My dream is to use my voice to share some of Nunatsiavut’s fascinating music and history, far and wide. My hope is to create classically oriented, Indigenously grounded original music.
I am an urban Inuk with roots in Nunatsiavut; my father was an Inuk from Hopedale, Labrador and my mother is Irish from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Growing up outside of Nunatsiavut, my connection to my community and Inuit heritage has been shaped instead by family stories through most of my life, and opportunities to collaborate and work with other Inuit artists. Living in the south, instead, my passion for the arts took me in a seemingly antithetical direction. I became a professional classical singer. The classical music world seems far from my birthright’s sonar landscape of throat-singing, drum dancing, and ai ya ya. Anywhere in the circumpolar world, that is, except Nunatsiavut, the homeland of the Labrador Inuit, where for centuries, Inuit have sung and played classical music.
Recording “Pillorikput Inuit: Inuktitut Arias for All Seasons” allowed me to celebrate who I am – an Inuk and a classical artist.
There are two worlds that I reconcile with my artistry. Classical music is rooted in a colonial world view, but building on the strength of my ancestors, I choose to embrace the beauty I find in it and transform it so that it has meaning for me and for other Labrador Inuit who have such a complex history with Moravian musical traditions.
Leaning into my identity as Canada’s first and only Inuk classical soloist and recording artist has opened a path that allows me to explore, grapple with, and celebrate the unique relationship and history Labrador Inuit have with Western classical music.
My dream is to use my voice to share some of Nunatsiavut’s fascinating music and history, far and wide. I also want to give people a glimpse into the way I walk in the world.
My hope is to continue exploring my cultural heritage and professional training to create classically oriented, Indigenously grounded original music.