Vocalist, performer & composer Vivienne Aerts’ new album Typuhthâng will be released March 3, 2023 in conjunction with International Women’s Day. Together with one-hundred next-generation female musicians, and in collaboration with Original Beans Chocolate, Typuhthâng aims to empower the female cacao farmers of Virunga State Park in Congo and replant the rainforest.
The album features three sampled soundscapes made from field recordings from Virunga State Park, Congo and six original songs with arrangements by Vivienne, Zahili Gonzalez Zamora, Ines Velasco Montiel, Ga Young Bae, Linnea Lundgren, Camila Meza and Mariel Robertsas well as recordings by 100 female musicians from over 40 countries.
The songs featured in Typuhthâng are meant to empower women to participate in every role of the project including performing, recording, arranging, mixing, and mastering. Vivienne aims to create a larger collective awareness about sustainability and female empowerment, and how we can work together to make the world a better place.
The album, which will be reviewed for SimplyJazzTalk, will be available physically and digitally. When ordered physically, buyers will get a bar of chocolate with the album. The initial pressing of five-hundred exclusive copies will feature Cacao nib paper and screen print.
Aerts’ music translates feelings into song and connects with people of various backgrounds on a deep and personal level with a light-hearted approach. It contains themes of self-appreciation and the ability to create your own path in life.
My work with Vervool, a bespoke multi-sensory experience launched with my pastry chef husband, Ted Steinebach, connected me with Original Beans Chocolate,” says Aerts. “Talking with Philipp Kauffmann, the founder, I was inspired by their passion for sustainability, The Femmes de Virunga are a cacao farm collective of fifteen-hundred women in Virunga State Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The collective, initiated and supported in 2008 by Original Beans, gave women the tools and opportunities to overcome extreme hardship and political unrest. These women, often victimized and routinely left to undertake hard agricultural labour, were empowered through literacy campaigns and leadership training, invited to cultivate cacao and set up a tree nursery. In cultivating this crop, they cultivate their communities. Continued learning, regenerative farming and stable “living wage” from Original Beans enables them to elevate their standard of living.
“I wanted to use my music to raise awareness of this project. I wanted to use my music, not to inspire charity but to match their entrepreneurial spirit and generate business, ‘Let’s make an album that sells their chocolate.’ And of course, chocolate and music are a bit of a magical combination, right?”