Under One Sky is an hour-long vocal and instrumental suite by the Scottish multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer John McCusker, performed by a dozen of Britain’s finest musicians.
Originally a joint commission by the PRS Foundation, the Scottish Arts Council and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Under One Sky sets out to explore and interweave the many different traditions, genres and influences at work across today’s dynamic UK folk scene. Bringing together an array of established and emerging talent from both sides of the Border, McCusker’s hand-picked ensemble includes Blur co-founder Graham Coxon , Idlewild vocalist Roddy Woomble and acclaimed Gaelic songstress Julie Fowlis. Revered balladeer John Tams and rising star Jim Causley also feature among the singers.
McCusker himself heads a crème-de-la-crème instrumental line-up of Andy Cutting (diatonic accordion), Ian Carr (guitar), Emma Reid (fiddle), Iain MacDonald (bagpipes/whistles/flute), Ewen Vernal (bass) and James Mackintosh (percussion). Within McCusker’s compositional framework, each musician has been encouraged to contribute to the music’s development and arrangements, infusing them with a vibrant collaborative spirit.
“When I started putting Under One Sky together the idea was to do two gigs, one at Celtic Connections and the other at Cambridge Folk Festival. It was such a magical experience though, that after the second gig I knew really wanted to work with these amazing folks again,” McCusker says. “Every musician strives to keep doing exciting things, musically, and to play with great people to keep them inspired. Getting to collaborate with these musicians has been the highlight of my musical career so far, and we’re all totally chuffed to be taking it on tour.”