Western Front is pleased to present Itqaqhaijuq / Tries to Remember, a multimedia performance by Tiffany Ayalik.
During her six-month residency at Western Front, Ayalik developed a new body of work revitalizing the songs of her Inuinnait ancestors and community. She studied a collection of songs that were transcribed, notated, and documented through wax cylinder recordings by the anthropologist Diamond Jenness during the 1913-18 Canadian Arctic Expedition, and worked with Inuinnait elders to further her understanding of the language. Using multi-channel audio and live vocal performance, she reinterpreted six songs as a new 30-minute composition. In collaboration with the artist T. Erin Gruber, who created projected images inspired by the changing seasons and the natural environment of the North, for Itqaqhaijuq / Tries to Remember Ayalik has created an affecting immersive environment. Through the work, Ayalik hopes to provide a possible pathway to embolden others to reclaim and relearn languages that could soon be lost.
Itqaqhaijuq / Tries to Remember will be presented by Ayalik live over two days in Western Front’s Grand Luxe Hall.
Tiffany Ayalik is an Inuk performer from Kugluktuk, Nunavut, and was born and raised in Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories. Combining knowledge learned from her elders with her work as an actor and singer, Tiffany creates unique and powerful performances that include theatre, storytelling, music, and education. Tiffany produces film and TV with her producing partner Caroline Cox and their company, Copper Quartz Media, and produces music with her sister Inuksuk Mackay as the duo PIQSIQ.
This work could not have been created without the help of many people across borders, generations, and centuries. Quana to Alice, Agnes and Robert Ayalik, Jarrett Martineau, Inuksuk Mackay, and the Kitikmeot Heritage Society.
The following recordings were used in creation of this project, and can be found at the Canadian Museum of History.
Arctic - Mackenzie and Copper - Music & shamanistic utterance, Diamond Jenness, 1915-1916, Canadian Museum of History, IV-D-2T
Arctic - Mackenzie and Copper - Music, Diamond Jenness, 1915-1916, Canadian Museum of History, IV-D-3T
Arctic - Mackenzie and Copper - Music, Diamond Jenness, 1915-1916, Canadian Museum of History, IV-D-4T
Arctic - Mackenzie and Copper - Music, Diamond Jenness, 1915-1916, Canadian Museum of History, IV-D-5T
Presented with the support of the Government of Canada and SOCAN Foundation.