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Tundra Songs update: New track by Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory added to CD!

Tundra Songs update: New track by Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory added to CD!

March 6, 2015

We are pleased to announce an update on Tundra Songs, which features the Kronos Quartet performing music by Derek Charke, with guest artist Tanya Tagaq. A new track has just been added, in which storyteller Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory tells the tale of Sedna, which anchors the title work. Tundra Songs will be released on Centrediscs on March 10.

Derek Charke writes, "Among the greatest challenges of engaging with material outside of one’s native culture are the many unknown nuances. In the case of Tundra Songs, I endeavored in my composition to express my deep love for the North, in part by incorporating the wonderful story of Sedna that I heard told by Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. In the process of preparing Tundra Songs for release, however, it was brought to our attention that I had made several false assumptions. Storytelling in Inuit culture has a revered place, and though the stories may be ancient, individual storytellers give the stories life in how they interpret them and pass on their culture. Therefore, credit must be given to Laakkuluk, the gifted storyteller who shared the tale with me. To do any less diminishes the work of Indigenous artists, many of whom are working to keep their cultures alive. In order to give a voice to Inuit culture, Centrediscs, the Kronos Quartet and I would like you to listen to Laakkuluk’s telling of Sedna’s story.”

About “Sassuma Arnaa: The Woman Down There”, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory writes: "I was brought up listening to my parents telling each other stories of the Arctic. As I listened, I would fall asleep in a pool of warmth under eider duck down blankets at our cabin with the naphtha lantern fizzing light around us. My kalaaleq (Greenlandic) mother telling my English father about growing up in a fishing village in Greenland and my father telling my mother about dog teaming across what is now Nunavut. Sassuma Arnaa is the Greenlandic version of the creation story that exists all across Inuit lands. My mother made it a part of who I am. Especially because we still tell this story despite intensive colonization and religious conversion, we don't so much own this story as we belong to it. I belong to this story and I am happy to share it with you."

Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory is an advocate for the deep human need for all people, but especially post-colonial indigenous people to express themselves at a level of creative excellence. She is a mother, wife, writer and performer based in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Her three children speak Greenlandic, Inuktitut and English – all languages part of their heritages. Laakkuluk is a performer of uaajeerneq – Greenlandic mask dancing, music, drum-dancing, a storyteller and actor. Her career has allowed her to travel all across Canada and to many wondrous parts of the world. She is passionate about spending time on the land – hiking, snowmobiling, boating, hunting, camping, eating wild foods, building cabins and cultivating raccoon tans are all activities that figure largely in her family.

To preview "Sassuma Arnaa: The Woman Down There," click here.

To pre-order Tundra Songs, click here.

To pre-order on iTunes, click here.

For interview requests or more information, please contact:
Allegra Young
Director of Communications and Centrediscs
Phone: 416-961-6601 x 304
Email: ayoung@musiccentre.ca

Related Composers: Derek Charke