John Eye : vocals, cannon drums, percussion
Christian Gilbert : guitar, snake charmer flute, vocals
Alex Milne : bass guitar
Steve Pavao : Keyboards
Keith Martinelli : percussion, cannon drums
David McFarland : drum kit, cannon drums
Music by 'one of us', words by John Eye. Released in 1996.
This collection of songs was recorded at Necessary Blackout Studios in Boston MA. Produced and engineered by Alex Milne, Steven Pavao, Christian Gilbert, John Eye, and Keith Martinelli. Mastered at M-Works by Jonathan Wyner.
This album was one of my most collaborative efforts for the sheer number of people involved. I was attempting to evolve my vocal skills to the next level, so I had been listening to a lot of world music at the time, particularly several albums off the Real World label, as well as a lot of field recordings of aboriginal ceremonial music. I wanted to tap into the raw emotional need people have felt throughout the centuries to create something that can communicate their passions.
Most of the songs began with the percussion, and marked my return to playing drums which I had given up years before when I first started singing. Christian Gilbert's unique guitar style played a large part in the foundation of the structure of the arrangements as well. He had a deep interest in the eastern melodies and was particularly influenced by the large Moroccan population that had immigrated to Canada and brought their music with them. This immigration completed the world migration to North America of the eastern melodic structure and rhythms that began with Alexander the Great and the Roman empire conscripting soldiers into their armies and relocating them far away from their homes in the west. I see the evidence of this migration in the Russian Klezmer music, the Celtic traditional drumming and vocal style, and obviously the rich musical melting pot that is Morocco. Any peoples who pushed west through Asia, Arabia, and Africa eventually ended up in Morocco bringing with them centuries of culture and musical history.
Christian had a theory that modern rock was primarily derived from the blues, and the blues came from the songs that were sung in the cotton fields on the plantations. Most of these workers could trace their lineage back to Africa. Therefore blues and rock and roll were a branch of the tree of music descended from that western migration of the asian melodies. So in order to create something new he encouraged us to look back to the styles that had influenced the modern forms of music that we knew. This resonated with me, and we began to write 'sky clad'.