Meet the Team

The Musical Maestros

The music in Under the Marula Tree was composed, played, mixed and recorded by Eugene (The Bone Collector) Viljoen and Corrie (The Car Guard) Pretorius.

Eugene 
Eugene’s vision and passion has driven and shaped the ROOT project to its current form. He does everything to 110 %, whether it is his music or his work as an Orthopaedic surgeon. His attention to detail is legendary and he inspires with his energy and his incredible musical talent. He has been playing and composing music for over 20 years, both solo and in a variety of groups and bands; DOA and Zwarte Piet Band to name a few.
His instrument of choice is the acoustic guitar and he owns both a Lowden f25c and a Taylor 814ce acoustic guitar, both incredible instruments from which he coaxes an expressive repertoire. Both are featured on the tracks of Under the Marula Tree CD.
The Lowden is a classic guitar crafted by self taught master and legendary luthier George Lowden in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. The guitar is hand crafted from the best tone woods and sports the Celtic overtones of its origin with lots of sustain and balance and the best soundbox voicing. It’s hardly surprising that Eugene finds it is an active partner in the creative process and a privilege to play. Something all the guitar playing fanatics out there will surely understand. With the help of Alec Mackay, a luthier in Ballito, Eugene’s Lowden has been modified to a multi-source pickup baritone percussive guitar with banjo tuners on 2 strings, giving an amazing range when performing live!

The Taylor is a guitar built in America by Bob Taylor and Co, made of spruce with a rosewood pickguard. Bob Taylor has designed each unique Taylor body shape with a specific playing style in mind. The 814ce is the quintessential modern acoustic guitar. Every element of the design has been optimized to produce a perfect musical celebration. Additionally, Eugene’s Taylor 814ce has the dulcet sweetness of 18 years of continuous and loving use. Now you get to listen in awe.

Corrie 
Corrie is the other half of the musical genius that has crafted this unique musical journey Under the Marula Tree.
He is a talented musician from a long line of musicians and this is reflected in the range of his prodigious musical talents. He is a singer, composer, multi instrument musician, producer and skilled audio mixer. Indeed, it was his skill in the studio that finally crafted the end product that is Under the Marula Tree, adding musical and emotional depth and identity to the tracks which we hope will capture your hearts and imagination.
He can work wonders with his classic 80’s Yamaha DX7 synthesizer and, of the many instruments he plays with deceptive ease and consummate skill, the Scandalli accordion is one of the most fascinating. In 1900 Silvio Scandalli began making accordions with the help of his family in a small workshop in Italy. From these humble beginnings the Scandalli brand became synonymous with quality and a benchmark for other accordions and continues to be so today. It is finely balanced with an easy and natural movement and the sound is clear and resonant. Its sound quality blends perfectly with other instruments and helps to enhance the ensemble sound, quietly or forcefully, whatever is required.
When you hear the clear tone of the Scandelli running through Under the Marula Tree you know it is in the hands of a master. Corrie’s skill is mesmerizing. It should come as no surprise however, as it’s in his blood. His father Danny Pretorius, a well known, and much loved, musician and comedian was also a maestro of this instrument.

 

Currently Eugene and Corrie perform together as Zeeroover, delighting audiences around South Africa. Learn more at www.zeeroover.co.za.

 

Meet the Photographers
All the photographs in the book were taken by passionate wildlife photographers and husband and wife team, Dudley and Christine Kelbe. Additionally Christine wrote, researched and edited the text for the book.
Dudley and Christine
Like most South Africans, Dudley grew up bare foot and in the bush. The love of all things nature never left him and combined with an insatiable love of travel, a complete disregard for discomfort (or dirt!) and a passion for photography, he has wandered the globe falling in and out of adventures and meeting kindred spirits and forging life long friendships along the way. His enthusiasm is rarely tempered with caution, but humour and generosity buffer the consequences. He is in awe of the beauty and forgiveness of this threatened planet and Africa has a special place in his heart.
Christine was born and bred in the British stronghold of football, Manchester, and followed her heart to Africa at the age of 25. It was love at first sight and now she is proud to call Africa home. The sights and sounds of the bush, the sun on her face and the wind in her hair is her natural environment. A cold glass of white wine doesn’t hurt either!
Together they have travelled through Southern Africa with their cameras, trying to capture and document its incredible beauty, diversity and generosity.  Riding their ancient Toyota Landcruiser, “The Beast”,  they have been privileged to visit ( and break down in!) amazing places and meet inspiring people. The photographic generosity of Africa never ceases to captivate them, the warmth, the colour, the excitement and the love. In the words of  R Elliot,  “If you can only visit 2 continents in your life time, visit Africa…….twice.”
See more of their pictures and follow their adventures at www.kelbephotography.co.za
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