Global Beat Fusion: The History of the Future of Music is a forthcoming documentary based on the 2005 book by yoga instructor, DJ and author Derek Beres. Based on a decade of working as an international music journalist, Beres bridges cultures through music, focusing on the sonic heritages of India, Africa, Eastern Europe, Jamaica and America, as well as documenting the rise of the computer in modern music, which he considers the first ‘world folk instrument.’ The result is a musically rich exploration of the diverse nations of the planet united through song and ritual, with a new chapter in the 2014 Kindle edition based on his recent research in music and neuroscience.
Derek’s riveting and insightful lectures (which he’s presented at Harvard, NYU, the University of Alabama and both editions of the Mythic Journeys Conference in Atlanta) uncover a groundbreaking historical connection: the Indian roots of hip-hop. Tracing the migration of indentured servants from India to Jamaica to work on sugar and banana plantations in the 1840’s, Beres discusses the profound influence they had on the formerly enslaved African population, which led to the creation of Nyabinghi communities—the cultural and sonic origins of the Rastafari and reggae music.
From there he dives into the little discussed Jamaican and West Indian influence on rap culture in the Bronx in the early to mid 1970’s. By looking at the imprints each culture left behind, Beres uses this tale to weave together nations socially, culturally, musically and spiritually. The result is a penetrating look into how ideas are formed, as well as how the writing of history is left to those with the loudest voice, often at the expense of others. He also shows how the music that defines nations always emerges from oppressed and low income communities until it garners mainstream appeal, as has been the case with hip-hop, Indian folk music, reggae, Balkan brass, bhangra, flamenco and others.
Produced by Austin-based Mythaphi—the team behind the breakthrough documentary, DMT: The Spirit Molecule, for which Derek served as music supervisor—Global Beat Fusion follows the author to India, Jamaica, West Africa and New York City alongside David ‘Duke Mushroom’ Schommer, his musical partner in EarthRise SoundSystem. In each country they record artists in their respective homelands to create a soundtrack that follows the storyline. The music will then be given to a number of top producers for a complementary soundtrack; all parts will also be released publicly for anyone to use to create a ‘living album’ of incredible music from around the planet.