There is a radio show on CBC here in Canada that occasionally does a feature called SYNTH: Songs You Need To Hear.
Now, I can’t say to someone, “You’ll like this song” (or book for that matter) because I can’t presume that others will share my taste in music (or books), so it is safer to say, “You might like this” and if they don’t like it, so be it.
Maybe you will find a new favorite.
I’m finally getting around to posting some indigenous Canadian musicians. If you are a music buff, you are probably aware of Buffy St. Marie, Robbie Robertson, Tom Jackson, or maybe Susan Uglukart or William Prince.
I have been hearing Jeremy Dutcher’s song, “Mehcinut”, for years now, so it’s about time I throw it out there. From his website, https://jeremydutcher.com/about/, he tells of listening to his native language (“...there’s only about a hundred Wolastoqey speakers left.”, says Dutcher), on wax cylinder recordings.
It’s a haunting song. It’s hypnotic and mesmerizing. There are glimpses of minimalist composer, Philip Glass, and after seeing the video, theatrics akin to Rufus Wainwright (Yeah, I promised one of his songs a while back).
What does the song mean? I have been enjoying it without knowing, but it is interesting:
“… “Lintuwakon ‘ciw Mehcinut (Death Chant),” off his upcoming album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa to be released April 6th, the future meets the past as Dutcher’s resonant operatic voice is paired with a recording made over 110 years ago of a speech by Wolastoqiyik ancestor Jim Paul, on death and what comes after.“https://www.vice.com/en/article/qvevwv/jeremy-dutcher-keeps-his-dying-language-aloft-on-the-grandiose-mehcinut
I couldn’t decide whether to post the audio or video. If you are not a fan of performance art (hence the Rufus comparison) or want to hear it as I first did, you can just sit back and close your eyes.
And now for something completely different.
The Jerry Cans are from Iqaluit, Nunavut. The first thing you hear is Inuit throat singing and it only gets better from there. There is an english version, but it loses some of the charm.
Ukiuq means Northern lights.
I hope you enjoyed my selections today.
Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeys, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories. His newest publications are the novella, The View from Here, which is a continuation of one of his short stories, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.
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