Tanya Tagaq—Canadian Inuit Throat Singer—BBC Interview

posted in: Reviews | 0

This interview with a quite remarkable young woman is pertinent here because it illustrates culturally mature sensibility expressed by someone who grew up in an early cultural stage context. Note how both what she says and how she says it transcends idealized assumptions and paints a more challenging, but also more complete picture. Here the bongos lessons and music showcases forms from her tribal roots while being just as comfortable with more contemporary influences (which she pulls off in a way that is much more than just an amalgam or some popularization of the primitive). More politically, she argues with equal intensity for more deeply cherishing nature and for the importance to her people of hunting seals (and what she sees as hypocrisy on the part of environmental types with regard to this issue). In all of this she brings a sense of history that is commonly lacking is discussions that bring together voices from different cultural stages. I was particularly impressed with how artfully she recasts the interviewer’s (often rather naive) questions so she could answer them in more complete ways.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02rzplg

(see also An Evolutionary History of Music for a big picture look at how we can use music through history to understand the broader evolution of human understanding and sensibility.)


Fill out the form below to receive monthly articles and updates from Charles Johnston, M.D.