Vocalist, performer & composer Vivienne Aerts’ new album Typuhthâng will be released March 3, 2023 in conjunction with International Women’s Day. Together with 100 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 3 sampled soundscapes made from field recordings from Virunga State Park, Congo and 6 original songs with arrangements by Vivienne, Zahili Gonzalez Zamora, Ines Velasco Montiel, Ga Young Bae, Linnea Lundgren, Camila Meza and Mariel Roberts as 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 will be available physically, and digitally. When ordered physically, buyers will get a bar of chocolate with the album. The initial pressing of 500 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 1500 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 labor, 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?”
Aerts is a Dutch New York-based vocalist, conductor, and composer with a focus on electronics and multi-sensory experience design. She studied on a Fulbright and graduated Suma Cum Laude at Berklee College of Music (Boston, USA) where she worked with renowned jazz artists such as Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, and John Patitucci. Since then, Vivienne has shared the stage with both national and international Jazz icons such as Lee Konitz, Kenny Werner, Chris Potter, Peter Erskine, and Florian Weber. Vivienne released her first album Roofgarden in 2009 and her second album Polaroid in 2012. Vivienne has been residing in New York City since 2015 where has performed at the Blue Note Jazz Club, Jazz Standard, Metropolitan room and Mezrow. Together with her husband she organizes events and performances under the name Vervool using jazz, haute cuisine, and modern art.
Aerts also works with Kenny Werner and the Effortless Mastery Institute at Berklee. Before moving to America, she graduated as a jazz/pop choir conductor and got a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology after which she worked several years as a psychologist, a teacher, and a conductor of several choirs besides performing with different bands as a singer. In 2018 Aerts spoke at the National Fulbright conference in Mexico at two TEDx events and recorded on Kenny Werner’s 2019 Vinyl release Church On Mars with Dave Liebman, Terri Lyne Carrington and James Genus for NewVelle records.