Tanya Tagaq will perform with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra in Kelowna Oct, 13 and Vernon Oct. 14. (Katrin Braga Photography)

Okanagan Symphony Orchestra welcomes Tanya Tagaq

Performance in Kelowna Oct. 13, Vernon Oct. 14

The OSO presents a rare and powerful program featuring Polaris-prize winning artist Tanya Tagaq.

Tagaq is renowned for her passionate, other-worldly performances that blend traditional throat singing, metal, rock and contemporary styles. Her first novel Split Tooth, released only last week, has already been shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

A staunch defender of the rights of women, the environment and Indigenous communities, Tagaq will be performing her own composition, Qiksaaktuq — the Inuktitut word for grief. This piece is dedicated to missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, and to those who grieve for them. Qiksaaktuq is written in five movements, based on the Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Tagaq’s performance will be largely improvised, and dependent on the talent and precision of improv leader Christine Duncan, the musicians of the OSO and of course, Tagaq herself.

“I was lucky to see Tanya live this summer at the Folk on the Rocks Festival in Yellowknife under the midnight sun. Her performance was absolutely unique,” said OSO music director Rosemary Thomson. “With her traditional throat singing as the starting place, she communicates the most extraordinary vocalizations. I was absolutely transfixed and her performance was seared in my memory. I can’t wait to share the stage with her.”

Related: OSO launches 59th season

Related: Tanya Tagaq pushed U.S. band Eskimeaux to change its name

The OSO will also be performing Dinuk Wijeratne’s First Winter. Wijeratne immigrated to Canada from Sri Lanka. First Winter was commissioned by the Calgary Philharmonic and expresses Wijeratne’s first impressions of a Canadian winter.

Greek/Canadian composer Christos Hatzis’ Thunder Drum is a three-movement mash-up of a live orchestra and an electronic soundtrack which uses technological “fly-by” sound effects as well as pre-recorded samples of Inuit guest artist Tagaq.

The OSO will take the Kelowna Community Theatre stage alongside Tagaq Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through Kelowna Tickets, 250-862-2867. Tickets to the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Show Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. are available through the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.


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