Extraordinary Women::Tanya Tagak
This is where my lesson was learned: pain is to be expected, courage is to be welcomed. There is no choice but to endure. There is no other way than to renounce self-doubt. It is the time of the Dawning in more ways than one. The sun can rise, and so can I.
An intense and utterly captivating blend of traditional Inuk throat singing and experimental pop, Canadian musician Tanya Tagaq first became known for her collaborations with Björk in 2004. Over the decade that followed, the Nunavut native earned widespread acclaim for solo releases like 2008's Auk/Blood and her Polaris Prize-winning 2014 album Animism, which pitted her eerie mix of guttural and ethereal vocal tones against a backdrop of eclectic pop and modern orchestral composition. Also a painter and published author, Tagaq has collaborated with a variety of unusual acts across multiple genres including hip-hop, classical, metal, folk, and aboriginal.
Born in Cambridge Bay in Canada's sparsely populated northern province of Nunavut, Tagaq's mother was a native Inuk while her father was of Anglo descent. During her difficult childhood and teenage years, she endured sexual assaults, substance abuse, and even a suicide attempt while attending high school in Yellowknife. Tagaq eventually left Nunavut and earned a fine arts degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. During this period, her mother gave her a cassette of traditional throat singing. Captivated by the otherworldly sounds of the two women on the tape, she developed her own unique solo throat singing style and would sometimes perform casually for friends at parties.
~ Timothy Monger
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