Tanya Tagaq — Animism
Δ "Mám ráda chaos. Myšlenku chaosu. Je to jako dostat se do vyšší matematiky v art–formě. To je jako bych pronikla hlouběji do přírody, co to nejvíce půjde."
Δ Tanya Tagaq. Poslech alba Animism je jako úkryt v krku vlka během lovu — fascinující, vzrušující zážitek. Jsem v úžasu ze zvuků, které pocházejí z hrdla této krásné kanadské Inuitské dámy — mocný a jednoduchý příklad lidského hlasu jako nástroje. Je tu něco znepokojujícího a okouzlujícího zároveň, hrdelní vrčení přes anestetikum, rafinovaně instrumentální —, které také dokáže odhalit více vrstev v průběhu skladby. Zejména "Flight" je ohromující. Stojí za poslech!
Δ Notes: The album is a shortlisted nominee for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize, her first nomination for that award. The album won the $30,000 award on September 22, 2014.
Δ “We’ve been doing it our own way without backing down artistically or conforming, so to be recognized in this way and have so many people latch on makes me feel the world is tolerable. There’s so much hurt in the world and within indigenous cultures with colonialism,” said Tanya Tagaq. “Canada is in a desperate need for repair and I think a lot of people are tired of living this way and just to have people understand where we’re coming from makes me have hope that we can move forward and expose the true history of Canada.”
Birth name: Tanya Tagaq Gillis
Location: Ikaluktuutiak (Cambridge Bay), Nunavut, Victoria Island, Canada
Album release: May 27, 2014/January 20, 2015
Recorded: Vancouver, Spain, Winnipeg
Record Label: Six Shooter
01 Caribou 4:53
02 Uja 2:49
03 Umingmak 3:57
04 Genetic Memory 1:36
05 Rabbit 4:06
06 Tulugak 8:57
07 Howl 3:11
08 Flight 4:41
09 Fight 3:30
10 Damp Animal Spirits 7:23
11 Fracking 4:05
Δ Sir Charles Thompson 1
Δ Tanya Tagaq Gillis 2–11
Δ Produced by Jesse Zubot (Dan Mangan, Fond of Tigers)
Δ with additional production by Juan Hernandez.
By Daniel Sylvester; Score: 9
Δ In 2004, when Björk released her (mostly) a cappella album, Medúlla, she brought in the world's premiere voice–musicians, including the America's Mike Patton, England's Simon Shlomo Khan, Japan's Dokaka and Canada's own Tanya Tagaq. With Animism, Tagaq's fourth LP, it's safe to say that she has taken this often divisive genre further than any of her contemporaries.
Δ Again working with producer/violinist Jesse Zubot, Animism finds Tagaq's fearless voice (literally and metaphorically) pushing the limits of beauty, anger, primal energy and sexuality. Opening with a fitting cover of Pixies' "Caribou," much of the material on Animism travels at contrasting intervals, moving between bombastic vocal symphonies ("Uja"), well–crafted pop songs ("Fight") and cacophonous, amorphous parables ("Fracking"). But since this is Tanya Tagaq, no moment of the album feels excessive or perfunctory, making Animism one of the most challenging and listenable albums of the year.
By Liisa Ladouceur
Δ "Otherworldly." There is just the one word on my notepad, scratched down while watching Tanya Tagaq perform, before I decided there was not much point in trying to describe her singing with words. Inuit throat singing is what Tagaq is doing, technically — traditionally, it's reserved only for women, and is done facing each other in pairs, competitively like a staring contest, where the first woman to stop or laugh or break, loses. But Tagaq's version of it — solo vocal growls, grunts, howls, shrieks, whispers and wails mixed with dance beats and other rhythms — is so far from traditional, it's not only too limited a term, but misleading as well. Admittedly, I've lured friends to Tagaq's free outdoor gig at Toronto's Luminato arts festival by calling her "Canada's Björk," my lazy shorthand for a unique, offbeat female singer who simply must be seen. It's perhaps more fair to refer to her and her work simply as "experimental."
