the Saimaniq concert
Inuit throat singing to be celebrated in three Maisons de la culture in Montreal
Oktoécho proposes three performances of the Saimaniq concert, with multimedia screenings created by Emmanuel Béhier-Migeon, in three Maisons de la culture, on November 7 (Plateau Mont-Royal), November 14 (Rosemont) and November 20 (Frontenac).
These concerts stems from the album of the same name, released in 2018 and winner of the Album of the Year (World music) prize at the 2019 Prix Opus. Putting its focus on katajjaq, an Inuit throat singing piece, the music evokes wide deserted landscapes and transports us into a feeling of freedom and infinite space. To this end, polyrhythms from the Emirati deserts, flutes from Japan and Scandinavia, and even electronic music are added to the songs to enrich them and pay tribute to the beauty and richness of Inuit art.
Lydia Etok joins Oktoécho as the artistic co-director of its aboriginal division. Oktoécho guides the listener into a sonic world brimming with hope found in the exceptional encounter between Middle Eastern, North American Aboriginal and the Western musical expressions. Under the artistic direction of composer Katia Makdissi-Warren, Oktoécho explores a musical landscape and musical sounds through original compositions. The group has collaborated with renowned artists from Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Iraq, Austria, Syria and Argentina, as well as famed Montreal chamber orchestra I Musici.
Lydia Etok is an exceptional Inuit throat singer and a remarkably versatile artist. Hailing from a family of storytellers, her Inuit tales and legends are told in Inuktitut, French and English. “I am delighted to share my culture with respect and in the tradition of my ancestors,” she says.
“Lydia had already been co-directing the Saimaniq project, a concert created off the album of the same name” explains Katia Makdissi-Warren. “We both wanted to make the partnership official and have her co-direct all of our future Aboriginal projects”.
Raising awareness of Inuit culture in collaboration with the SMCQ
In 2019-2020, Lydia Etok will lead an initiative to raise awareness of Inuit culture (its traditions, daily life, throat singing and the Inuktitut language) among 45,000 students in Montreal and Gatineau through video clips and musical workshops.
“Lydia’s involvement will not only empower us to spread more music, culture and creativity, but also to develop activities that are meant to help the young people of Nunavik,” explains Ms. Makdissi-Warren. In this regard, Oktoécho will be visiting Nunavik next May where it will offer school workshops in percussion, flute, singing and electronic music. The ensemble will also perform the show Saimaniq.
It is worth remembering that the Quebec Contemporary Music Society (SMCQ) has dedicated the seventh edition of its Tribute Series to Katia Makdissi-Warren and has reached out to all cultural and educational communities to include her in their 2019-2020 program.
Images courtesy of Oktoécho
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Oktoécho‘s core mandate is to promote the creation and performance of blended musical works by local composers through the production of concerts, events, sound recordings and touring. In addition, the Oktoécho group offers specialized programs in world music (middle eastern, native, jewish) to teach professional musicians and composers. oktoecho.com