Readers of Background Magazine will most likely know the name of Kristoffer Gildenlöw, multi-instrumentalist. Being bass player for Pain Of Salvation until 2006, he has been working as a success ful session musician since then, and is now working on his second solo album. Outside of music, Kristoffer got caught by the cuteness of baby elephants. That is perfectly understandable if you know how cute they can be. However, baby elephants and their cuteness may not be available to future generations, if we continue to allow their habitat to be destroyed and their parents being hunted down and shot just for the ivory of their tusks.
That is why in December 2014, Kristoffer and some of his friends and partners organized a campaign, Baby Elephant Song, to raise money for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The campaign raised €3000, to be spent on care for orphaned elephants.
On May 1st 2015, Kristoffer released a new single for the same cause, called Pass The Torch. This time, he is accompanied by a large group of Dutch, Swedish and English fellow musicians.
The single is a 5 minute piece of progressive rock music, with a few surprises in there. Although Kristoffer has a background in metal and progressive rock, the opening of the track first of all brings to mind circus music, mixed with the jazzy piano of Paolo Conté (think of his single Max from the 1980s). After the intro, the song sounds a bit more jazz rock like, with the emphasis on rock, mainly driven by Kristoffer's organ and bass playing. This develops into a multi vocal, slightly rock musical like piece. Halfway, a short narration that may remind some listeners of Genesis (It's one o' clock...), then female vocals and the accompanying music take us to what could be a fifties music performance, with a lot of brass and multiple vocals. In the end, the circus music returns, with a youth choir in the background.
As said, there are some more surprises to be found, but I don't want to spoil the fun of discovery by doing a second by second description. Rest assured that it will be fun to listen to, and to discover the organ, the bass, the singing saw, the copper section, the cello and so on. This can be described as a full blown mini musical about being more respectful to Mother Earth - fitting in nicely with last year's albums of Unified Progressive Fraternity and Marco Ragni. It's all about taking better care of our planet - killing animals for fun and financial gain only, and cutting down forests is not exactly the way to go. In Pass The Torch Kristoffer wrote:
We need a way that we can show our brilliance
To pass the torch as human race
Set an example for a brighter future, or we will stand for a big disgrace
This is a single, for an important cause and I encourage anyone interested in good music and the well-being of our planet to get this single in exchange for a donation of €1 or more. The single will not be on next year's album.
**** Angelo Hulshout (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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