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Brenda also repeatedly interviewed the very person who for 30 years has been selecting and overseeing the mpingo harvesting process in Mozambique for the Theodor Nagel Company, exporter of African blackwood from Mozambique. Theodor Nagel has been the primary supplier of African blackwood to the music industry since 1900.

Brenda, who often plays her Buffet "greenline" oboe (made of sawdust, carbon powder and glue), has also established a multi-instrumental ensemble called "Mpingo's Fruit." Musicians in this ensemble play instruments made entirely or in part from African blackwood. They perform both classical and jazz and educate audiences about the role of African culture in Western music.


“The most unhappy thing about conservation is that
it is never permanent.
Save a priceless woodland
or an irreplaceable
mountain today,
and tomorrow
it is threatened
from another quarter.”
-Hal Borland

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Brenda is well known in the world of music as an "oboe advocate." She plays musical styles ranging from baroque to modern, bluegrass, world music and jazz, and performs in almost any setting. She has released one CD entitled "Oboes Of the World" and is currently working towards another.

You can read about Brenda on her website at:

Eden’s Orchestra

In January the ABCP was contacted by Mr. Sam Bridgewater, a botanist at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh Scotland. Mr. Bridgewater requested permission to use information from the ABCP website for an exhibit called "Eden's Orchestra," which was to focus on the links between plants and musical instruments from around the world. He wrote: "We are highlighting instruments from a variety of different cultures, and I intend to use blackwood as a case study, investigating the effects of the instrument trade (flutes/bagpipes etc.) on this species, and why it is so favored. As part of this I would like to make the public aware of initiatives such as yours which are tackling the issues of sustainability."

Mr. Bridgewater interviewed musicians and instrument makers for the exhibit and collected a wide variety of instruments from cultures around the world, identifying the plant species used in making different parts of the instruments. He interviewed Sebastian in Tanzania and toured his various nursery projects in the area. He also interviewed traditional instrument makers in Dar es Salaam.

The exhibit, attended by 40,000 people, featured a combination of botanical displays, interactive exhibits, workshops and musical performances. Information on the exhibition is available at




ABCP Website maintained by James E. Harris, 2000.
Last revised 27 Apr 2008.