EAGLE SCREAMING RED SKY ALIGHT 4:46
(story by kokonda dub)
The story of how the main vocals for this track came about is truly a magical one.
The lyrics were written in collaboaration with Greenland theatre performer and poet Jessie Kleeman.Jessie is known for innovative performance pieces.S also has one of the most incredible voices we have every heard and the dexterity and control she has never ceases to amaze us. TFTT first recorded Jessie years back for the cd Dancing on John Waynes Head.
This time we collaborated to write the lyrics for Eagle Screaming Red Sky Alight.
Jessie contributed the metaphors and mythological images drawn from Greenlands traditional heritage and her own rich imagination.I contributed the radical street politics
with definite inspiration from concepts present in Ricanstructions' lyrics.
While Jessie and I were writing this the intention was to record one version in greenlandic and the other in english.The choice of the english vocalist was up in the air. However for some reason everytime we worked on the lyrics I heard a particular very distinctive voice in my head.
Soon after writing the lyrics I received an email from a friend and music journalist Prasad Bidaye who told there was a group I really had to check out because he felt that they were coming from the same dub vibe as we were. I found myself surfing on the site of Soma Mestizo. One of the first things that intrigued me was when I read how they did a 7inch single against the war in iraq and distributed it for free leaving it in random locations.
This was very much in the style of our freedub projects.Then I noticed that a mp3 called Sunshine available for download.I cant say I was prepared for what I heard.Not did I hear a glorious song but what captivated me totally was the female vocalist on the track. Her voice was exactly the English voice I had heard in my head while working on the lyrics with Jessie.
I was completely stunned by this. Here was the possible vocalist!However the major obstacle was that I was leaving in 5 days time traveling to a location where I would have next to no communication. Discussing this with other members of I.R I was encouraged to try and contact her mainly becuz my intuition and deep emotional response to the track I heard.
On there website I noticed a phone number. I tried it and sure enough in a few moments I found my talking to Christiane D. It was total dub vibes from the second I started talking to. I explained what we were trying to do. I played her over the phone The instrumental track Adrian Sherwood, Pandit G (ADF) and Lee scratch Perry's son Omar had worked on. I then read her lyrics over the phone. A bit nervously I asked her if she was up to trying to do an interpretation of the lyrics over the track. She said she loved the track and the words and she would love to try and that their bands guitarist had a studio and she would record it there and send it by mp3.
The dub was flowing.
A couple things really impacted me about our conversation. First it was the level of trust. There wasn't talk about money, labels how the fuck do I know you wont try to rip me off exploit me here. It was just about feeling and respecting the vibe and trying to figure out how to get it done. In the current state of the world where mistrust and suspicion is the order of the day its dub magical and powerfull when you can find individuals willing to go past this.
In the next day I got an email from Soy SOS from Soma Mestizo who also turned out to part of 3 Generation Walking who also have a wonderfull highly acclaimed cd out. However the joy for me was discovering that he was also totally into dub music! He asked me if he could add some of his own dub layering in his Tuff Sounds studio to go with Christiane D voice. Sure go right ahead I said. He said they would have a mix for me in a few days.
Sure enough soon an email arrived with a mix. It was obvious that both of them had put a tremendous amount of care into the track. Her interpretation matched exactly what I had in my head and the skillful exquisite dub layering by Soy Sos complimented her vocals perfectly.
All the folks in IR crew were Deeply moved by the track as much as by how it as well as the wondrous final result. Community efforts stretching across artifical borderlines is definitely part of the solution.
Once again we would like to thank our bro Prasad Bidaye who guided to the dub of Soma Mestizo and to bobby marshall and ani who gave us strong words of encouragement in difficult timeThis track was fuelled and created by good intentions , good deeds and the absence of cynicism.