For today’s post, I am turning to my homeland, Canada, and its rich indigenous heritage.
Like many other aspects of indigenous culture, traditional music has frequently been misunderstood and marginalized. Outsiders often lack appreciation for the music, which is a real shame, for these songs carry a deep and potent beauty.
Jeremy Dutcher is a Toronto-based performer and member of Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick. Classically trained as a tenor and pianist, Dutcher has done extensive work transcribing Wolastoq music from 1907 wax cylinders at the Canadian Museum of History. He seamlessly integrates clips from these cylinders into his own performances.
I first heard this song on CBC Radio while driving around Winnipeg one evening. I was mesmerized by the quality of his vocals and had to look it up as soon as I got home.
This work has given me a greater appreciation for indigenous music, and I think Dutcher’s art has the potential to make it more accessible to a broad audience.
Cover Image from Wikimedia Commons:
Artsandstuff1 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)