“Tanya is directly musically in touch with something that is almost a ghost. To me, it is something that is so special and so much a part of the earth and the land and the environment” – David Harrington, Kronos Quartet
‘Indescribable’ is not an appropriate word to begin an artist’s bio, nor is it suitable as a description of a musician. The problem is this: when Tanya Tagaqs’ music fills your ears, she is genuinely one of those rare artists whose sounds and styles are truly groundbreaking. ‘Inuit throat singer’ is one part of her sonic quotient. So are descriptions like ‘orchestral’ ‘hip-hop-infused’ and ‘primal’…but these words are not usually used collectively. In the case of Tagaq, however – they are. So much has happened to Tagaq since the release of her debut CD Sinaa (meaning ‘edge’ in her ancestral language of Inuktitut) in 2005. The Nunavut-born singer has not just attracted the attention of some of the world’s most groundbreaking artists, they have invited her to participate on their own musical projects, not just singularly, but repeatedly. Tanya has recently recorded once again with Björk (specifically on the soundtrack for the Matthew Barney film Drawing Restraint 9) having already appeared on Björk’s Medúlla CD in 2004 and accompanied her on the Vespertine tour. In 2005, another monumental collaborative project came to fruition when the Kronos Quartet invited Tanya to participate on a project aptly titled Nunavut, which has been performed at select venues across North America, from its January 2006 debut at the Chan Centre in Vancouver, BC through to New York’s Carnegie Hall. Acclaim and respect has followed Tagaq on her solo ventures as well: both Sinaa and Auk / Blood were nominated for a Juno Award (Best Aboriginal Recording) and (Best Instrumental Recording) Both recordings won in several categories at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, including Best Female Artist. Tanya’s most recent project is the stunning video “Tungijuq” on which she collaborated with Jesse Zubot and Montreal filmmakers Felix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphael premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival and the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. In 2009 Tanya also narrated and provided music for the National Film Board documentary, This Land. Follow Tagaq on Twitter. For full bio see.
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