Main Tabs


Tanya Tagaq - Animism

Many moons ago I was introduced to the person and the music of Tanya Tagaq, an artist who created her own solo form of Inuit throat singing which is traditionally performed by two women.  It was a fall evening and Tanya stepped onto the stage, barefoot and very pregnant surrounded by two musicians, violinist Jesse Zubot and percussionist Jean Martin.  Tanya spoke softly welcoming the audience to the continuous set, as if to prepare us for what was to come.

I had been told that a show of Tanya Tagaq was "intense" and I am admittedly pretty sensitive, but from that spoken introduction came a spectrum of sounds that hit me straight in the chest and rearranged my insides.  Almost as soon as the music and vocals reached me, involuntary bio/physiological reactions were taking place, I was instantly tearing up and trying to visualize rainbows and puppies to calm down.
Whew.... that...was...raw.
Did I mention intense?

photo: Jenn McInnis

Tagaq's Animism recently won the 2014 Polaris Music Prize and the tour will touch down in Montreal a sold-out show in Montreal at the Centre Phi tomorrow night.  I had a chance to exchange some words with violinist Jesse Zubot about Polaris aftermath and what we can expect at tomorrow's show.

Have you felt a change in the response to the band since winning the Polaris Prize?

Yes, a change in response to the shows with Tanya has definitely happened since the Polaris Prize scenario...all of a sudden Tanya can barely open her mouth without all the press in Canada freaking out.  Also, every show we've done in Canada since has been sold out and we are even having a hard time getting our close friends into some of the shows!!  It seems like people are now listening to the music on a higher, more concentrated level to everything that goes down, so we have to be in top form!

You mentioned in an earlier correspondence that you were going to do a hardcore show.  Were you being serious?! What can Montreal expect at the Centre Phi show?

Hardcore show!!  Well, that just means a 'no holds barred' full-on smash-in-the-face vibes...There will be some moments of serenity and calmness, but in general the show will probably be very emotional, aggressive and hopefully transcending in some way.  We usually play about 70 minutes with no stopping to create trance-like vibes.

Thanks to Jesse Zubot for the warning.  I'll be the one in the corner crying with kleenex.