Once upon a time, there was a man called Kristoffer Gildenlöw, a musician. This man Kristoffer got caught by the cuteness of baby elephants, which is perfectly understandable if you know how cute these can be. He also noticed that 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 organised a campaign to raise money the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The campaign raised €3000, to be spent on care for orphaned.
As a follow up to that, on May 1st 2015, Kristoffer releases a single called Pass the Torch, to once again raise money to save and protect elephants. On this single, he is accompanied by a large group of Dutch, Swedish and English fellow musicians, who agreed to the cause and to submitting all profits made from the sales of the single to the wildlife trust.
The single itself is a 5 minute piece of somewhat surprising music. Kristoffer has a background in metal and progressive rock, but the opening of the track reminds somewhat of circus music, mixed with the jazzy piano of Paolo Conté (for those who know his 80s hit ‘Max’). After the intro, the song gets more of a somewhat jazzy rock feel, with the continued presence of Kristoffer’s organ and bass playing. This gradually develops into a multi vocal, slightly rock musical like piece.
Halfway, a short narration might have a familiar ring to it for Genesis fans (“It’s one o’ clock…”), after which female vocals and the accompanying music take us to what could be a fifties music performance, before the circus like music returns, this time including a youth choir in the background.
Musically, 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. Not exactly a hit parade song, rather a full blown mini musical about being more respectful to Mother Earth. This of course goes back to what I described in the introduction to this little review - killing animals for fun and financial gain only, and cutting down forests is not exactly the way to preserve the planet. As Kristoffer puts it in the lyrics:
“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. ”
A great single, for an important cause. I’d suggest anyone interested in good music and the well being of our planet head over to Kristoffer’s web site and get this single in exchange for a donation of €1 or more. Kristoffer is also releasing an album in January 2016 (follow up to 2010’s RUST), which will not contain this single, there you have another reason to get it.
Kristoffer Gildenlöw - piano, electric piano, organ, bass, guitar, vocals
Colin Leijenaar - drums
Maaike Peterse - cello
Anne Bakker - musical saw
Victoria Rule - trumpet
Rupert Whitehead - trombone
Ray Heame - tuba
Stephanie Tepper - flute and piccolo
Johan Hallgren - vocals
Taloch Tony Jameson - vocals
Maria Catharina - vocals
Students of Wateringse Veld College - Youth Choir