Don Amero speaks to artist Jermey Dutcher about preserving the language of his ancestors through his music.
Jeremy Dutcher is a performer, composer, activist, and musicologist. His music transcends boundaries: unapologetically playful in its incorporation of classical influences, full of reverence for the traditional songs of his home, and teeming with the urgency of modern-day struggles of resistance.
A member of Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, Jeremy first did music studies in Halifax before working in the archives at the Canadian Museum of History, painstakingly transcribing Wolastoq songs from 1907 wax cylinders. Jeremy heard ancestral voices singing forgotten songs and stories that had been taken from the Wolastoqiyik generations ago. As he listened to each recording, he felt his own musical impulses stirring from deep within. Long days at the archives turned into long nights at the piano, feeling out melodies and phrases, deep in dialogue with the voices of his ancestors.
These "collaborative" compositions appear on his debut LP Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa. Delicate, sublime vocal melodies ring out atop piano lines that cascade through a vibrant range of emotions. The anguish and joy of the past erupt fervently into the present through Jeremy's bold approach to composition and raw, affective performances enhanced by his outstanding tenor techniques.
Read more about Jermey Dutcher and connect with his social accounts HERE.