“Embryo has a way of making the world small and the music big” (Monty Waters)
For 50 years the music collective EMBRYO has been building bridges between jazz and Indian, African and Arabic music styles, as pioneers of “World Music”, before it became trendy for musicians from Western Europe and the USA to play together with their colleagues from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania. On their travels from Europe to Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, Egypt and Morocco, EMBRYO played with local musicians, creating a unique sound – the result of cultural exchange at eye level. With the band played jazz greats like Mal Waldron and Charlie Mariano, Afrobeat world star Fela Kuti, the Indian percussionist and musical border crosser Trilok Gurtu, and nearly 500 other guest musicians of various genres and from all over the world.
For the film, EMBRYO keyboarder and director Michael Wehmeyer opens a treasure chest with previously unreleased film footage and photos to convey with images and music EMBRYO’s development from 1960s jazz rock to their very special fusion of world sounds. In interviews, band members and companions recount the times of the group’s foundation half a century ago, in the revolutionary year of 1968, until today. Five decades of traveling, of encounters turned into friendships, and visions of a new way of making music, in the spirit of independence from all existing social and cultural norms. By 2018, finally, Marja Burchard, daughter of the late EMBRYO founder Christian Burchard, undertakes the task to let the group’s legacy expand into 50 more years of global musical experimentation …
The film Embryo – A Journey Of Music And Peace is like the band’s music: at times very dense and focused, at times flowing, and always unpredictable, just like a jam session.
Director: Michael Wehmeyer
Duration: 98 minutes