Tanya Tagaq in Concert with Nanook of the North – 11.10.16 – 7:30

Tanya Tagaq

Thursday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m. – Hering Auditorium

Celebrated Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, a Polaris Music Prize winner and two-time Juno Award nominee, reclaims the controversial 1922 film Nanook of the North. Working with composer Derek Charke (whose “Tundra Songs” Tagaq performed with the Kronos Quartet), Tagaq, along with percussionist Jean Martin and violinist Jesse Zubot, perform a live accompaniment to the film’s silent images of life in an early 20th-century Inuit community in Northern Quebec.

Tanya Tagaq’s music isn’t like anything you’ve heard before. Unnerving and exquisite, Tagaq’s unique vocal expression may be rooted in Inuit throat singing but her music has as much to do with electronica, industrial and metal influences as it does with traditional culture. Tagaq employs exquisite improvisations with traditional roots—a style she has perfected over a decade of performances on major stages worldwide—as well as through collaborations with Björk, Mike Patton, and many others.

With this project, Tagaq reclaims the controversial 1922 silent film Nanook of the North. Nanook of the North is considered the world’s first major work of non-fiction filmmaking, yet it is rife with contradictions. The film portrays the lives of an Inuk family in Arctic Canada. Its director, Robert Flaherty, lived and worked with Inuit for years, but still included staged scenes of buffoonery and feigned Inuit ignorance of modern accoutrements.

Drawing on her childhood on Nunavut’s Victoria Island, and on her mother’s memories of forced relocation from the film’s Northern Quebec location, Tagaq’s sense of the sound of the Arctic spaces shown in the film transforms the images, adding tremendous feeling and depth to what is a complex mix of beautiful representations and racially charged clichés.


4:00 PM Sunday, November 6th, the Morris Thompson Center
Maya Salganek, Filmmaker and Director of Film Studies will moderate a panel discussion on
Representation and Misrepresentation in Indigenous Film
Panelists: Ronald  Brower Sr.; Allan Hayton; Da-ka-xeen Mehner; Princess Lucaj, and Kavelina Torres
followed by a light snack of akutaq and fried bread (donated by Walkie’s sister Mary Keyes)
Inu-Yupiaq Dance group will perform several dances
Donations accepted

Monday, November 7th, the Morris Thompson Center
6:00 PM Leonard Kamerling, Curator of Film, UA Museum of the North
Nanook Revisited: Robert Flaherty’s Seminal 1922 film, Nanook of the North
7:15 PM Dr. Paul Krejci, UAF Music Dept.
Inuit Throat Singing and Cultural (Mis)Representation
Donations accepted

6:00 PM Wednesday, November 9th, Mushers Hall
Join us for a pot luck and welcome Tanya to Fairbanks
Dene Intertribal Dance Group will perform.
Tanya will speak about her background and work
Please bring a dish to share
Donations accepted

Public Performance

7:30 PM Thursday, November 10 , Hering Auditorium
Public performance in concert with Nanook of the North

*** Winner 2015 Juno Award for Best Aboriginal Album ***
*** Winner 2014 Polaris Music Prize ***

“It’s modern dance meets modern art, narrated by an ancient voice… the best musical performance any of us had ever seen.”
— Vice Music

“Watching Tanya Tagaq perform is more than just an auditory and visual experience: it’s physical… She unleashes something fierce and powerful that comes from deep within her body, yet seems positively unearthly… tapping into traditional Inuit throat singing — growling, cooing, howling, and manipulating her breath into frenetic rhythms — but adapting it to create a hybrid that sounds simultaneously animal and alien, ancient and modern.”
— Musicworks Magazine

“Fiercely contemporary… Recalling animal noises and various other nature sounds, she was a dynamo, delivering a sort of gothic sound art while she stalked the small basement stage with feral energy.”
— Jon Caramanica, The New York Times

“Tagaq projects sounds that carry the imprint of the body’s secret contours and recesses, delving far beyond personal utterance, out beyond human identity, to summon voices from the flesh cavity haunts of animal spirits and primal energies.”
— The Wire, UK

“To witness Tanya Tagaq perform live is to experience a species of primal/visceral/guttural channeling-cum-exorcism… an altogether new form.”
— The Toronto Star


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Posted on

May 14, 2016