Celebrated Inuk performer Tanya Tagaq employs exquisite, unnerving vocal improvisations that bridge traditional roots with contemporary culture. Her music is like nothing you’ve heard before: a contortion of punk, metal, and electronica into a complex and contemporary sound that begins in breath, a communal and fundamental phenomenon. Hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of today's most electric, transfixing performers in any genre,” Tagaq was the recipient of Canada’s prestigious Polaris Music Prize in 2014 for her album "Animism", a work that disrupted the music world in Canada and beyond with its powerfully original vision. She has also been named to the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest honors.
Retribution is Tanya Tagaq’s portrait of a violent world in crisis, hovering on the brink of destruction. It’s a complex, exhilarating, howling protest that links lack of respect for women’s rights to lack of respect for the planet, to lack of respect for Indigenous rights. It’s a program about celebrating the great strength of women, and rejecting the toxic, militaristic masculinity that’s taken over the world since the rise of Western industrial capitalism, which is rapidly destroying human life support systems through climate change and pollution.
While 2014’s Polaris Music Prize win signaled an awakening to Tanya Tagaq’s art and messages, she has been touring and collaborating with an elite international circle of artists for over a decade. Tagaq’s improvisational approach lends itself to collaboration across genres, and recent projects have pulled her in vastly different directions: she has contributed guest vocals to a song by F**ked Up (an award-winning hardcore punk band from Toronto); premiered a composition made for Kronos Quartet’s Fifty for the Future collection; and composed a piece for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Tanya’s most recent album “Retribution” was released in fall 2016, landing on many of the year’s ‘best of’ lists, with Fader calling it “one of the most stunning records you’ll hear this year, or maybe ever.” Tagaq’s latest touring program delivers material from the album. She is joined on stage by vocal chameleon Christine Duncan along with regular collaborators drummer Jean Martin and violinist Jesse Zubot in a boundary-pushing exploration of tone, timbre, texture and the outer limits of human expression. We defy you to listen to this album without weeping, without shuddering, without feeling its intense power and immediacy. This is dramatic, relevant, stunning music. “Retribution will be swift.”