NEWS

POLAR PUNK: CBS NEWS 60 MINUTES PROFILES TANYA TAGAQ.

FLAGSHIP NEWSMAGAZINE’S PROFILE OF INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED ARTIST AIRS SUNDAY, MAY 5.

WATCH A PREVIEW HERE.

One of the avant-garde’s most dynamic performers.” – Rolling Stone

“This fiercely charistmatic Inuk singer’s throaty voice demands full attention, whether she’s whispering in her softest register or howling at the sky.” – NY Times

“The Inuk experimental musician joins landscape, culture and resistance.” – Pitchfork

“The uncompromising Inuit throat singer, composer and author pushes the human voice to surprising places.” – NPR

Tanya Tagaq is one of Canada’s most celebrated and original artists. As comfortable on world stages in couture as she is steering a quad over the land in her home of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Tagaq’s complexity, originality, strength, gentleness and humour is not easily captured in word or video. With studio albums, collaborations across classical, indie rock and metal worlds, a Giller Prize long listed debut novel and countless other multi-disciplinary projects in the works, Tagaq’s art is a universe unto itself. Tagaq the person is no less a multitude of experiences, emotions and observations: with a keen mind, an open heart, and a laser-sharp ability to cut through to the quick, Tagaq shows us a way forward.

CBS 60 Minutes traveled to performances at a club in NYC, a theatre in Minneapolis, a festival in Yellowknife and to Tagaq’s home in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, to showcase the artist and human like never before. The profile, over a year in the making, airs on Sunday, May 5, 2019 and presents Tagaq as she is: an artist, an activist, a mother, a sister, a daughter.

Tagaq’s music is an utterly unique and urgently compelling improvisational approach to sound creation. As a vocalist, Tagaq is a breath-contortionist, a master at her self-defined, signature craft. A throat singer, a death growler, a harrowing whisperer, a gentle cooer; an artist who can channel sounds from her environment into rhythmic, pounding layers that weave in and out of her collaborators’ instrumental and electronic elements. Tagaq’s albums have included pointed yet winking covers of artists from the Pixies to Nirvana to Iron Maiden, spoken word elements and hip hop guests, metal, art-rock, classical and ambient electronic elements swirling into one “art-metal blizzard” (Rolling Stone). With a long list of accomplishments that include composer, author, painter and beyond, music is the foundation for a career that is rapidly gathering speed, force and prestige. Tagaq is just getting started.

Tagaq’s most recent music project, Toothsayer (released March 2019)isa commission for the UK National Maritime Museum’s permanent “Polar Worlds” exhibit.

LISTEN TO TOOTHSAYER here.

Her debut novel, Split Tooth, was recently nominated for Amazon Canada’s First Novel Award and Rakuten Kobo’s Emerging Writer Prize.

Read more about Amazon Canada First Novel Award here.

Read more about Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize here.

GO WITH THE FLOE: TANYA TAGAQ’S POLAR SCORE TOOTHSAYER OUT NOW.

Split Tooth audiobook nominated for 2019 Audie Award.

Upcoming performances include London, UK, Rewire Festival and Washington, DC.

LISTEN HERE

Photo Credit: Rebecca Wood

“A three dimensional sonic soundscape that alternates between harsh and lush, barren and fecund.” – Passion of the Weiss

“Full of thrumming echoes not dissimilar to flurries of snow; its pretty eeriness is perfect for the winter.” – Elle, 10 Best Songs of 2019 So Far

“Wordless vocals float over a gently pulsing rhythm and spare piano…By the end, her voice has drifted up into the stratosphere.” – New Sounds

Environmental, historical, futuristic, experimental: Tanya Tagaq’s Toothsayer, out today, conveys the extreme and deadly elements of winter in the High Arctic. From the nightmarish shards of “Icebreaker” to the crystalline delicacy of the title track to the terrifying serenity of “Hypothermia,” Tagaq also describes physiological sensations of snowblindness and fatal exposure to the cold in exquisitely unnerving detail. Toothsayer, a title that to speaks to wisdom and foresight, is also a nod to the knowledge required to survive such harsh conditions.  

The EP, made with long-time percussionist Jean Martin and UK experimental electronica artist Ash Koosha, originated as a score for the National Maritime Museum’s permanent Polar Worlds exhibit, which includes the Franklin Expedition. “I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibition,” says Tagaq, who will be in London for a show at Borderline on March 27. “Quite often Indigenous cultures are reduced to primitive culture or glorified in their ‘untouched’ phase, but it’s not often considered as contemporary culture. I was happy to be involved because the exhibit acknowledges our culture in a contemporary sense.”

Painting by Kevin Earl Taylor

TOUR DATES:

KINGSTON, ON: Isabel Bader Theatre, Mar 6, w/ NAC Orchestra

OTTAWA, ON: NAC, Mar 8 w/ NAC Orchestra

LONDON, UK: The Garage, Mar 27 

THE HAGUE, NL: Rewire Festival, Mar 29

WASHINGTON, DC: Millennium Stage, April 5

CALGARY, AB: Jack Singer Concert Hall, April 27 w/ Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra 

SAMUELSBERG, NORWAY: Riddu Riddu, Jul 10-14

TANYA TAGAQ SHARES “SNOWBLIND,” CRYSTALLINE AMBIENT SONG FROM FORTHCOMING TOOTHSAYER EP, OUT 3/1/19 VIA SIX SHOOTER RECORDS.

LISTEN TO “SNOWBLIND” HERE.

Toothsayer, conceptual electronic collection, originated as Royal Museums Greenwich (UK) commission.

