are very excited to announce! All the way from the Andino plains of Chile we give you the mysteriously wonderful and entrancing Matanza! The shamanic Chilean trio will be making a track inspired by a special Patagonian species, the Gallineta Chica or Austral Rail.

The Bird – La Gallineta Chica


The Artist – Matanza

www.soundcloud.com/matanza

Hailing from Chile, Matanza are a trio of electronic musical shamans. The band been integral in the folk/electronica movement in Chile n Chile and beyond, breaking new ground with their fresh approach to both Andino folkloric music and electronica. Matanza fuse together the music of their roots, collecting, playing and recording a range of native Latin American instruments like Bombos and Gaitas, with the music they grew up to – the sound of the dancefloor sighting Ricardo Villablobos, Matias Aguayo and the label Dirty Bird as influences. Their productions blur the lines between house, techno and folklore, reinventing, remixing and developing new musical directions and meeting points. In their words: post-modern folk music. In our words: brilliant. Listen below:

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We are happy to introduce our first Venezuelan bird and artist from ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America‘. As our 9th artist we give you Algodón Egipcio who will be creating one track inspired by the stunningly coloured and aptly named Cotorra del Sol or Sun Parakeet. Find out more about the bird and the artist below. Still three days left to support our Kickstarter to make this album happen. Check it out here!

The Bird – Cotorra del Sol


The Artist – Algodón Egipcio

www.soundcloud.com/algodon-egipcio

Algodón Egipcio is a Venezuelan artist and one half of the lovely, melody soaked pop duo Jóvenes y Sexys. Under his production moniker, Algodón AKA Cheky makes wonderfully spacey, atmospheric lo-fi electronica but with melody at its heart and his warm vocals drifting over the top. He recently took part in the wonderful Norte Sonoro project in Mexico and has made a name for himself on the Latin American underground scene. Listen below:

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NEWSFLASH: First things first…we made it! 100% funded on Kickstarter!

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Just a few days ago’A Guide to the Birdsong of South America’ passed the 100% mark on Kickstater thanks to some fantastic support from all over the world. We still have four days left to go so please back us if you can – the more money we can make the more we can give to Aves y Conservación!

We still have a flock of exciting new artists to reveal and are going to announce them one a day, until the end, starting today. So, drumroll please to welcome our first Peruvian group for the album – Dengue Dengue Dengue! The masked new-cumbia duo have chosen the unassumingly beautiful and critically endangered Remolinera Real or Royal Cinclodes (Cinclodes aricomae), found only in Peru and numbering between 50 and 250. Below the bird that will inspire them to make the track and some background on los Dengues!

The Bird – La Remolinera Real


The Artist – Dengue Dengue Dengue

www.soundcloud.com/dengue

Dengue Dengue Dengue are a duo hailing from Lima, Peru who have made a splash on the world of tropical bass for their bombastic live shows, bass crunching productions and refreshing reinterpretations of classic cumbia, chicha and Latin American sounds.

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As we reach 100 backers and 90% of the backing on Kickstarter it is time to introduce you to our next ornithological musical duo  – Argentina’s Barrio Lindo and El Capuchino Pecho Blanco or the Marsh Seedeater! This beautiful little bird is in steep decline due to trapping for the caged bird market and it is estimated there are only 600 – 1700 left in the wild.

The Bird – El Capuchino Pecho Blanco


The Artist – Barrio Lindo

www.soundcloud.com/barriolindo

Barrio Lindo AKA Agustín Rivaldo is an Argentine producer who also happens to make his own guitars and charangos. The young producer spent three years in Colombia immersed in the country’s rich rhythms and sounds before returning to Buenos Aires where he honed his production skills under the tutelage of fellow porteño Chancha Via Circuito.

Barrio Lindo crafts electronic-folk spacescapes, dream like sequences seeped in atmosphere but grounded in the rhythmic undercurrents of South American traditional music. He has released music on Bad Panda and most recently on the forward thinking German label Project Mooncircle. Listen below:

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Joining the host of talent featuring on ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America’ our fifth artist is an Ecuadorian producer who has collaborated with Nicolas Jaar and is behind the mysterious QTZLCTL collective. Introducing Nicola Crúz and the Jocotoco Antpitta, a bird only discovered in 1997 and found in only 5 locations. Find out more and become part of the album by backing us on Kickstarter.

The Bird – El Jocotoco Antpitta


The Artist – Nicola Cruz

www.soundcloud.com/nicolacruz

Nicola Cruz is a DJ, producer and musician born in France but having gone back to his origins and currently living in the heart of the Andes – Quito, Ecuador. His music is founded in electronica, drawing from house, techno and electronica explorations, mixing this with the sounds of his surroundings – the culture, traditions, landscapes and rhythms of the Andes.

Cruz is an Ecuadorian producer who has released music on Nicolas Jaar’s imprint and is behind the QTZLT collective. He has played stages from LA to Buenos Aires and has crafted a sound echoes that of Jaar’s – a live, organic electronica that, in his words, makes ‘electronic music sound as if a band were playing it.’

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