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From San Francisco, USA & Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

Kronos Quartet with Tanya Tagaq

Kronos Quartet
Photos: Kronos Quartet

January 29

At the Jack Singer Concert Hall

The Aurora Borealis like you've never seen or heard them before.

David Harrington, the founder and artistic director of the legendary Kronos Quartet, has had a long fascination with Inuit music, and especially the glottal rhythms of throat singing. But he despaired of finding the right partner who might be suitable for a collaboration with the avant garde string ensemble. That is, until he heard the powerful and haunting voice of Canada’s Tanya Tagaq. “Tanya is the Jimi Hendrix of Inuit throat singers,” says Harrington. “Her voice and abilities are so amazing that it would take eight other singers to match her.” Throat singing is, by its very nature, a sort of breathing game usually practiced by one woman facing another, vocalizing in call and response. By recording a broad range of Tagaq’s otherwordly sounds, Kronos has mapped her vocabulary and arranged a musical counterpoint. In this way, they seek to advance the game of throat singing to another level–a competition of sorts between Tagaq and the instruments of the quartet.

Meanwhile, another Canadian composer, Derek Charke has composed some original Inuit-inspired music for Kronos, which are combined with taped sounds of the Arctic to provide a deeper dimension to the program.

Commissioning partners:

  1. PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
  2. The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
  3. CBC Television
  4. Canada Council for the Arts
  5. National Endowment for the Arts

Commissioning broadcast partner/Partenaire majeur: CBC Radio Two and Radio Canada’s Espace Musique

Website: Kronos Quartet

Website: Tanya Tagaq