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Have you ever taken a step back and looked at a snapshot of your life and said: “Wow. Is this real?”

I’ve said this phrase a few times this year, but I think this particular experience tops them all so far. Tanya Tagaq’s music is “rooted in Inuit throat singing but her music has as much to do with electronica, industrial and metal influences as it does with traditional culture.” (Tanya’s Facebook).

When I was asked to help with an opening act for this amazing artist alongside some familiar faces of Artio, I was shocked, amazed, excited and honoured. What a great opportunity! We brushed up on O Saya from last year’s production of Sound of the Hollow, which is a piece for choir and taiko. We also performed Dokokara and Korekara (2 taiko specific pieces).

So many highlights of this experience. Working with sound and lighting at the Bella Concert Hall was amazing. Just playing the in Bella was amazing! Watching the new choreography for Korekara come to life. Seeing the creations that Jean-Louis Bleau had up his sleeve. However, I think the best part was working with Lisa, Eric, and Cass on the taiko pieces. The level of musicianship, skill, and …. FUN! … made the experience so rewarding. We worked hard to prepare, but had so much fun doing it. The taiko pieces turned out amazing.

After our portion of the program was over, we could sit back, relax, and enjoy Tanya Tagaq’s performance after the Intermission. I had never experienced anything like this, and this event was definitely a highlight. Wow.

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