Welcome to the music of "Skydancer"!
All proceeds from this CD after costs Benefit the Akwesassne Freedom School. Thank you for supporting Native American Culture!
Today, July 28, 2011, Skydancer is just starting it's run in the film festival scene after celebrating it's debut at the Brooklyn Film Festival on June 4, 2011. Directly following that initial screening, Native American singer/songwriter Bear Fox and film composer Robby Baier took to the stage to perform some of the pieces featured in the film. Just like on the CD, Bear's intimate honesty washed over the people and brought tears to the eyes of many in the audience. It was that wonderful energy that initially attracted documentary fIlmmaker and director Katja Esson to spend more time filming Bear, the wife of one of her protagonists. As it turns out, Bear ended up as one of the "stars" of the film. In conversations between composer and music supervisor Robby Baier and Katja Esson it became clear that Bear Fox should be featured not only on screen but as part of the soundtrack. Robby and Bear began a rewarding musical relationship that has now, 3 years later, blossomed into 2 full length CD releases (Bear Fox: Rich Girl, and The Akwesassne Women's Singers) and they are currently working on Bears new solo record.
Jerry McDonald Thundercloud, the main character in Skydancer, is a wonderful musician, dancer and traditional craftsman. To jump start the creative process of the soundtrack, Robby invited Jerry to his studio, the Substation Recording Studio in Housatonic, MA. Drums, rattles and flutes played by Jerry were married to slide guitars and drones to create some of Skydancer's haunting atmospheres. Others, like the flute track "Carlisle Indian School", were left bare and open.
While editing the film in Berlin, Germany, Katja called upon her good friend and composer Matthias Falkenau to offer his skills on the synth to create the bombastic opening theme that we hear as we fly over the NYC skyline.
As the film editing process kicked into high gear, more songs were needed. It just so happened that at that time Robby was on vacation in Hydra, Greece. He had brought his portable recording set up and was able to write and record with borrowed and improvised instruments. A Baglamas, a greek melodic instrument used in Rebetica performances provides the repetitive, rhythmic part in "Shekon" as well as the picking part in "Heading Back Home". The Shaker used on those songs was made out of an old coffee can and beach sand. A classical guitar was borrowed. He then mixed the songs back home in the States at Substation Studio.
Robby Baier and Katja Esson have been working together since "Ferry Tales", Katja Esson's Oscar nominated Documentary about what goes on in the Ladies Room of the Staten Island Ferry. They are currently starting production on their third collaboration tentatively entitled "Back Roads USA", a French production featuring the beauty of the American landscape as well as the colorful characters that live on the back roads.