Red Orange playlist:

Tanya Tagaq: Unconventional throat music

Tanya Tagaq and the Kronos Quartet made Tundra Songs a masterpiece

Tanya Tagaq on the Best Of 2009 (Chiz, Qu Junktions)

Chiz, from Qu Junktions, on his personal best of 2009:

“Inuit throat singing, free jazz drums and electronics? Could have been a wrong turn… but TANYA TAGAQ at The Cube pinned us with one continuous 60min soundscape that was uncharted, raunchy, wild and breathtaking.”

“What a great gig! I had never seen her before – the woman sat behind me warned me to expect something unusual. This turned out to be one the best performances I have seen in Bristol to date. No – one of the enexpectedly best I have seen .. anywhere! Thanks Tanya & band and thanks Andy for posting this video. Please come play again in the Cube.” (rspamders, on YouTube)

More news on Tanya Tagaq

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.

’’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

Tanya Tagaq in London and Paris this November

Tanya FLYER 2009

EUROPEAN PREMIERE: Three of Canada’s most provocative creative musicians with backgrounds in varied and complementary styles and traditions.

Tanya Tagaq, from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, has pioneered a contemporary form of Inuit throat singing, which is traditionally done by two women, so that it functions in solo and in unconventional collaborative settings. Tagaq has performed and recorded widely, but is perhaps best known for her work with Björk during concert tours and on the 2004 recording, Medúlla.

Jean Martin is an energetic and creative force in Toronto’s music scene as a percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, engineer, and producer. Martin runs Barnyard Records which, in a short time, has become one of the leading creative music labels in North America and features recordings by, among many other groups, Barnyard Drama, a multifaceted collaboration that hinges around his highly sympathetic partnership with creative vocalist, Christine Duncan.

Vancouver violinist and multi-instrumentalist Jesse Zubot’s career is similarly varied, and includes performance, composition, and production for his independent record label, Drip Audio. He came to prominence in acoustic roots groups Zubot & Dawson and The Great Uncles of the Revolution, but is virtually unlimited stylistically as an instrumentalist. Like Martin and Tagaq, he brings the rare combination of extraordinary sensitivity, technical excellence, and radical imagination to this promising pan-Canadian creative music summit.

“Remember the old ad campaign for Memorex cassette tapes, with the guy in chair being blown away by the sound? You may wish to strap yourself in for the concert featured in this edition of The Signal, as you may have a similar experience. The concert features the improvising trio of Jean Martin, Jesse Zubot, and Tanya Tagaq. Their performance was a tour de force (literally). Tanya Tagaq led the trio in an incredibly powerful and emotional journey, featuring her trademark throat-singing. Sensual, primordial, beautiful, terrifying.” Laurie Brown – CBC Radio 2

Laurie Brown of the CBC aired an incredible performance of Tanya, along with Jesse Zubot and Jean Martin, at the Guelph Jazz Festival on her program The Signal last month and lucky for all of us who weren’t there it is available to stream online. For the full program visit:

Tanya Tagaq at London International Festival of Exploratory Music (LIFEM), Thursday, 05 November 09:

Inuk snow songs, ice folk and throat singing
19:45 – 20:30 Nive Nielsen (Greenland) Kings Place – Hall 1 Buy Tickets Here
21:00 – 21:45 Tanya Tagaq (Canada) Kings Place – Hall 1 Buy Tickets Here

Tanya Tagaq reviewed by The Journal Of Music

“An unlikely, but intense, mix of Inuit throat singing and laptopery… Tagaq’s intense, immersive sonic poetry emerged as something peculiarly sui generis, not Inuit music nor purely experimental music as such, but rather a fertile, floating complexity typical of our modern audio culture… building upon the fluid eclecticism of Auk, Tagaq’s live performances revel in the spirit of collaboration… this is passionate music, both supple and sensuous…” (Stephen Graham, The Journal Of Music)


Tanya Tagaq ices down the summer heat (live review at the LA Times)

090809 Tanya Tagaq, Los Angeles Times 1090809 Tanya Tagaq, Los Angeles Times 2

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