11 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Composer and singer Jeremy Dutcher explores his Wolastoq First Nation roots in this touching, enthralling album uniting past and present. By painstakingly going through Canadian archives and unearthing wax cylinder recordings of traditional songs from the early 1900s, Dutcher has no doubt helped save his ancestors’ music from extinction. But it’s his interpretations and arrangements of these extraordinary songs—alongside extracts from the original recordings—that will ensure their survival. All emotions are on a collection that includes a fiery wedding dance (“Nipuwoltin”), a lullaby (“Ultestakon”), and the opening track—a haunting, tender death chant (“Mehcinut”).

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Composer and singer Jeremy Dutcher explores his Wolastoq First Nation roots in this touching, enthralling album uniting past and present. By painstakingly going through Canadian archives and unearthing wax cylinder recordings of traditional songs from the early 1900s, Dutcher has no doubt helped save his ancestors’ music from extinction. But it’s his interpretations and arrangements of these extraordinary songs—alongside extracts from the original recordings—that will ensure their survival. All emotions are on a collection that includes a fiery wedding dance (“Nipuwoltin”), a lullaby (“Ultestakon”), and the opening track—a haunting, tender death chant (“Mehcinut”).

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

Jord music ,

Fascinating!

Jeremy’s voice is powerful, his resonance affecting in a profound way. Such an important album.

Worldlisteningpost.com ,

Tenor of the Times

In the popular imagination, time travel typically involves a fanciful machine. In real life, Jeremy Dutcher visited the past using the wax cylinders of an Edison-era phonograph and digital technology that preserved recordings made in 1907. An opera singer and composer—and faithful son of the Wolastoq First Nation of New Brunswick—Dutcher dug into the archives of the Canadian Museum of History for songs in the Wolastoq language (also called Maliseet), which has dwindled to about 100 speakers. What he found was the soundtrack of a civilization—songs of welcome and weddings, love and lullaby, leadership and trade, spirit and death. Where other Indigenous artists have channeled ancestral music through rock, folk or hip-hop, Dutcher’s métier is classical, his rearrangements flowing from a dialogue between his tradition and his training. Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (Our Maliseet Songs), his first album, is a stunning achievement, no less of music than of research. The opening track, Mehcinut (Death Chant), is a life celebration that seems as much a declaration to the ancients—that their culture survives—as to new generations. The Wolastoqiyik (Wolastoq people) live along the Saint John River and its tributaries, and Pomok naka Poktoinskwes (Fisher and Water Spirit) reflects the centrality of water in their lore. The artist’s elegant tenor is in harmony with history and with itself in Koselwintuwakon (Love Song). And Sakomawit (Chief’s Installation) offers good counsel for any nation: “When you lead, think of all of us; especially the ones yet born”. Dutcher’s project reinforces efforts to preserve his ancestral language and resonates beyond his community. He’s working on a curriculum for introducing Wolastoq into New Brunswick schools and his album also won the 2018 Polaris Prize, Canada’s album of the year award. A son’s journey to the past is shaping the tenor of the future.—worldlisteningpost.com

Mine craft star 😝 ,

Soaring

One of the most beautiful albums created in recent times. A masterpiece.