To the inhabitants of the green, green world
I was sixteen when the jungle caught my eye. I was thrilled
by the hidden treasures of the weird wild world I saw
and read about in a beautiful picture book dedicated
to the tropical rainforest.
The co-operation and competition of the
creatures fighting for their places in the sun and
shade…. and the bright colors or - instead - incredible
disguises some animals and plants had developed to
survive their predators… what ingenuity! Walking
through the Hortus Botanicus I smelled the moist
plant life of faraway tropical countries I hoped to visit
someday. Meanwhile the news was spread that this
unique ecosystem was rapidly disappearing. It all
resulted in me entering a career as “social forester”,
a forestry engineer especially
concerned with the people in and surrounding the
tropical forests, intent ofn helping find
solutions to the disappereance of both.
Rush in the Woods! is a musical project inspired by
my love for and travels to the tropical forests of Costa
Rica, Indonesia and other countries in Asia and Latin
America. I traveled to these forests as a forestry student
and later as a researcher of rural development and
rainforest campaigning. In Rush in the Woods!
I melded my passion for music and the human emotions
that have guided me as a jazz singer, and my
passion for the natural world and its inhabitants that
have guided me as a researcher and decision-maker.
Oncethe idea for this musical adventure was born,
the song just came out naturally. I wrote most songs
in a rush in the early part of this year.
Then my band; Bert van den Brink, Tony Overwater and
Joshua Samson joined in to refine and further improvise
on the material.
King’s crown is a monologue to a huge tree, the king
of the forest who finally has to admit defeat…..
In Fatal embrace one may recognize a suffocating
relationship… which happens when the jungle tree is
invaded by a strangler fig… The rain forest animals,
such as monkeys (Monkey jump), blue butterflies (Beauty in blue),
the jaguar and the sloth (Lazy, lazy….) are inspiring
topics recognizeable for many who have been visiting
the jungle. But…. what do we know of the intriguing
life in the upper layers of the rainforest (Treasures)…
or the people that are sent away from the forests
(and their possibilities to grow...) to live a life in the
hostile cities (All the gold)?
You are invited to join us on this musical expedition
to the treasures of the wild woods now…..
Heleen van den Hombergh,
Amsterdam, October 2004