Δ "I suppose I am," says Tagaq, a week later from her home in Brandon, MB. "If operating with no rules is experimental, then yes. It seems that everybody wants to conform, to follow the same rhythms, four bars, and a chorus. I find that boring."
Δ Tagaq's new album, Animism, is both her rawest and her most polished work. Δ Conceptually, it's about returning to nature, acknowledging the spiritual essence of animals and all living things. It is directly informed by the Inuk singer's childhood, growing up in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, a place she describes as pure and untouched, where it's considered "ridiculously pompous" to think only humans have souls. She left the village in her teens to study art in Halifax, which is where she rediscovered the practice of throat singing and began writing songs.
Δ She first came to many people's attention in the early 2000s when she toured and recorded with Björk, but it was her solo debut, 2005's Sinaa, which established her as a distinct new voice in Canadian music. The 2008 follow–up Auk/Blood (which featured guests such as Buck 65 and Mike Patton) confirmed that throat singing was no novelty, it was a tool like any other for her to create dance tracks, ballads, ambient soundscapes or folk songs. But if her first two records impressed with their diversity, Animism grabs listeners by the throat with its directness, its clear sense of purpose. Tagaq herself admits she intended the album to be her angriest yet.
Δ "I've always been angry," she says. "But when you're young, you don't know why you're angry. As you get older and tune into the plights of humanity, you know what's wrong. I'm an Inuk woman, I think about what could be improved for my own daughter, my race. And that translates all the way up and back down into everything I do."
Δ Animism opens with a cover of "Caribou" a 1987 song by the Pixies, which Tagaq was stoked to discover as a teen up North. ("They were singing about fucking caribou! I'm like, 'you've got to be kidding me!' I'm just this little hardcore kid in Nunavut trying to be cool and this is finally something I can really relate to.") It closes with "Fracking," a downright frightful, vicious condemnation of the mining practice, which seeks to give a voice to the distressed Earth itself as it is torn apart. In between, there are wordless odes to musk ox, raven and rabbit, a duet with Belgian opera singer Anna Pardo Canedo ("Flight") and the sensual, "Damp Animal Spirits," which captures Tagaq's vocals at their most orgasmic, recorded in one take.
Δ Tagaq gives much credit for the album's sound and vision to her two bandmates. Δ Jesse Zubot, who produced the album, is a Juno Award–winning violinist and multi–instrumentalist from BC, a member of Zubot & Dawson and Fond of Tigers, who has played on dozens of pop albums by the likes of Stars, Dan Mangan, Mother Mother, and runs his own Drip Audio label. Percussionist Jean Martin has performed with his group Barnyard Drama and worked with a who's who of Canadian avant–garde and jazz musicians: DD Jackson, Kevin Turcotte, Francois Houle.
Δ Both have extensive experience with musical improvisation both live and in studio, and are a perfect fit for Tagaq. The trio has been performing together now for several years (the 2011 recording Anuraaqtuq captures a concert at Victoriaville Festival), and Tagaq felt it was important to produce a proper album that conveyed their intuitive language and live energy. Thus, several tracks on Animism (which was recorded in Vancouver, Spain and Winnipeg) are live off the floor, or as she calls it, "messy."
Δ "I like chaos. The idea of chaos. It's like getting into higher math and it becomes an art form. It's like I'm penetrating nature as much as I can."
Δ In concert, Tagaq is a force of nature herself. As she manipulates her breathing to create mesmerizing vocal sounds and rhythms, her body often contorts, like a child possessed, as if trying to exorcise a demon inside. Then there's her stare, piercing and fierce. The combined effect both sexy and scary, and the singer admits that what she's doing up there is hard to explain, even for her. "It's only later that I can process it, put words to it. The only way I can come close to describing it is complete ecstasy… I love being attached to this body. To me, it's celebrating, that physical excursion. It's like I'm alive in my true form, the place I want to be if I didn't have to follow society's rules."
