The band started in 1981 from a pool of musicians who were, at the time,
playing all kinds of different types of music for the (then) Ballet Rambert, based in London.
A new ballet was choreographed (called "Ghost Dances" ) about political
oppression in South America, to the music of Inti-Illimani, the exiled Chilean folk group.
The company preferred to use live musicians (rather than tapes) for
performances, so volunteers were sought and "yours truly" and five others put up our hands.
We listened to the Inti-Illimani tracks (and were blown away) and
instruments were procured from Nicolas Perez Gonzales of "Los Calchakis"...
..They arrived three weeks before the first performance and we took them out
of the crate, tried to figure out which way up they went, and got on with
the business of learning to play them. (special shout to Simon Rogers, who
unravelled the complexities of the charango in record time).
The show was a hit and before long the "band" was offered a record contract.
We had to call ourselves something so played around with the word "Inca".
Having rejected "Stinca" (!?!), we settled on "Incantation".
We had a surprise hit single with a track called "Cacharpaya" but the vibe
was always to take a musical journey and record albums of whatever happened.
We made three albums for Beggars Banquet in the UK, including the 3rd (duh!)
which was half recorded in Bolivia and Peru and spawned a TV documentary.
The band line-up subsequently changed on an almost regular basis with the
stable (?!?!?!) elements being myself and Mike Taylor, and we continued to
record for various people and tour several times a year. Nothing if not
Film work began to creep in and the album thing was sidelined. It could,
however, (the album thing), burst unexpectedly through the barn door
in the foreseeable future. Don't panic and no need to lock up your