A new story from Q

WNYC 93.9 FM
| WNYC 93.9 FM


Nine head from public radio international which goes by pri tom power generations of people want spoke the language they lived around what you might know now as the saint john river in new brunswick but for decades starting in the late eighteen hundreds their language started to disappear partly through canadian government policies that targeted indigenous language and culture today there might only be one hundred people who speak and understand the language jeremy dutcher doesn't want to see it disappear he's a musician from the west acquai community himself and he's taken these old recordings of songs and chance that were performed by people in his community in the early nineteen hundreds what he's done with these songs and recordings forms the core of his debut album just long listed for the polaris music prize you'll hear jeremy perform some of his music live from the q studio just a bit honestly might be one of the most incredible live sets you've ever heard from the studio i think it's one of my favorite live performances we've ever had on the show if not my favorite i though germs going to tell you what some of these old recordings sound like i just love him so much beautiful voice yeah that's jim paul from sit on sisk first mission in runs and yeah beautiful voice and i think it's been interesting for me as a singer and musician to explore like alternative technologies and think about the sort of micro tones that that he is using and thinking about musical systems and key signatures that maybe aren't part of the western classical way of doing things you know how did you feel when you first heard that recording i think you can't you can't not listen to these and understand the humanness that's in them you know when you when you hear the life that has actually like within these voices that have maybe past but are still with us even if it's one that is mediated through the lens of of this guy who came in and collected these songs and then put them in a museum it's still for me it's the closest glimpse i have inserted into what you know what my ancestors would have and how they were living in how they have they saw the world and how what their relationship was to the land to right so we're going to hear right now your interpretation of the song so what we're going to hear if i'm not mistaken is the actual recording with you company ing and would you say accompanying reimagining that recording i like that yeah i get i get to sing along with with with this recording with this voice going from the the museum and listening to these cylinders for the first time and then going back to my to my studio at a piano and just having those those melodies in my ear over and over and oregon and letting those guide how totally and rhythmically i'm i'm composing you know so not taking the western score like pop form as like the thing but really letting it come from the melody that was really really important to me and so respecting that fidelity to the original was important but also yeah i bring my own sense of of our history and what i can say a contemporary moment as well because i think there's so many things to say around these pieces and there's so many issues going on in our community right now that that need to be addressed this is jamie dutcher and performing on q you go ahead ooh ooh good.

Coming up next