Traveling Light is the first album chapter in the audio epic trilogy, The Musical Ecology of Roots Grown Deep. This music is created by a multi-lingual, cross-continental, multi-cultural ensemble of musicians representing 11 different countries and many more tribes, all seeking the dynamics of soul family integration and one sound to fuse us all. Composed and arranged by Joel Karabo Elliott, the original Roots Grown Deep family originates and co-creates community in southern Africa and extends joy outward into the world, drawing the American Branches into the orbits of synergy and awareness through this sound medicine.
The Musical Ecology audio epic expresses the longings and values of a presently scattered cosmic family that is gradually finding their place and purpose through divine guidance in this confused and corrupted world. The deep listener who relates personally to this journey imagines herself as the epic’s protagonist. In harmony with the music of life, she learns to travel light through error and pain toward wholistic healing, a universal purification adventure that comes by way of spiritual and organic reconnection. He embraces the union of earthly, celestial and divine energies which are inaugurating a new planetary epoch of light and life. In the process, they finds their soul’s purpose while participating in the birthing and raising of new, righteously woven communities.
A truly head-meets-heart sound journey, The Musical Ecology bursts forth with prayers and songs of fellowship, celebration and deep solitude. as our soul's adventure traverses the mountaintops, river valleys and village chants of our precious earthen homes, in search of the beloved community and right relationship with our home.
Musically speaking, this is a post-genre world fusion sound, combining rhythms, instrumentation, tonalities, structures, lyrical phrasing and spoken languages from a sea of backgrounds and traditions as diverse as the Roots Grown Deep ensemble itself. American jazz, rhythm and blues, country and bluegrass, southern African dinaka tsa bapedi, mbaqanga, Xhosa praise singing, Native American and African chant-praise, zydeco, Caribbean reggae, gospel, hip-hop, European classical and Indian raga are all poignantly present throughout the work, yet in most cases these influences are seamlessly woven into one compositional tapestry, creating a truly “world music”.
We are Traveling Light toward A Whole Regeneration in The Musical Ecology of Roots Grown Deep...
[to be continued...]
released February 22, 2022
The Roots Grown Deep ensemble musicians for The Musical Ecology audio epic are:
Naftali Kholofelo Mphago Matibela [core band]
Ntando Basslyn Mbatha Majola [core band]
Nelius Nortje [core band]
Lantern Seka Maleka [core band]
Joel Karabo Elliott [core band, lead composer]
Chris J Mocke
Asanda Msaki Mvana
Nkoto Malebye Modiba
Neahtyah Baht Ammi
Francois le Roux
Roland Pickl Mudungaze
Ilke Lea Alexander
Oja Soundtwista Vincent
Maritza Camacho Pedraza
Michelle Sintaa Morna
and the children’s choir of Southern Villas in Naturena, Johannesburg
We exude our deepest loving gratitude to our mother-chiefs, the care takers, healers and chefs who have made the path between us smoother, that we might find and see one another more easily:
Phillippa Yaa Devilliers
Tanith Christie Scott
Sonia José Induna
Candice Christine Tilly
Otilia da Conceicao Aquino
Nombuso Nomk’phiwa Zulu
Catherina Vosloo Mocke
Michelle Heartnectar Carter
Modipadi Mavis Mogasie Mathabatha Mphahlele (may she ascend in peace)
The audio epic has been co-produced through the engineering genius Roland Pickl at his balmy musical paradise of Studio Bom Dia in Inhambane, Mozambique. Additional recordings were made with great thanks to Philip Pells (Africa Sun Studios) in Cape Town, Gary Ndlovu in East London, Ashley Kgabo (Phunk Deposit Records) in Tshwane, and Chris Mocke (Katbok Studios) in Tzaneen. A number of recordings of natural soundscapes and children singing were recorded with a Samsung phone. Great thanks to the Swiss Arts Council – Prohelvitia Johannesburg for their sponsorship of our 2017 ‘Roots Grown Deep in Mozambique’ tour, during which we began the recordings that would become The Musical Ecology. We give thanks also for these organizations, communities and institutions which have supported our work over the years: Capital Arts Revolution, One Shushu Day, Concerts SA, JabuMind, Ntinga Ntaba ka Ndoda, Jozi Unsigned, The Hive Muizenberg, Village Tourism Trust, Bjatladi Youth Development, Open Africa, Love Limpopo, Mondo Bizarro, Urban Ecovillage East Nashville, Broken Chords Creative, Nature Roots & the Peter Tosh Memorial, Clear Creek Creative, Akino Café, Museu Mafalala, Tofo Tofo Twice As Good, Terra Khaya, Emerald Hill Farm, Loerie’s Love, Learning Clan, Sumi Restaurant, Heartland School of Self-Sufficiency, Afrikan Freedom Station, Re-Imagined Learning Centre, Sedikong sa Lerato & Organic Farming.
