When Even Birds Need Passports:
In an era of auto-tune and sampling debauchery, Air 2 A Bird is wind to lungs starving for originality. Re-uniting hip-hop visionaries Gabriel Teodros & Amos Miller after their critically acclaimed Lovework collaboration, Air 2 A Bird was born in a manner similar to hip hop culture: amongst people attempting to fly in a world that only reminds you of gravity.
The synopsis begins with lyricist Gabriel Teodros, carrying displaced people inside his tongue, being detained at London-Heathrow Airport & deported. Sent back to New York with his world tour and contracts cancelled, he was given keys to a studio by a friend. His producer Amos Miller, who was to join him on the tour, now spends the next 14 days getting raw and open with the only resources available in the studio: Garage Band, a microphone, and live recordings of actual birds. Thus Air 2 A Bird was created: from two individuals determined to defy border patrol by lettings sounds fly over borders even when bodies are denied.
Beyond Barbed Wire Nests:
Musical aficionados understand the best projects are part invention, part audio ancestry. Air 2 A Bird does not disappoint: their collaborations are West Coast classic rap meets classical music. You would not be surprised to hear them channel early Organized Noise energy into sacred sounds. The movement of the crowd is architecture and indigenous in motion; it is South East Seattle & the C.D., Russian immigrant in a cipher with Hip Hop Pioneers, the Black Panthers, and displaced Ethiopians.
The first project literally is an experiment in flight, sampling a different bird per track. It is no wonder they say this project is wind to other people’s work and lives. Many have asked how do birds re-establish roots when displaced from barbed wire nests? In the words of Gabriel Teodros: "We needed NOT be broken what was in front of us- tour being cancelled- being deported. We needed to CREATE". Since the original recordings Air 2 A Bird has also grown, with the addition of a three part harmony via vocals of Lara Davis and Estrella De Leon.
Finding Roots Through Flight.
Air 2 A bird is an experiment in trust, friendship modeled through music, realizing you have everything you need, when you think we don’t have anything, It may be the first hip hop project focused on sharing stages, rather than monopolizing them. To quote Amos Miller: "Bird’s can’t fly without air; I can’t shine without a community of people, to support and hold me accountable".
For those whose greatest gravity is fear, Air 2 A Bird demonstrates through sound to not be weighed down by this world. It is an attempt to reclaim soul, self & freedom from a music industry that has more in common with border patrol than their listeners.
Should Gabriel and Amos’s tour have occurred, Air 2 A Bird would not exist. For many of us who write, dance, produce, we too know of the ways we are historically not supposed to be alive. Yet even if babies aren’t always planned for, it does not mean they cannot become beautiful. Thus is the way of beats, and the way of birds.
- words by Mark Gonzales