Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq will be performing Monday 16 February 2009 at 20h00 at Cafe Oto in London. Tanya Tagaq is genuinely one of those rare artists whose sounds and styles are truly groundbreaking. ‘Inuit throat singer’ is one part of her sonic quotient, so are descriptions like ‘orchestral’, ‘hip-hop-infused’ and ‘primal’ but these words are not usually used collectively.
Since the release of her debut CD Sinaa (meaning ‘edge’) in 2005, the Nunavut-born singer has not just attracted the attention of some of the world’s most groundbreaking artists, they have invited her to participate on their own musical projects. Recently recording once again with Bjork (on the soundtrack for the Matthew Barney film Drawing Restraint 9), having appeared on Bjork’s Medulla CD and accompanied her on the Vespertine tour.
In 2007, another monumental collaborative project came to fruition, when the world-renowned Kronos Quartet invited Tanya to participate – as co-writer and performer – on a project aptly titled Nunavut, performed across North America in 2008, from its debut at the Chan Centre, Vancouver BC through to New York’s Carnegie Hall. "Tanya is directly musically in touch with something that is almost a ghost. To me, it is something that is so special and so much a part of the earth and the land and the environment," says David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet.
Sinaa was nominated for a Juno Award (Best Aboriginal Recording) and won in three categories at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, including Best Female Artist. She recently released her sophomore album, Auk-Blood featuring Mike Patton and Buck 65.
"Traditional throat singing is a game between two women that is an emulation of the sounds from the land," says Tanya Tagaq. "It is a very complicated game where you are making two sounds and you have to go back and forth alternating the sounds. The leader can change the song to the next verse anytime they want to, so you have to be able to follow them. It is not emotional, although it may sound that way. It is a game, you giggle afterwards."
Buy her latest CD:
- In North America: Auk-Blood