Recorded Spey River Studio
Owen Sound, Ontario
Guests: St. Reg Choir
The lyrical idea for the song was suggested by novel of historical fiction called A Booke of Days by Stephen J. Rivelle. It's a fascinating story told from the point of view of a minor French knight who is part of the First Crusade (1096 -1099), and explores the mores and conventions of the medieval warrior-aristocracy.
The sub-title (Deus Suos Agnoscet) means "God will know his own", which is the second half of a quote attributed to one of the leaders of the Albigensian Crusade in southern France (a hundred and fifty years later). When asked how to tell heretics from Christians he is reputed to have replied, "Kill them all. God will know his own."
But all that came later. Rather than begining from a thematic idea and proceeding from there, this song was created entirely in the studio as a series of stream-of-consciousness recording experiments. My guiding principle was that I wanted to create a groove that hung on rhythm and atmosphere, rather than on a lyrical narrative or melody.
The percussion tracks were recorded first beginning in 2006; the guitar riff was something I made up when I bought my very first acoustic guitar at age 16; the bass part went down next and then more percussion. It was laborious and piecemeal and time-consuming... and a delightfully enjoyable process, painting a sonic landscape. There was a good deal of trial-and-error and it was great fun. The bells are wineglasses played with a butter-knife and put through a pitch-bender.
The instrumental tracks sat more-or-less complete for a couple of years before I had any idea of what the lyrical content would be.