Stories Behind the Songs: “Two-Spirit Again”

Posted by  Grand Poobah  May 6, 2013  •  No Comments  • 

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AshikoRather late in the writing process, I decided that an explanation of the term “Two-Spirit” was needed, and it was obvious that the opening song should be reprised in some fashion in doing this.  To avoid any copyright infringement, I read a number of original sources on the subject and then, in my own words, wrote the “book quote” that the character Lucy reads to Jackie.

We recorded the instrumental backing long before the vocals were laid down, so we had to guess at how long it would take Katie to read the text.  It turned out that she read it much more quickly than I had expected; this led to a significant elapse of time before Jackie’s response began.  I ended up cutting out several measures of the backing, and I also digitally slowed down/stretched out her speech so that it occupied a little more time.

The drum I play in the background is an African ashiko, which I actually made myself.  Well, sort of.  I attended a drum workshop where we were provided the wooden shell, which was made of several pieces of wood of different shades pasted together.  I sanded down the shell till it was smooth, then painted it with shellac; once that was dry, I sanded it again.  Then I took an African goat skin (also provided), made holes in it, and stretched it across the shell by weaving strong twine around the drum in the traditional way.  It was a lot of work stretching it!  Later I had to shave off the hair on top of the skin—yes, with a razor!  It took two days to finish the thing.  I really like this drum, but I’m not sure if I’d want to go through the ordeal of making one again.

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