Wednesday, May 22, 2024

New Documentary Soundtrack Coming for ‘Ancient History Hunters’


*“I Remember The Future,” composed and performed by Robert Irving III, Bikbaye Inejnema and Aaron D. Spears as part of the self-contained band collective, Diasporic Progeny, is the theme song for the documentary film series, “Ancient History Hunters” created by Filmmaker, Diane Blackmon-Bailey. She developed the concept after several years of writing and researching a series of hidden-history articles published through EURweb and other national and global media publishers.  The track is being released as a lead single on the Sonic Portraits Jazz label in advance of the documentary.

Robert Irving III
Robert Irving III

Five-time Grammy Award nominated producer Robert Irving III,who collaborated for nine-years with the legendary Miles Davis, composed and produced the music and lyrical concept (inspired by Ms. Blackmon’s work). The spoken-word themes and verses were created and performed by international cultural activist/teacher Bikbaye Inejnema and actor, Aaron D. Spears who plays the role of Justin Barber on the Bold and Beautiful television series and snuggles up with Oprah Winfrey on GREENLEAF.  The featured vocalists are Mia Rebel (heard singing the chorus) who composed, produced and performed music for the Universal Pictures film Empire and Molinea Maria (featured on lead vocals), who is a Chicago based singer/actress popular with big-band leaders for her ability to transverse Jazz, Rock, Pop. R&B, Blues, Gospel and World Music styles with a strong, distinctive sound. She is equally comfortable in black dramatic and musical theater roles.  She, Bikbaye and featured trumpet player, Corey Wilkes (Empire TV series regular) all worked together with Irving’s African Arts Ensemble that recorded the only album featuring authentic Medu Neter (hieroglyphic writing of ancient Egypt) language (of which Bikbaye is an expert and teacher).

Corey Wilkes

Other notable musicians featured are drummer/percussionist Vince Wilburn Jr., the nephew of Miles Davis (leader of the Miles Electric Band the official alumni group), bassist Frank Russell who played with Freddy Hubbard and spent a decade touring with Ladysmith Black Mombanzo. Featured on guitar is André Lassalle, a New York based member of the Black Rock Coalition who played on the soundtrack of the Motion Picture “Street Smart,” which featured the trumpet of Miles Davis. He has collaborated with Buddy Guy, Vernon Reid and other greats.

Vince Wilburn Jr.

The Making Of “I Remember The Future”
Irving shares, “The coming together of I Remember The Future (When I Remember The Past) is filled with synchronicity. Just after Bikbaye and I spoke about the documentary, I just happen to be in LA between tour dates with the Miles Electric Band when I had the inclination to revisit a contemporary version of Decoy (a composition I had originally written for Miles). On this version, Corey Wilkes played trumpet. I started by taking elements of his solos and looping them with a basic afro-world beat drum pattern I created.  One-by-one, the various musical elements began to flow out.

L-R; Aaron D. Spears, Greg Spero, Mustafa Salahuddin Bey (documentary Host), Robert Irving III & Bikbaye Inejnema at The Tiny Room Studio in Los Angeles

I sent a basic track to Bikbaye who created his spoken-word chorus without having heard the musical chorus I had composed. He sent a copy to his longtime friend actor/rapper, Aaron D. Spears to write a rap verse. They had both migrated to Los Angeles from Chicago years ago.  Vince Wilburn Jr. heard about the project and offered to play drums, so he brought in recording engineer, Wolfgang Aichholz to set up and record live drums and percussion at his home where I was staying in the West Hills area of LA.  I later booked studio time to record spoken word at The Tiny Room studio owned by Greg Spero, another ‘Third Coast’ (Chicago) musician transplanted to the West Coast. Upon arrival at the studio, Mia Rebel phoned Bikbaye to say that she had just landed in LA for the Academy Awards because her company, OG Hot Sauce, was a sponsor of the awards show.  He invited her over to record and she agreed as long as we could expedite her part of the session.  We both knew Mia Rebel for over a decade as a serious published

songwriter and vocalist whose performance with the Legendary Les Paul is archived in the Smithsonian Hall of Fame for music.  Her contribution is integral and uniquely Mia.Back in Chicago, I added Molinea Marie for her powerful vocal stylings. When Ms. Blackmon heard the theme music she asked if our 2-minute theme could be expanded into a full length song. With her challenge and inspiration, I created the “B” section to expand the piece, adding a Fender Rhodes solo and more orchestration. I then invited the participation of Frank Russell who is also an artist on the Sonic Portraits Jazz label because I knew we needed a serious groove esthetic on bass as the track started to develop in a more edgier direction. André Lassalle whose family hails from Grand Cayman Island, was the one and only logical choice on guitar because of the high integrity of his Rock pedigree and our long history as well as his close connections with both Molinea and Bikbaye. He flew in those amazing guitar parts and solo from his home studio in New York.


Diane Blackmon Bailey, Executive Producer, of exciting new Documentarry Series ‘Ancient History Hunters’.
Frank Russell
André Lassalle

Fascinating Vintage Photo from the Documentary AHH

The fact that this project came together with collaborators from three coasts speaks to the diasporic nature of the concept. The group collective name Diasporic Progeny just presented itself to me as the natural delineation, especially when considering the larger history discussed in the documentary series, Ancient History Hunters.  I have the highest respect for Diane Blackmon and Lee Bailey (creator of the legendary RADIOSCOPE show, Black University Radio Network and Blackmon Entertainment Media) for their work in the preservation of and presentation of Black History and Culture. Without their vision, this music would not have been created.”

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