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Inuk singer and songwriter Tanya Tagaq, from the Nunavut region of northern Canada, unleashes a modern take on the Arctic tradition of throat singing (or katajjaq) -a breathing game, or throat game, played by two women standing inches apart, trying to make each other laugh.
John Schaefer writes about her new album, Retribution, "is about the rape of the Earth by heavy industry, and the threats posed to traditional culture and to the environment by Westernization and climate change. It is full of sound and fury; it draws on rock, hip hop, and the electronic avant-garde; it is provocative, forbidding, and surprisingly sensual.
But it’s in live performance that Tanya Tagaq really shines, where she is a force of nature – which is appropriate, as much of her work sounds the alarm about what humans are doing to the natural world." Her ferocious and intense performances are more "like ancient rituals than concerts, and she uses a startling array of vocal sounds – guttural growls, high-pitched overtone chant, and the rhythmic, almost gasping sounds of traditional Inuit throat-singing – to create an otherworldly texture." Tanya Tagaq joins us live in the studio to perform some of her vocal acrobatics live.