Δ Breaking rules has its drawbacks. There are still throat singing purists who decry Tagaq's experimentation with the tradition. And this spring, the singer was pulled into a Twitter war of words with some animal rights activists after posting a photo of her child with a dead seal, taken on the ice in Cambridge Bay. But the singer, who was raised in an environment where feminine strength was celebrated, where the big schoolyard competition was who could get the most frostbite, is perfectly capable of taking on her detractors.
Δ "Sometimes people come up to me and say, 'I'm sorry, I don't like your music.' I say, don't be sorry. I don't expect anyone to like it! I'm making it for me, to talk about the angry and crazy things that I feel. And when I'm talking about the harshness of Inuit life, it is abrasive. Whenever someone does get it, on whatever level it speaks to them, politically, intellectually, musically, I'm thrilled!" :: http://exclaim.ca/
Δ b. 1977, Ikaluktuutiak (Cambridge Bay), Nunavut, Victoria Island, Canada. Raised in an Inuit community, Gillis studied at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. While there, she took an interest in traditional Inuit throat singing, a multiphonic and percussive form that is customarily performed by two people. Gillis was obliged to teach herself a solo variation and later taught others, thus generating partners with whom she was able to sing in duo. In 2000, Gillis was at the Great Northern Arts Festival where some of her paintings were exhibited. Unexpectedly invited to sing, she attracted attention and was recommended to Björk. The following year she joined the Icelandic singer on tour, appearing on her 2004 album, Medulla. Gillis has also performed with Shooglenifty and the Kronos Quartet, including a concert at Carnegie Hall. In performance she is often accompanied by Filipe Ugarte and his duo, Ugarte Anaiak. In 2003, she was a member of the Canada Council’s Sonic Weave tour and she visited the UK with the Shaman Voices Tour. In 2005, Gillis was voted Best Female Artist at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. Gillis has stretched the boundaries of the form and has greatly expanded its audience potential. http://www.allmusic.com/
Δ 2005 Sinaa (Ugarte Anaiak)
Δ 2011 Anuraaqtuq (Victo)
Δ 2014 Animism (Six Shooter Records)
Δ 2014 Auk — Blood (Jericho Beach)
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Δ Canadian scientists recently found the so–called “lost” Franklin expedition in the Arctic. Δ Turns out, it was exactly where the Inuit have been saying it was, all along. Who would have thought?
Δ Who would have thought that, if we had only listened to these ingenious navigators and survivors, we could have saved ourselves a whole lot of foolishness?
Δ If you would like to know how our culture needs to find its way in the 21st century, I would suggest that you save yourself a lot of trouble, and listen to Tanya Tagaq’s album Animism.
Δ Animism is a masterpiece because it transcends opposites. Dizzyingly complex and sophisticated in structure, it also completely hits you in your guts, in your soul.
It takes traditions that are tens of thousands of years old, and makes truly innovative music, music that could not have existed without Tagaq and her brilliant collaborators, violinist Jesse Zubot, drummer Jean Martin and DJ Michael Red.
Δ The innovation on Animism is an argument not for moving beyond, but for putting more emphasis on the value and necessity of the traditions. The rootedness is where the newness of the record comes from. That will not be a contradiction for you, if you listen properly.
Δ Animism seamlessly uses the technology of the digital recording studio to make an encyclopedic argument for the natural world. In fact, it will erase from your mind the notion of human artifice and nature as opposites. If you listen.
Δ If you listen, you will careen through a panorama of the contradictions of existence. You can hear the living land, and the land under assault. You can hear children being born and conceived. You can hear the torture of the innocent, and the glory of the tenacious, unstoppable force of life. If you listen you can actually hear the sound of a people defying genocide to rise, wounded but alive, strong, and ready to fight.
Δ There is no artist working today more emphatically herself, more incomparable than Tagaq. There is no musician in this world more powerful. Animism is the album that finally translates her unique power to the recording studio.
