Before this concert I had learned how Jeremy Dutcher spent 5 years creating a work based on traditional Mi’kmaq songs and music, music that had been actively suppressed through the horrendous period of failed native assimilation.
But I hadn’t actually heard any of the music. Let’s be honest; sometimes we admire the goals and nobility of the aspiration, but through unfamiliarity we’ll give only passing listening attention to the results. I like the work of Takemitsu, for example, but I haven’t made the leap to actually listening to very much of it.
This is different. It’s very good music: good enough to like on first listening, and rich enough to bear quite a bit of repetition. So I bought the CD.
This phone video was made in front of a wildly ebullient home audience. Every person I talked to seemed to have a connection to Mr. Dutcher. “Yes, I’m friends with someone who works at Dal, and once said hello to his vocal coach”. Mr. Dutcher’s vocal coach was in the audience, and I’m sure she was absolutely thrilled with what she heard. I certainly was; the atmosphere was magnetic and the applause, sustained and enthusiastic.