Fields of Growth is happy to announce the release of an album recorded by Frances Luke Accord featuring The Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir!
Brian Powers and Nick Gunty joined us on a trip to Uganda in an effort to share their passion: Music. They were immediately flooded with new experiences, emotions, and connections to the people of Uganda and even more so to the children at the HOPEFUL School. In this soulful collaboration, Brian and Nick take us on their journey of discovery.
All proceeds of the CD sales will go directly to the benefit of The Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir at the HOPEFUL School in Masaka, Uganda.
Here is how Frances Luke Accord described the experience:
Kandote is a collaborative music project between Frances Luke Accord (Brian Powers and Nicholas Gunty) and the Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir of Kkindu Village, Uganda. The project is intended to establish a lasting means of financial support for the children’s education through a product of their own hand—or rather, voice.
The concept for the project began in Fall 2011 when our friend, mentor, and fellow social concerns activist Kevin Dugan invited us to come to Uganda. Dugan, founder of the NGO Fields of Growth International (FoG), encouraged us to explore the musical potential of a young troupe of singers associated with the school run by FoG. After many donations from friends and family, grants from University of Notre Dame’s ISLA and CUSE, a brief passport scare, and plenty of medical errands, we packed our bags (not the lightest of which contained a hefty field-recording rig) and left for East Africa. The warm, witty, and ultra-hospitable trio of Maurice Sserunkuma, Andrew Musambi, and Sam Otoa received the two of us when we arrived on that balmy December evening. For the next two weeks, they were our guides, teachers, roommates, translators, and friends, and for that we thank them greatly.
After a five-hour drive from Entebbe (and in a different geographical hemisphere), we arrived in Kkindu just before sundown. We were greeted with what felt like a feast in the home of the calm and perspicacious matron Auntie Margaret, who generously provided us with many feasts and many beds while the crew stayed in Kkindu. The following morning, we met the choir for the first time, greeted by a wave of surprising, humbling applause as we walked through the threshold into their practice room.
The choir, who go by the telling epithet “The Barefoot Truth Choir,” were an incredibly well-behaved, patient, and engaged group of youngsters, which made working with them nothing less than an honor and privilege. When we weren’t working, we were even more privileged to sit in on some of their regular rehearsals to observe (and eventually participate in) their song and dance renditions of (mostly) traditional Bagandan Folk music. Although we had come to Uganda with some loose ideas already in mind, this exposure came to influence virtually every aspect of the record. In fact, we felt so compelled by this energetic and powerful music that we incorporated one of our favorite numbers, “Amaholo” (the African title of which is “Amaholo Anji Mungu”) into the tracklist. Detix, one of the young adult choir directors, sings lead.
When we had collected about as much material as our computers could hold (including video of some performances that we intend to produce and release at a later date), we had to say our farewells and head back home, although a portion of our hearts now permanently resides in the Pearl of Africa. The remainder of the album was recorded and produced in Nicholas’s home studio in South Bend, Indiana, mostly throughout the summer of 2012.