The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra to feature Tanya Tagaq

Tagaq is known for her ‘passionate and other-worldly’ performances

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra is honoured to present 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.

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“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. 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,”said music director Rosemary Thomson.

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

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

The show will take place at the Kelowna Community Theatre – Saturday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m. tickets are available at kelownatickets.com

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