The Arctic-born Tanya Tagaq is an improvisational performer, avant-garde composer, and experimental recording artist. Tagaq contorts elements of punk, metal, and electronica into a complex and contemporary sound that begins in breath and becomes a communal and fundamental phenomenon. Winning the 2014 Polaris Music Prize for her album Animism, a work that disrupted the music world in Canada and beyond, brought wider attention to Tagaq’s art and messages, but she has been touring and collaborating with an elite international circle of artists for more than a decade. Her improvisational approach lends itself to collaboration across genres, and recent projects have pulled her in many different directions, from contributing guest vocals to a recent song by F**ked Up (a hard-core punk band from Toronto) to premiering a new composition made for Kronos Quartet’s Fifty for the Future collection. Tagaq’s music and performances challenge static ideas of genre and culture, and contend with environmentalism, human rights, and postcolonial issues. In interviews Tagaq stresses the importance of considering her work in the context of contemporary—not traditional—art. This statement is not just about sound, although her music is decidedly modern and technically intricate, but also relates to deep-rooted assumptions about indigenous culture.
Sat January 16th