Δ Can you hear it? If not, try listening some more. You’ll find it, eventually. I hope that in this instance, it takes people less than 170 years. — Geoff Berner © POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE GALA, September 22nd, 2014, TANYA TAGAQ — winner of the 2014 POLARIS MUSIC PRIZESept 22, 2014 — Toronto / Dustin Rabin Photography
Δ Polaris Music Prize — “Animism” (2014)
Δ Best Media
— “Tungijuq” Western Music Awards (2010)
Δ Best Short Drama
— “Tungijuq” ImagineNative Film & Media Awards (2009)
Δ Best Album Design
— “Auk/Blood” Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (2008)
Δ Best Female Artist
— Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (2005)
Δ Best Album Design
— “Sinna” Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (2005)
Δ Best Producer/Engineer
— “Sinaa” Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (2005)
Δ “Tagaq projects sounds that carry the imprint of the body’s secret contours and recesses, delving far beyond personal utterance, out beyond human identity, to summon voices from the flesh cavity haunts of animal spirits and primal energies.” —THE WIRE, UK
Δ “Calling Tanya Tagaq an Inuit throat singer is like calling Yo–Yo Ma a cello player. Sure, it’s accurate, but it’s not the whole of what he does. Like Ma, Tagaq is the best of what she does — innovative, inspired.” —THE NATIONAL POST, CANADA
Δ “… [Tagaq] made it (Inuit throat singing) sound fiercely contemporary, futuristic even. Recalling animal noises and various other nature sounds, she was a dynamo, delivering a sort of gothic sound art while she stalked the small basement stage with feral energy.” — Jon Caramanica, THE NEW YORK TIMES
Δ “… Tagaq rose to the occasion with a performance that was simply elemental. Her approach is essentially abstract …Yet her singing delivered very concrete images of winter storms and summer sunshine, of birth and death and sexual ecstasy, of struggle and survival.” — Alex Varty, THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, Review of Jan 30, 2010 performance with Kronos Quartet
Δ “...magnificent, unique, overwhelming life force,” — FROOTS MAGAZINE
Δ “Tanya Tagaq was an absolute standout, The Canadian prowling inside the candle–surrounded circular centre of the mausoleum and proving to be haunting both in breath–taking beautiful and completely terrifying manners, switching almost instantaneously and at times rapidly between high–octave almost operatic melodies and guttural yelps, the venue making it seem ash though she was duetting with herself in some hypnotic demonic dance. Catch her at all costs if you possibly can.” — GLASGOW REVIEW, HAMILTON MAUSOLEUM, GLASGOW
Δ “Quite how one woman sitting with four musicians could create such a visceral image is both baffling and difficult to explain, but this was an exquisitely drawn landscape. And the effect was nothing short of cinematic.” — GLOBE & MAIL, CANADA, (concert review of Tundra Songs with the Kronos Quartet)
Motto: "Mari Usque Ad Mare" (latinsky) / "From Sea to Sea" ("od moře k moři")
Area: 9,984,670 km2 (2nd worldwide after Russia)
Population: 2014 estimate: 35,540,419 (37th worldwide)
Rozloha: 49.036 km² (126. na světě)
Populace: 5.410.728 (114. na světě)
POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE
Polaris Music Prize je hudební ocenění, které je každoročně předáváno nejlepšímu kanadskému albu. Jeho udělení je založeno na umělecké hodnotě, bez ohledu na žánr, prodejích nebo nahrávací společnosti.
Tanya Tagaq získala na galavečeru PMP v Torontu tuto cenu za album Animism a zároveň $30,000 (předtím třeba Feist, atd.)
Úplný seznam jury, která rozhodla o vítězce:
The Grand Jury who decided the winner included Adam Bowie (Daily Gleaner), Lorraine Carpenter (CultMTL), Stephen Cooke (Chronicle Herald), Jessica Émond-Ferrat (Journal Métro), Luke Fox (Exclaim), Liisa Ladouceur (Freelance), Melody Lau (Much), Julia LeConte (NOW), Stephanie McKay (Star Phoenix), Alan Ranta (Freelance) and Mark Teo (AUX). Vystoupila Akropoli a na United Colours v Ostravě.