CLASSICALLY TRAINED OPERATIC TENOR AND COMPOSER JEREMY DUTCHER BLENDS LOST, TRADITIONAL SONGS OF HIS WOLASTOQ FIRST NATION WITH POST-CLASSICAL ARRANGEMENTS
WOLASTOQIYIK LINTUWAKONAWA, DUE OUT APRIL 6
MORE NORTH AMERICAN PERFORMANCE DATES ADDED FOR THIS SUMMER
"The future meets the past as Dutcher’s resonant operatic voice is paired with a recording made over 110 years ago of a speech. Layered with crystalline strings and booming horns, the result sounds grandiose yet intimate." - NOISEY
PHOTO CREDIT : Matt Barnes // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
Jeremy Dutcher is a classically trained operatic tenor, composer, activist, and musicologist who takes every opportunity to blend his Wolastoq First Nation roots into the music he creates, blending distinct musical aesthetics that shape-shift between classical, traditional, and pop to form something entirely new.
Yesterday, Dutcher was CBCs q’s guest, performing music from his debut album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa. Today, he is streaming the entire album courtesy of Billboard.
Due out April 6, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (wool-las-two-wi-ig lint-two-wah-gun-ah-wa) finds Dutcher exploring, reworking, and collaborating with the voices of his ancestors which he discovered and transcribed from turn-of-the-century wax cylinders.
A member of Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, Jeremy first did music studies in Halifax before taking a chance to work in the archives at the Canadian Museum of History, painstakingly transcribing Wolastoq songs from 1907 wax cylinders. “Many of the songs I'd never heard before, because our musical tradition on the East Coast was suppressed by the Canadian Government’s Indian Act,” explains Dutcher. He heard ancestral voices singing forgotten songs and stories that had been taken from the Wolastoqiyik generations ago.
As he listened to each recording, he felt his own musical impulses stirring from deep within. Long days at the archives turned into long nights at the piano, feeling out melodies and phrases, deep in dialogue with the voices of his ancestors. His “collaborative” compositions on his new album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, are like nothing you’ve ever heard. Delicate, sublime vocal melodies ring out atop piano lines that cascade through a vibrant range of emotions. The anguish and joy of the past erupt fervently into the present through Jeremy’s bold approach to composition and raw, affective performances enhanced by his outstanding tenor techniques.
“I'm doing this work because there's only about a hundred Wolastoqey speakers left,” he says. “It's crucial for us to make sure that we're using our language and passing it on to the next generation. If you lose the language, you're not just losing words; you're losing an entire way of seeing and experiencing the world from a distinctly indigenous perspective.”
Last year, Dutcher spent some time on the road with the New Constellation’s tour. Hosted by Jason Collett, the music and literary tour travelled to cities, towns, and Indigenous communities across the nation, featuring a core roster of Indigenous artists alongside a rotating cast of some of the country’s most celebrated musicians, writers, and poets. NOW Toronto claims that if you caught the tour “you were likely blown away by Jeremy Dutcher’s booming operatic voice and sweeping performance.”
Dutcher will spend some more time on the road this Spring and Summer, with stops and festival dates throughout Canada. Full tour dates can be found below.
WOLASTOQIYIK LINTUWAKONAWA TRACKLIST
1 Mehcinut (meh-jin-nud) - Death Chant
2 Essuwonike (us-soo-won-ni-gay) - Trading Song
3 Eqpahak (ek-ba-hug) - Savage Island
4 Ultestakon (ul-tes-tah-gun) - Shaker Lullaby
5 'kotuwossomikhal (kid-do-wus-soo-mi-gall) - Thirsty
6 Sakomawit (sah-ga-mow-wid) - Chief's Installation
7 Oqiton (ah-gwee-din) - Canoe Song
8 Nipuwoltin (nib-bu-wool-tin) - Wedding Dance
9 Pomok naka Poktoinskwes (bah-mog na-ga buck-tah-in-skwes) - Fisher and the Water Spirit
10 Qonute (gwa-nu-day) - Welcome Chant
11 Koselwintuwakon (guh-zell-win-two-wah-gun) - Love Song
Apr 10 - Toronto, ON - Canadian Opera Company (NOON Performance Time)
May 4 - New York, NY - Joe’s Pub
May 11 - Halifax, NS - St. Matthew’s United Church
May 25 - Ottawa, ON - First Baptist Church
Jun 9 - Toronto, ON - The Great Hall
Jun 16-17 - Winnipeg, MB - Sākihiwē Festival
Jun 27 - Vancouver, BC - Queer Arts Festival
Jun 30 - Dawson City, YT - KIAC Ballroom
Jul 4 - Montreal, QC - GESU (Montreal International Jazz Festival)
+MORE DATES TBA