Photography by Shelagh Howard
The Polaris Prize-winning Inuit throat singer heads to the capital to perform at Village Underground
Adorning the cover of the June (#108) issue is Tanya Tagaq, who has been stunning audiences since her first collaboration with Björk in 2004. Animism was Tagaq’s fourth album and the most accomplished yet, being awarded with the 2014 Polaris Prize – the Canadian equivalent of the Mercury Music Prize.
A small, softly-spoken woman, Tagaq’s live performance is a visceral and unforgettable experience – punctuated by breathing, gasping and growling. Speaking to Marc Fournier in the June (#108) issue about her onstage antics: ‘‘It’s an involuntary thing. It cannot be controlled. It’s a chemical reaction to sound. I can release my body completely. It is true peace’’
Finding herself amidst a Twitter firestorm for last year’s #selfie vs #sealfie controversy and adorning a ‘FUCK PETA’ T-shirt at the Polaris Prize gala ceremony, the singer’s resolute stance is to be admired. Tagaq was recently courted by Kronos Quartet’s David Harrington and composer Derek Charke on Tundra Songs (to be reviewed in the July #109 issue). Harrington described the experience of recording with her ‘fun and primordial,’ where the goal was ‘to align the friction of [our] bows with the primal flesh of Tanya’s voice.’
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