Tanya Tagaq to Debut New Work in Residency with Brown Arts Institute

The residency will take place on Brown University’s campus from March 12-17.

By: Feb. 23, 2024
Tanya Tagaq to Debut New Work in Residency with Brown Arts Institute
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This March, improvisational singer, avant-garde composer, and bestselling author Tanya Tagaq will host a collaborative residency with Brown Arts Institute, continuing its IGNITE Series centered on the possibilities of the arts as a vehicle for social change. Taking place on Brown University’s campus from March 12-17, Tagaq’s residency will bring together a wide-ranging group of collaborators including the acclaimed Kronos Quartet, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, composer Paola Prestini and cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, a throat singing choir, and improvisational musicians for a series of  performances and conversations exploring ideas including Indigenous history and relationships with the land, artists’ response to the climate crisis, and subversions and reinterpretations of classical music.
 
“I consider Tanya Tagaq to be one of the great artistic innovators of our time: an activist, an advocate preserving Indigenous culture and knowledge-ways through her performances and recent journeys into filmmaking, a writer and composer whose deeply personal work shakes you to the core,” said BAI Artistic Director Avery Willis Hoffman. “I look forward to welcoming Tanya and her collaborators to campus to engage with our many different creative communities here, in March 2024 and beyond.”
 
The collaborative residency will build on Tagaq’s work as an Artistic Innovator with BAI, creating opportunities to connect with faculty, students, and Providence community members to seed inspiration for future projects. In addition to a conversation with artivists from Small Island Big Song (performing at The Strand, March 15, 2024 at 7pm), co-hosted with Providence-based FirstWorks, programming will include two performances in Brown’s recently opened Lindemann Performing Arts Center featuring collaborative music-making, improvisation, and new commissions with guests including Kronos Quartet, Paola Prestini, Jeffrey Zeigler, and a groundbreaking Inuit throat singing choir.
 
Tagaq is supported as part of BAI’s Artistic Innovators Collective, a fluid group of around 40 artists across disciplines who convene regularly on campus and work closely with campus communities through various teaching opportunities, research support and grants, and the presentation of a range of work from early ideas to full-scale commissions. Rooted in a practice of rigorous arts research and BAI’s mission to support, amplify, and add new dimensions to the creative practices of Brown’s arts departments, faculty, students, and surrounding communities, the Artistic Innovators Collective informs the development of BAI’s integrated artistic and academic programming, including through IGNITE.
 
IGNITE, a series of interdisciplinary, collaborative, and impactful projects centered around the possibilities of art as a vehicle for societal change, began in fall 2023 and will run through fall 2024, anchored by six large-scale imaginings and collaborative residencies: Carrie Mae Weems (fall 2023); William Kentridge and The Centre for the Less Good Idea (spring 2024); Tanya Tagaq (spring 2024); Chachi Carvalho (summer 2024); Kym Moore, Professor of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies at Brown (fall 2024); and Caridad “La Bruja” de la Luz (fall 2024). These boundary-pushing projects will activate The Lindemann Performing Arts Center, a new arts venue located in the heart of Brown’s Perelman Arts District and designed by REX/Joshua Ramus that takes a radical approach to spatial, acoustic, and technical flexibility to enable new forms of artistic research and creation, which opened in October 2023.
 

ABOUT THE BROWN ARTS INSTITUTE COLLABORATIVE RESIDENCY

I. Public Panel: "Climate Change: Our Response as Artivists"

Tanya Tagaq and Small Island Big Song: In Conversation, Co-Hosted with FirstWorks
March 12, 2024, at 5:30-7pm
Martinos Auditorium, Granoff Center for the Creative Arts
Free and open to the public with reservation
 
On the occasion of multi-hyphenate artist Tanya Tagaq’s residency at Brown and the presentation of music, film, and performing arts project Small Island Big Song (SIBS) in Providence, Brown Arts Institute and FirstWorks co-host a conversation between Tagaq and SIBS company members about the responsibilities of artist-activists to address the urgent issues of climate change. Conversants  ask us the question: “What will we tell our children if we fail to protect our planet?” Selections from documentary and creative film works by Tagaq and SIBS will also be shared. Moderated by BaoBao Chen, co-founder and creative producer of Small Island Big Song. Welcome by Lynsea Montanari, from Tomaquag Museum’s Indigenous Empowerment Center.
 
Small Island Big Song, a multidisciplinary project uniting the islands of the Pacific and Indian Ocean through artistic collaboration, is presented by FirstWorks at The Strand on March 15, 2024. Tickets available here.
 

II. Tanya Tagaq and Special Guests: In Concert

Featuring Paola Prestini, Jeffrey Zeigler, Christine Duncan, Jean Martin with Nancy Mike, Cynthia Pitsiulak, Charlotte Qamaniq, Varna Marianne Nielsen, and Boston Modern Orchestra Project
March 14, 2024, from 7-9pm (with post-concert conversation with the artists)
The Lindemann Performing Arts Center
Tickets: Full Price: $40; Brown/RISD Faculty & Staff: $20; Seniors: $20; Students: $5 (Ticket proceeds from Brown Arts Institute programming support artistic productions created by the various artistic communities on Brown’s campus and in Providence.)
 
The first of two evenings of innovative, genre-bending music by improvisational singer, avant-garde composer and bestselling author Tanya Tagaq (Ikaluktutiak, Cambridge Bay, Nunavut). A member of the Order of Canada, and Polaris Music Prize and JUNO Award winner, Tagaq curates a special program of compositions performed by and with a number of long-time collaborators including Christine Duncan (improvisational singer and conductor), Jean Martin (drummer and electronic artist), Paola Prestini (classical music composer), and Jeffrey Zeigler (cello). For portions of the evening, Tagaq is accompanied by an Inuit throat singing choir featuring Nancy Mike, Cynthia Pitsiulak, Charlotte Qamaniq, and Varna Marianne Nielsen. Gil Rose conducts the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, with second conductor Christine Duncan.
 

III. Tanya Tagaq and Kronos Quartet: In Concert

In celebration of Kronos Quartet: Five Decades also featuring Nancy Mike, Cynthia Pitsiulak, Charlotte Qamaniq, Varna Marianne Nielsen
Sunday, March 17, 2024 from 7-9pm (with post-concert conversation with the artists)
Main Hall, The Lindemann Performing Arts Center
Tickets: Full Price: $40; Brown/RISD Faculty & Staff: $20; Seniors: $20; Students: $5
 
Tanya Tagaq, in celebration of Kronos Quartet: Five Decades tour, invites her long-time collaborators Kronos Quartet to premiere their new collaborative work, commissioned by Brown Arts Institute. The evening’s program also includes performances by Tagaq with an Inuit throat singing choir featuring Nancy Mike, Cynthia Pitsiulak, Charlotte Qamaniq, and Varna Marianne Nielsen, music performed by Kronos Quartet, as well as Tagaq/Kronos collaborations Sivunittinni (2015, composed by T. Tagaq for Kronos Fifty for the Future, arranged by Jacob Garchik) and Colonizer (arranged by T. Tagaq, performed with Kronos Quartet on her album Tongues, 2022).
 
For more information and tickets, visit arts.brown.edu/ignite/artistic-innovator-residencies/tanya-tagaq
 

About Tanya Tagaq

From Ikaluktutiak (Cambridge Bay, Nunavut), internationally celebrated artist Tanya Tagaq is an improvisational singer, avant-garde composer, and bestselling author. A member of the Order of Canada, Polaris Music Prize and JUNO Award winner, and recipient of multiple honorary doctorates, Tagaq is an original disruptor, a world-changing figure at the forefront of seismic social, political, and environmental change.




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