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Inuit Throat Singer Pairs World Music with Classic Silent Film Sept. 30

Sep 15, 2015 05:34AM ● Published by Erica Shames

Inuit throat singer and 2014 Polaris Music Prize winner Tanya Tagaq will present a world music performance paired with the 1922 silent film classic Nanook of the North on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m. at The Campus Theatre, 413 Market St. in downtown Lewisburg as part of the Weis Center's annual series. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

There will be a free lecture and demonstration on September 30 at noon in the Weis Center Lobby which will be moderated by Professor Ned Searles.

Nanook of the North is considered the world's first major work of nonfiction filmmaking, yet it is rife with contradictions. The film portrays the lives of an Inuk family in Arctic Canada. Its director, Robert Flaherty, lived and worked with Inuit for years, but still included staged scenes of buffoonery and feigned Inuit ignorance of modern accoutrements.

Tagaq's intense, evocative vocalizations, based on Inuit throat singing traditions, help reclaim the controversial film. With percussionist Jean Martin and violinist Jesse Zubot, she will perform a live accompaniment to the film's silent images of life in an early 20th-century Inuit community in Northern Quebec.

Tagaq can capture the most ethereal moments of desire or find the deepest, huskiest, beating pulse with her voice and breath. She creates soundscapes from inhalation and exhalation, summoning powerful emotion from the smallest movement of lips, throat, and lungs.

Muskrat Magazine wrote of the performance: "Tanya Tagaq took the stage and crouched below the screen to sing ... the sounds of the sled dogs and the winds. Tanya is an incredible Inuk throat singer from Cambridge Bay ... When Tanya, her band, and Nanook of the North came together ... it was breathtaking."

Working with composer Derek Charke, Tagaq employs exquisite improvisations with traditional roots, a style she has perfected over a decade of performances on major stages worldwide, as well as with collaborations with artists from Björk to Mike Patton.

Tanya Tagaq in concert with Nanook of the North was commissioned by the Toronto International Film Festival, where it premiered to critical acclaim in 2012 as part of TIFF First Nations. Tagaq was awarded the Galaxie Rising Star Award at the 2013 Mundial Montreal for her showcase performance of the program.

Drawing on her childhood on Nunavut's Victoria Island, and on her mother's memories of forced relocation from film's Northern Quebec location, Tagaq's sense of the sound of the Arctic spaces shown in the film transforms the images, adding great feeling and depth to a complex mix of beautiful representations and racially charged clichés.

General admission tickets for the performance are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 62+ and subscribers, $5 for youth 18 and under, $5 for Bucknell employees and retirees (limit 2), free for Bucknell students (limit 2) and $5 for non-Bucknell college students (limit 2).

Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the Campus Box Office at 570-577-1000. Tickets are also available in person from several locations including the Weis Center lobby (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and the CAP Center Box Office, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center (weekdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

For more information about this performance, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or

The next event in the Weis Center's 2015-16 Series is a Family Discovery performance by Lakota Sioux Dance Theatre on Friday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center. Tickets for the performance are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors 62+ and subscribers, $10 for youth 18 and under, $10 for Bucknell employees and retirees (limit 2), $10 for Bucknell students (limit 2) and $10 for non-Bucknell college students (limit 2).


For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, visit or

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