Thursday, August 09, 2007

Northern lights

Tagaq was one of two super surprises for me at the year's Bluesfest. The audience wasn't huge at this show, but she's garnered enough attention from such work as her collaboration with Bjork to attract a good sized crowd. Like Bjork she's travelled widely and absorbed a lot from different musical traditions, having grown up in Canada's frozen north (Cambridge Bay, to be precise), gone to music school on the East Coast and travelled hither and yon with a wide range of artists, including her fellow Filipe Ugarte, a Basque musician of some note.

First, a quick chat with DJ Mike Red about the various noises he's sampled from beyond the tree line.

Ms. Gillis.

Unlike traditional throat-singing, which involves two people and is performed with a straight face (it's actually a game where you try to make whoever you're singing with crack up, Tagaq informed the crowd), she performs solo and in a far more visceral fashion.

Surprise guest Rise Ashen turns out some beats.

Tagaq was hoping throat-singing cousin Celina Kalluk would show up with other friends and family, and so she did. In quite a smashing outfit to boot.

A little sit-down with Ben Jammin.

Game on.

A very cool and quite eye-opening performance.

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