Tungijuq is more of a short film than a music video. It is a thought-provoking meditation on the seal-hunt and what it means to the traditional way of life. Tanya created the mystical, form-shifting fantasy and filmmakers Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphael brought the idea to life. Jesse Zubot and producer Juan Hernandez joined Tanya to create the music and the seven minute film includes an appearance by Cannes-winning actor Zacharias Kunuk. Tungijuq is a cinematic and musical expression of the organic and indisputable reality of hunting in Inuit culture. The work was produced by Kunuk Cohn Productions and Igloolik Isuma Productions.
Tanya narrated and provided music for Dianne Whelan’s documentary, This Land. The film documents Dianne’s experience joining the sovereignty patrol in the Canadian High Arctic with the Canadian Rangers. Their mission was to travel over two-thousand-kilometres by snowmobile from Resolute to the Canadian Forces Station Alert, and plant a Canadian flag on the way at Ward Hunt Island. The film includes incredible and rare photography of the disappearing ice shelf and reflects on Canada’s history and sovereignty in the North, the impact of climate change on the Arctic, and Inuit culture. Whelan’s book, This Vanishing Land: A Woman’s Journey to the Canadian Arctic will be released by Harbour Publishing in October and includes a forward by Tanya. www.caitlin-press.com
’’Writhing and clutching her chest as if in emotional and physical pain one moment, and then in sensual joy the next, Tagaq cajoled and regaled in a variety of animal grunts, guttural gasps, cries and whispers. It was a lyrically ambiguous vocalese, most reminiscent of vocal-technique expanders such as Diamanda Galás and Yoko Ono. Modest usage of digital-delay filters further extended the dramatic effects. Appropriately, Amendola and Zubot’s accompaniment was far-reaching yet discreetly pitched against Tagaq’s primal vocal outpourings, employing a free-jazz-type range of methods far outside conventional modes of playing. Amendola’s rattles and explosive tom-tom thumps were run through an array of sampling/delay filters, as was the high-tension violin and viola work of Zubot. David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet calls Tagaq ’’the Jimi Hendrix of Inuit throat singers’’ and the analogy is spot-on. Like Hendrix, Tagaq seeks to elicit the valuable, primitive unconscious — the internal made external — that lies dormant and untapped in us all. Yet, as with Hendrix, it was the future-leaning, musically avant-garde approach she took in drawing out these primordial impulses that was the evening’s biggest thrill.’’ (LA Times, August 9, 2009)
A selection of recent press on Tanya Tagaq:
All About Jazz, World Music Central, IROM, Lafreebee, LAist, Los Angeles Times, Pasadena Weekly, 7X7, Contra Costa Times, KQED, SF Chronicle, SF Chronicle, SF Examiner, SF Examiner, SF Weekly, Waylon Hatchet, Waylon Hatchet, Brooklyn Vegan, New York Times, Playbill, Village Voice, Village Voice