Sky Was Blue - The Bushfire Song
A 31-day bushfire meditation vigil during the Black Summer fires birthed this song
Why I wrote this song
On New Year’s Day 2020, I returned to Canberra to find my home blanketed in thick smoke.
I’d had friends tell me they woke up vomiting in panic as their rooms filled with smoke. My housemate drove to her brother’s farm to fight the blaze, and returned traumatised by the ember storm that could have taken the property and their lives. Story after story filled me up. I was sitting by the piano in my own little cottage, mask on my face, and suddenly the melody, chords and lyrics all fell out at once.
Frustrated by continual inaction on climate change, and swimming in horror stories of friends and family who’d been physically and mentally harmed by the catastrophic blaze, I impulsively decided to sit a meditation vigil in front of Parliament House for an hour everyday of the month of January.
About me as an artist
Reverend Bones is the moniker of Australian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and climate activist Michael John Bones.
During the historic Black Summer bushfires in 2019-2020, Bones sat a daily hour-long meditation vigil in front of Parliament House for 31 days to protest the government’s climate inaction. The song ‘Sky Was Blue’ was written and recorded during that time as a way for Bones to process the emotions and stories of his Canberra community, which had been blanketed in smoke for months on end.
The song was recorded in a few takes at Infidel Studios, engineered and mixed by Louis Montgomery and Mastered by Andrew Edgeson at Studio 301. The video’s bushfire meditation vigil footage was shot by Bones on his MacBook, with Orroral Valley and Namadgi fires and nature footage by Martin Ollman. The video edit was by Jimmy Logue of Crewcible Media.
Reverend Bones has had three singles played on triple j in 2021, and will release his debut album later in 2022.
Outside of music, Bones helped grow Australia’s first fossil free super fund, Future Super, and co-created New Energy, a night of climate conversations, with Jack River.
About the music video
The environmental organisations I admire or support
I support Groundswell Giving and The Climate Council.