Vinyl spoken-word edition of best-selling, New Yorker-reviewed debut novel Split Tooth out now. See highly NSFW cover art by graphic novelist Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets) here.

 

Toothsayer album cover art by Kevin Earl Taylor.


“Tagaq’s surreal meld of poetry and prose transmutes the Arctic’s boundless beauty, intensity, and desolation into a wrenching contemporary mythology.” – New Yorker

“Tagaq’s emotional intelligence is aspirational.” – Anupa Mistry, Globe and Mail

“An Inuk throat singer who’s got a fluidity in her rasp and a wail that reflects like crystal.” – Stereogum

For those unable to experience experimental Inuk artist Tanya Tagaq’s sonic contribution to National Maritime Museum’s “Polar Worlds” exhibit in situ in London, UK, Tagaq announces the work will be released as a digital EP titled Toothsayer via Six Shooter Records. Toothsayer, a 5-track soundscape created for the exhibit, expands Tagaq’s prestigious compositional work with ambient electronic and piano-driven textures.

With ecological precision and a crypto-travelogue narrative, Toothsayer features Tagaq working with long-time percussionist Jean Martin, who produced the EP. UK experimental electronic artist Ash Koosha, who met Tagaq for the first time when the artists were invited to work together for a BBC Late Junction session in 2017, also performs on “Snowblind” and “Submerged.”

“Snowblind,” the first song shared from the collection, expresses the sensory experience of snowblindness, a condition that can produce colourful pulsating shapes amidst darkness. The contrast of brightness and darkness, a recurring theme in Tagaq’s work, is at once environmental, physical, emotional and political. “I named this Toothsayer because I always liked the term soothsayer, to look into the future and to speak wisely,” says Tagaq of the title. “Teeth represent protection and hunting in nature. We are going to have to get our fists up and our teeth out to carve our way to survival in this world.”

Organized as a categorical assessment of the different and extreme elements of the Nunavut winter, where “it’s so easy to succumb to death in the north purely by the elements, including the socio and political elements,” the EP also connects in title and theme with Split Tooth, Tagaq’s debut novel. The book, a powerfully permeative mythobiography about a girl growing up in Nunavut in the 1970s, was released in September 2018 and immediately found a place on the Giller Prize Long List, Canada’s top fiction prize. The work also appeared on year end Best Of lists including NPR, Globe and Mail, CBC, Toronto Star and more. Apple Music named the work Canada’s Best Canadian Audiobook; narrated by Tagaq with improvised vocal elements, Split Tooth’s fact-fiction-dreamscapes come alive in this spoken word form, which moves between silky hypnotic poetry and carotid-ripping song. Toothsayer travels a similar path to Split Tooth through poles of exquisite delicacy, frenzy and fury.

Toothsayer will be released March 1, 2019 on Six Shooter Records.


TOUR DATES:

WINNIPEG, MB: WECC, Jan 22*
SASKATOON, SK: Persephone Theatre, Jan 24*
GUELPH, ON: River Run Centre, Jan 25*
SEATTLE, WA: Meany Centre for the Performing Arts, Feb 8
OTTAWA, ON: Southminster United Church, Ottawa International Writers Festival, Feb 15
KINGSTON, ON: Isabel Bader Theatre, Mar 6, w/ NAC Orchestra
OTTAWA, ON: NAC, Mar 8 w/ NAC Orchestra
LONDON, UK: The Garage, Mar 27
WASHINGTON, DC: Millennium Stage, April 5
CALGARY, AB: Jack Singer Concert Hall, April 27 w/ Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
SAMUELSBERG, NORWAY: Riddu Riddu, Jul 10-14

*book reading + band performance

 

SPLIT TOOTH

TANYA TAGAQ ANNOUNCES FIRST BOOK, SPLIT TOOTH,
SEPTEMBER 25, 2018 VIA VIKING CANADA.

This fall, Tanya Tagaq will release Split Tooth, her first book. The work, which folds memoir with fiction, traditional stories with reality and poetry with prose, is the story of a girl growing up in the Nunavut in the 1970s. Dark and rapturous, Split Tooth does with words what Tagaq’s music often does without, sweeping the reader into a space where life’s artificial constructs hold no claim. Tanya Tagaq has spoken of her musical improvisation as a never-ending thread pulled through the needle’s eye; set in a part of the world where a year can feel like one long day, Split Tooth is a rich and startling expression of this continuum, a striking metaphysics that informs Tagaq’s art across forms.

Split Tooth was released September 25, 2018 via Viking Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada.

Split Tooth cover art by Jamie Hernandez. “Run To The Hills” cover art by Tanya Tagaq.

PRE-ORDER NOW

RUN TO THE HILLS

TAGAQ AND DAMIAN ABRAHAM (FUCKED UP) UNITE IN
“RUN TO THE HILLS,” IRON MAIDEN REDUX.

Tanya Tagaq and Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham join forces again on “Run To The Hills,” Iron Maiden’s colonization saga. Along with Tagaq’s regular collaborators, Retribution producer/violinist Jesse Zubot and Jean Martin on percussion, Tagaq and Abraham whisper, blister and bluster through the thrashing, galloping scene. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s all in the past.

Tagaq adds “Run To The Hills” to a collection of covers that includes the Pixies’ “Caribou” and Nirvana’s “Rape Me.” Tagaq’s pointed, powerful and sometimes playful interpretations completely reframe these iconic songs; her unique approach and perspective imbue these selections with immediacy, gravity and winking irony.

 

©2019 Tanya Tagaq. Design by Janine Stoll Media.