Rise With the Ranks


The name comes from a Eugene Debs quote: "When I rise it will be with the ranks, not from the ranks". The song is based on a drum arrangement Derek learned from Nininho of Maracatu Badia called "Subindo a Ladeira", which is Portuguese for "climbing the hill". The struggle for a new society of justice, equality, liberation, love, compassion, sustainability, and peace can at times seem like an extremely tall mountain to climb. It can even feel like we'll never get there. Derek's wish is for us to come together, help each other to remain hopeful and determined, practice mutual support and mutual respect, realize that we all have a shared interest in ending a violently destructive system of exploitation and oppression, and keep climbing.

The melody is somewhat based on the Hindustani classical raga "Brindabhani Sarang" that Derek learned from Baba Ali Akbar Khansahib at the Ali Akbar College of Music. "Sarang" represents a family of mostly noon-time ragas, meant for when it's hot and the sun is blazing, and the music is often played fast and furious. Since "sarang" is Hindi for "multicolored" or rainbow, the alternate title for the track is "Subindo a Sarang", or climbing the rainbow. Brazilian Portuguese meets Hindi, which is what this song and album represent more broadly from a musical perspective.

Derek Wright: oud, cümbüş bağlama saz, snare drum, gonguê (bell), alfaia (bass drum), agbê (gourd shaker), conga, timbal, cymbal
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Release date:  
August 2, 2016


Multi-instrumentalist: oud, saz, Brazilian percussion (maracatú, other rhythms from Pernambuco, various forms of samba), body music, bass, Middle Eastern percussion, and more. 10 years studying North Indian classical music on the oud and voice interwoven with 15 years studying Brazilian music and dance (including 5 trips to Brazil for a total of 1 year of training) have given Derek a unique approach to music, rhythm, dance accompaniment, improvisation, movement, teaching, and life.

Derek is available for performances, dance collaborations, recording sessions, teaching, licensing, live accompaniment (films, plays, classes, etc), acting, and many other creative possibilities. He is also a certified practitioner and instructor of BREEMA (a bodywork method bringing body and mind together in harmony) and incorporates embodied mindfulness into his teaching and playing.