There couldn’t be a more fitting event to launch The Socrates Project’s fall season than one which sets out to disrupt “… the bilingual Anglo-centric Canadian music narrative”!
Classically trained tenor and pianist Jeremy Dutcher, Wolastoqiyik from the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, will present new arrangements of songs that were originally captured on wax cylinders and stored in the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec, over a century ago. Dutcher only found out about the recordings while apprenticing under an elder song carrier in his community. After tracking them down to the museum, he spent five years transcribing them. The result this year is his debut album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, a fusion of pop, classical and traditional music, sung in his native Wolastoqey. It’s important for Dutcher to help preserve his people’s language, spoken by only some 600 people today, he says, because it creates a conversation between generations and through time, and is so “intimately tied to the land.”