Two Odysseys

Soundstreams last night presented an intriguing double bill of works in Indigenous languages on Indigenous themes at, appropriately, the Daniels Spectrum.  First up was Pimoteewin; music by Melissa Hui, words by Tomson Highway.  This piece uses English narration with the singing in Cree.  It tells the story of the Trickster and the Eagle going to find out where people go when they die.  To quote him “Why are my people always disappearing like this?” The Trickster’ tries unsuccessfully to bring the spirits back to the land of the living and finally realises that that’s not such a good idea.  Musically it had almost a liturgical or meditative quality with a lot of fairly hushed choral singing behind strong solo performances by Bud Roach and Melody Courage.

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