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feel    sound clip

Feel, baby feel
Feel, baby feel
Everybody 'round the world
That's the way we heal

Cry, baby cry
Cry, baby cry
Everybody 'round the world
Cry, baby cry

Shake, baby shake
Shake, baby shake
Everybody 'round the world
Shake, baby shake

Feel, baby feel
Feel, baby feel
Everybody 'round the world
That's the way we heal

Move, baby move
Move, baby move
Everybody 'round the world
Move, baby move

Yell, baby yell
Yell, baby yell
Everybody 'round the world
Yell, baby yell

Feel, baby feel
Feel, baby feel
Everybody 'round the world
That's the way we heal

Laugh, baby laugh
Laugh, baby laugh
Everybody 'round the world
Laugh, baby laugh

Sing, baby sing
Sing, baby sing
Everybody 'round the world
Sing, baby sing

Feel, baby feel
Feel, baby feel
Everybody 'round the world
That's the way we heal

That's the way we heal . . .


Sam Turton: lead vocal
Peter Grimmer: all percussion (ashiko, conga, tumba, quinto, djembé, clavé, shakers, merengue, güira, repenike, cabasa, toms)
Melissa M. Anderson, Ludlow Buckley, Celia F. Neckles, Alicia Patterson: harmony vocals
Jane Lewis, Heather MacRae, Ken Rootham, Jesse Turton, Jessie Watt: supporting vocals


commentary

When our feelings and real selves are shut down, especially early on, a host of problems arise, from the personal to the global. It's a feeling problem and it requires a feeling solution. We can try to talk, think, pray, meditate, and medicate our way out of this disconnected state, but to be fully alive we have to be fully alive—we need to feel and express all of what we are. If we can cry, shake, move, yell, laugh, and sing with the support of others, the icy walls we are stuck behind will begin to melt.

To express this ancient medicine, I used the most ancient musical forms of all—hand drums and voice. The instrumentation respectfully honours the musical styles of all indigenous peoples, especially from Africa, North America, South America, Central America, and the Carribean. The bass tone is a west African Djembé played with hypnotic simplicity in the North American native style. The steady higher tone is an Ashiko, a traditional central African drum. The steady hand pattern is provided by the Congas—three different sized Cuban drums named conga, tumba, and quinto. Peter added many other South and Central American percussive rhythms, topping it all off with drumsticks on a small tom for the solo fills. Peter laid all this down in the studio himself (he has impeccable time!) but it's a group jam when we play live.

The melody is rooted in the Afro-American animist spiritual tradition, from which southern work songs, blues, and gospel grew. It is a hot, swampy, trance-inducing sound meant for moving, singing, dancing, and healing. It came to me, as many songs do, when I was out walking. I wanted a simple song that everyone could sing along with.

For support vocals, we multitracked a group singing the melody, and multitracked a gospel quartet for the syncopated, asymetric harmonies. The result is an otherworldy mood that is impossible to accomplish with electronic instruments.