What do you make of the North?
Inspired by northern imagery drawn and photographed from storybooks, instructional texts and northern themed books, a variety of shapes
represent how we have come to ‘project’ the north. Romantic, historical, and sometimes cliché, these images combine understandings and misunderstandings of the complexities inherent in the north.
Visual/Material Anthropologist and… Continue Reading
I have been asked to write a few words about my experiences with Tulugak: Inuit Raven Stories, but I have to warn you, I won't be objective in any part of this missive. I started working at Canada's National Arts Centre last fall. Shortly after my arrival, it was suggested that I might be a good candidate to work… Continue Reading
In this edition of the NACOcast Maclean's columnist Paul Wells speaks with composer Alexina Louie about her composition Take The Dog Sled which was performed by the NAC Orchestra as part of the 2012 Northern Canada tour.
Alexina talks about the daunting process of composing an orchestral work that integrates the oral tradition of throat singing.… Continue Reading
Yesterday morning, I was with the string trio at a school where a woman named Danielle Mallet-Hachey greeted us at the school. We learned that she was the music teacher and was on maternity leave. She was walking gingerly up the stairs and I asked her was she alright. She told me she had just given birth by cesarian… Continue Reading
In this edition of the NACOcast, founding host Chris Millard reprises his role with the NACOcast while on tour with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Cananda’s North. Chris is joined by Inuit throat singers Evie Mark and Akinisie Sivuarapik. They discuss throat singing history and technique ... and its intersection with Western classical music in Canadian composer Alexina’s… Continue Reading
Carmen Braden is a Yellowknife composer. She has been anticipating the NAC Orchestra's Northern Canada Tour for many reasons - to meet Norwegian guest conductor Arild Remmereit, to meet violin virtuoso James Ehnes, and... to have Canadian composer Alexina Louie (composer of Take the Dog Sled, which has won crowds over throughout the tour for its fun and its… Continue Reading
The Sunday night Community Feast – with "country food", which means food hunted from the land and sea: narwhal, raw caribou, stewed caribou, candied Arctic char, raw cubed Arctic char, vegetarian dishes like Ellen Hamilton's delicious cauliflower curry Musicians passed around Simeonie's button accordion, Chris' banjo and a mandolin that came out of nowhere. James Ehnes picked out a… Continue Reading
Vivaldi wrote what is today his most famous piece, The Four Seasons, some time between 1720 and 1725. It is a set of four violin concertos each of which describes a different season of the year. The music is programmatic (that is, descriptive) in a very life-like way; it abounds in vivid imitations of twittering birds, chattering teeth, barking… Continue Reading
The plane had barely touched ground in Iqaluit before NAC Orchestra musicians and staff darted off to their respective outreach activities. Among today's activities were a fiddle and choir workshop with James Ehnes and Arild Remmereit, a theatre workshop with John Doucet and a string performance at an elder centre.
If there was anyone in Iqaluit who didn't… Continue Reading
The NACO Brass Trio Tour to Pangnirtung and Rankin Inlet, an initiative of the NAC Music Alive Program (MAP) and the Northern Tour, has only just begun and I think it was already more eventful than we could have ever dreamed of. Our evening flight from Iqaluit to Pangnirtung was cancelled at the last minute due to strong winds,… Continue Reading
When an orchestra goes on tour, the music is the first priority – selecting repertoire, shipping the instruments, tuning in a new space. But that music very quickly evolves into friendships, in an exchange of music.
Between October 26 and November 4, the National Arts Centre Orchestra will exchange musical ideas in Iqaluit, Pangnirtung, Yellowknife and Whitehorse, accompanied… Continue Reading
The first performance of the NAC Orchestra's Northern Tour will take place at at the Nakasuk Schook in Nunavut. However, this is not the first time the National Arts Centre has visited Nunavut. For the past three years through The Music Alive Program: Nunavut NAC teaching musicians have worked with local educators, musicians, elders and community leaders to support… Continue Reading
It was late May in the band room of Hillcrest High School in Ottawa.
Ms. Jeannie Hunter’s music students were working with the funny and gregarious Canadian composer Tim Brady, and two throat singers—Nancy Mike of Iqaluit and Kathleen Merritt, originally from Rankin Inlet.
The kids were about to start composing part of a new piece of… Continue Reading
The mantra of the North…expect the unexpected, weather rules . And so it has been since I left for Igloolik on Sun Feb 6, or so I thought..
Between one weather delay after another, I did not make it to Igloolik until Tuesday evening, so I had already lost two days!
And as luck would have it,… Continue Reading