Love and elevation to those in my/our Family who have continuously guided, inspired, encouraged, upheld and danced to this vision: Dennias Moribo Mashegwane, Boitumelo Tseya Phasha, Daniel Stompie Selibe, Martin Glinister, Bob Martin & Carrie Brunk, Madala Kunene, Bruce Copley, Nick Slie, Matthias Abercherli & Kalindi Karabo Matjokana, Sibusile Xaba, Rebecca Kinslow, Nokuzola Amani Chalufu, Marc Leistner, Masauko Chipembere, Mpho Tinyiko Azah Mphago, Nontsikelelo Zoba Mqhayi, Nduduzo Makhatini, Daniel Miller & Elsebe Cronje, Jill Apperson Manly, Tom Barker, Alex Dau, Rethabile Ts’eiso Phakisi, Antonio Jamisse, Gugu Duma, Tawanda Mhandu, Taleszia Pillay Raubenheimer, Dr Philip Thabane & Malombo, Mike Gardner, Ivan Augusto Laranjeira, Lesedi Ntsane, Samantha Dry, Lerato Kuzwayo, Thandwefika Tshabalala, Duncan Harling, Bra Steve Kwena Mokoena, Busisiwe Nzongo Masondo, Retang Segodi Malahlela, Matthew John Purkis, Anna-Lena May, Anja Gunther, Luyolo Lenga, Tumi Mogorosi & Gabisile Motuba, Joana Amorim & Michael Beck, John & Mary Miller, Tebogo Modisane, Mercy Dhliwayo, Mukondi Knowledge Makhwara, Avhashoni Mainganye, Chanel Badenhorst, Maggie Baleta, Sally Kuiper, Roberto Brazy, Whitney Freya, Chris Auret, Phillip Noland Gilbert, Maya Christobel, Alina Talyad, Michelle Carter, Micah Ben-Avi, Ché-Vanni Beon Davids, Victoria Snyder, Jeffrey D Woodard, Amina Ahmad Ford, Sthembiso Mngadi, Mongezi Ntaka, Kristen Gremillion, Lauren Hind, Dan Ellappa, Tebogo & Conny Mametja, Mikyle Busson, Ana Alecia Lyman, Denise & Rob Tooley, Hloki & Moseamo Sebola, Shilongoane Nkoana, Gavin Veitch, Siyabonga & Zweli & Nkululeku Mthembu, Nancy Ginindza, Thabiso Wa Ga Nkoana, Hazel Tobo, Nicole Garneau, the family of Peter Tosh, Andre Mario Smith, Tsepo Pooe & Sophie Ribstein, Alexander Kendzia, Leigh Suarez & Olivia Arreguin, Daniel Sigauque Walter, Arlette Franks, Kagiso Ashley Kgabo, Chrissy Kirkwood, Stuart Schussler, Sthembiso & Selina Gumede, Umtha Namanyange, Christine Klotz, Deon Pienaar, Niann Emerson Chase & Gabriel of Urantia, Merran Roy, Jimi Curve, Nhoza Sitsholwana, Geronimo Mbowa, Angie & Rod Curtis, Rebecca Laven Titus, Leslie & Carol James. I especially love to acknowledge Joyce and Larry Stoecker, Steve and Stacey Elliott, Earl and June Elliott, and Richard and Kristin Elliott for your love and support, for guiding me towards the basketball band, the train, and the piano, for sharing with me The Good News, and for always faithfully sharpening the religious edges of my spiritual development. With love, joel
Connect online with the Roots Grown Deep family, story and calendar of gatherings and programs at...