With great pride, Tanya Tagaq will be heading to Halifax to receive a Doctor of Fine Arts Honoris Causa from her alma mater NSCAD in May, “in recognition of her extraordinary contribution to the arts.” Tagaq will also be giving the 2015 graduation address. “NSCAD influenced my life trajectory in a way that is undeniable. To have this honour bestowed upon me is very humbling,” says Tagaq.
For more details about NSCAD award – http://nscad.ca/
Tagaq also has a new video for the song “Uja,” from the Polaris Prize winning Animism, directed by Manitoba’s Procter Bros. The video presents the same stark instabilities, frailties, dangers and violences as evoked by the song (and, on a larger scale, Tanya’s music as a whole). From a frenetic concrete cityscape, menacing, militaristic and dystopian, to the bloody and brutal beauty of nature, the video for “Uja” is as skittish and unsettling as it is potent.
Tanya Tagaq recently appeared on the blockbuster relaunch of CBC’s q. Relive the “wild and improvised” performance here (audio only) – http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Q/ID/2664902592/
Tanya Tagaq – Animism / USA / 01.20.2015
Upcoming US Tour Dates:
PLATTSBURGH, NY: State University of New York, Nov 10
NEW YORK, NY: Joe’s Pub, Jan 12, 7.50pm
HANOVER, NH: Dartmouth College – Hopkins Center, Jan 23
LEWISBURG, PA: Bucknell University, Jan 28
DAVIS, CA: UC Davis – Mondavi Center, Mar 14 & 15
More to come.
“Canadian scientists recently found the so-called “lost” Franklin expedition in the Arctic. Turns out, it was exactly where the Inuit have been saying it was, all along. Who would have thought?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ladies and Gentlemen, performing with the Element Choir, Christine Duncan, Jean Martin, Jesse Zubot here is Tagaq.” ~ Geoff Berner, the klezmer punk accordionist and author of the book Festival Man
Animism by Tanya Tagaq was voted as the winner of the 2014 Polaris Music Prize tonight at The Carlu in Toronto. The winner was decided and announced during the 9th annual gala event. Tanya Tagaq was awarded a cash prize of $30,000. The winner was announced by the gala host, actor Jay Baruchel.
“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.”
Animism was produced by Jesse Zubot (Dan Mangan, Fond of Tigers) with additional production by Juan Hernandez. The record features Michael Red (Low Indigo), a live programmer whose wild northern field recordings often serve as Tagaq’s de facto backing band, percussionist Jean Martin and opera singer Anna Pardo Canedo.
Slaight Music awarded $2,000.00 to each of the runners up – Arcade Fire, Basia Bulat, Drake, Mac DeMarco, Jessy Lanza, Owen Pallett, Shad, Timber Timbre and YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN. The gala was webcast live on AUX.tv and broadcast live on SiriusXM channels The Verge XM 173 and The Iceberg Sirius 161.
The 11 member Grand Jury that decided the winner was Adam Bowie (Fredericton, Daily Gleaner), Lorraine Carpenter (Montreal, CultMTL), Stephen Cooke (Halifax, Chronicle Herald), Jessica Emond-Ferrat (Montreal, Journal Metro), Luke Fox (Toronto, Exclaim), Stephanie McKay (Saskatoon, Star Phoenix), Liisa Ladouceur (Toronto, freelance), Melody Lau (Toronto, Much), Julia LeConte (Toronto, NOW Magazine), Alan Ranta (Vancouver, Freelance) and Mark Teo (Toronto, AUX).
“This year’s Short List embodied an enormous amount of diverse talent,” said James Keast, who oversaw the Grand Jury. “I’m greatly impressed with the careful consideration that the Grand Jury gave to the Short List nominees. This was not an easy choice for those eleven people to make.”
Past winners have included Godspeed You! Black Emperor (2013), Feist (2012), Arcade Fire (2011), Karkwa (2010), Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007), and Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett) (2006).
2014 Polaris Short List nominee Tanya Tagaq announces performances across Canada this fall, including a rare and intimate club show in Toronto at The Rivoli. Tickets are now on sale for most of the shows listed below.
Animism, released in May 2014 on Six Shooter Records to emphatic critical praise, is an album that expresses and reflects a balance between “having more to say” and “being calmer in saying it.” In a newly released interview, Tagaq describes herself as angrier, but also more contemplative and cognizant of the necessity of speaking up and out.
Tanya’s electronic-archaic music and writhing, intensely physical performances elicit everything from fear to euphoria in audiences. Tagaq finds inspiration in experience, memory and outrage, and while Animism invokes a deep unrest, it also conjures an even deeper sense of connection with the world.
See the full interview in a new EPK here:
VANCOUVER, BC: The Chan Centre, Oct 17 & 18 w/ Severn Cullis-Suzuki
HAIDA GWAII, BC: The Bay Centre, Oct 19
WINNIPEG, MB: Burton Cummings Theatre – Blue Dot Tour, Oct 24 w/ David Suzuki and others
HALIFAX, NS: St. Matthew’s Church – Halifax Pop Explosion, Oct 25
TORONTO, ON: The Rivoli, Nov 6, 9pm* ~ tickets
OTTAWA, ON: NAC, Nov 7, 7.30pm* ~ tickets
MONTREAL, PQ: Phi Theatre, Nov 8*
PLATTSBURGH, NY: SUNY, Nov 10
HAMILTON, ON: Nov 12*
LONDON, ON: Aeolian Hall, Nov 13, 7.30pm* ~ tickets
* w/ Doomsquad
ANIMISM is out today! In case you missed it, here are links to audio and video of Tanya Tagaq’s chat with Jian Ghomeshi on Q this morning. Enjoy! http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2014/05/27/tanya-tagaq-animism/
Tanya Tagaq’s new album, Animism, will be out on Six Shooter Records on May 27, 2014.
Album Trailer features the song “Umingmak.”
Speaking of cool videos…Our friends at Light Echo Productions launched their new project, Echoes this week. They interviewed Tanya Tagaq about her passion for food. And let me tell you (spoiler alert), she is SUPER stoked on food! Warning, this video is not for the squeamish vegetarian. She tells at least one story that’s evocative of the Empire Strikes Back tauntaun scene, but like in a nom nom nom way… http://echosproject.ca/videos/passion-for-food/