Luis Canemorto was born in Antarctica out of an extramarital relationship between two researchers of unclear nationality. No one knows his name’s origin. Some tell of an Italian toilet washer who saw him eat a frozen dead dog (cane morto = dead dog). He has never been registered in any country’s registry office, so no one knows his real name. Canemorto does not have any nationality.
He spends his early years alone at the South Pole where the only playmates are penguins. Upon reaching the age of 6, he is abandoned by his parents and sent to an orphanage in Nuuk, Greenland. In the meantime, he starts the process of getting some documents and being able to be adopted. However, the little one ran away and walked to the north. In about two months of frost, he meets an Inuit community that welcomes him.
Canemorto learns the art of hunting, fishing, and Vaskas, a ritual drum played only by the privileged few. At 18 he decides to leave Greenland, but without documents, he sneaks into a cargo ship bound for the Faroe Islands. As baggage, he has a pair of socks, a pair of underwear, and his now inseparable Vaskas.
In Tórshavn, he meets Sven, a shepherd, who introduces him to the world of sheep. For about 10 years Canemorto lives in the Highlands with the shepherd and his beloved sheep. One day, though, he breaks the skin of his Vaskas and Canemorto decides to replace it with the skin of one of Sven’s animals. So he kills the sheep to the shock and dismay of the shepherd.
Now that Canemorto has nowhere to live on the island, he decides to leave. Through Gogo, a trans-Moldovan friend of Sven who lives in Vágur, he obtains a Samoan passport and with the name of “Canemorto Slættaratindur”, he finally leaves the islands for Europe. For Canemorto Belgium is a warm country, but he discovers that the south of France is even warmer, that Italy is even warmer, and that Africa is even warmer.
His wandering ends in Mbabane in Swaziland and in his long 2-year journey Canemorto has already learned 7 languages, has changed the skin of sheep with that of gnu, and has developed an excellent musical technique.
In Mbabane, she finds love, Zukina, a bantú girl. Here, Canemorto begins to perform with his Vaskas, first around the country, then throughout Africa. Initially, Vaskas was just a passion, but soon it turned into a real job. In Al-Ubayyid, at the most famous festival in Sudan, he meets G.C.Wells, a strange guy, who notices him and proposes to follow him to America, promising a recording contract. So at the end of the African tour, Canemorto and Zukina take a plane and reach Eureka in California.
The meeting with G.C. Wells does not turn out well. The singer does not remember the meeting, and, moreover, he claims to have never been to Africa. As an answer, Canemorto, certainly not an English lord, hits G.C.Wells with his Vaskas, breaking his nose and brow arch. On the way to the hospital, the ambulance has an accident and G.C.Wells falls into a coma and stays there for 10 months.
When he wakes up, he finds Canemorto – who has moved into the singer’s house in Eureka – who apologizes for the incident, but G.C. Wells doesn’t remember anything. So a new friendship is born and the two decide to create a brand-new musical project: Escape to the Roof.