Jeremy Dutcher Returns With New Single
Skicinuwihkuk ᔅᑭᒋᓄᐧᐃᐦᑯᒃ – Ski-gin-oo-wee-gook
A statement of sovereignty. For those yet to come.
A sonic expansion of what has come before.
Jeremy Dutcher, is a classically trained opera tenor and pianist that has been singing the songs of his ancestors since he was a child. Today, he has returned with his first new music since 2018, with “Skicinuwihkuk”, released on his new label home of Secret City Records. While Dutcher performs some of the lyrics in Wolastoq, it represents his first time singing in English — an effort to share his story, and the story of his people, with a wider audience.
Dutcher is a Two-Spirit song carrier, composer, activist, and ethnomusicologist from Tobique First Nation in Eastern Canada. Dutcher’s 2018 debut — Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa — vaulted him into the upper echelons of Canadian performance, from the Polaris Music Prize and JUNO Award stages to the judges’ panel on Canada’s Drag Race. It led to collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma, Buffy St. Marie, and Beverly Glenn Copeland. Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa began as a museum research project, exploring wax cylinder recordings of Wolastoqiyik song-carriers — Dutcher’s ancestors. The musician duetted with those voices, singing back to his community in Wolastoq — a language that fewer than 100 people still speak. The reimagined songs dramatically capture the beauty of the Indigenous community’s resilience to pain and trauma.
“Skicinuwihkuk” features Dutcher singing at the piano with a full orchestra (arrangements by Owen Pallet). “Skicinuwihkuk” translates to “Indian Land” and the song is about land sovereignty, one of many crucial topics that Dutcher intends to spark a wider conversation on through his art.
The song’s melody was inspired by a wax cylinder recording that he heard while researching his debut album. The lyrics were inspired by field notes that Dutcher came across, made by the Anthropologist that had originally collected the songs. The additional voice heard at the beginning and end of the song is Solomon Polchies from Sitansisk First Nation, recorded in 1963, part of the Wolastoq Archive at the Canadian Museum of History.
A note on “Two-Spirit” identity: Two-Spirit is a pan-indigenous term to discuss the interrelated and intersecting identities of gender, sexuality, and culture for those who may otherwise be identified as both LGBTQ+ and indigenous. This term is being reclaimed and expanded to incorporate localized understandings in our own languages.
mecimiw naka askomiw
tan qiniw iyuwok wasis kpomawsuwinuwok
always and forever
this is indian land
as long as there is a child among our people
we will protect the land
JEREMY DUTCHER 2023 TOUR DATES:
October 19 – wei wai kum – Campbell River, BC – Tidemark Theater
October 20 – lək̓ʷəŋən – Victoria, BC – McPherson Playhouse
October 21 – xʷməθkʷəy̓əm-Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-səlilwətaɬ – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
October 23 – moh’kinsstis – Calgary, AB – Bella Concert Halal
October 24 – amiskwaciwâskahikan – Edmonton, AB – Winspear
October 26 – misâskwatômina – Saskatoon, SK – TCU Place
October 27 – oskana ka-asastēki – Regina, SK – University of Regina Theatre
October 28 – wînipêk – Winnipeg, MB – Burton Cummings Theatre
November 8 – odàwàg – Ottawa, ON – National Arts Centre
November 10 – tiohtià:ke – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre
November 11 – kepek – Quebec City, QC – Grand Théâtre de Québec
November 14 – wasokusegwom – Glace Bay, NS – Savoy Theatre
November 15 – epekwitk – Charlottetown, PE – Confederation Centre
November 17 – eqpahak – Fredericton, NB – Playhouse
November 18 – menahkwesk – St. John, NB – Imperial Theatre
November 19 – petkoatkwee’ak – Moncton, MB – Capitol Theatre
November 22 – kjipuktuk – Halifax, NS – St. Matthews
November 23 – mtaban – Wolfville, NS – Festival Theatre at Acadia
November 24 – kespukwik – Annapolis Royal, NS – Kings Theatre
November 26 – ktaqmkuk – St. John’s, NL – St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre
December 7 – haudenosaunee-anishinabewaki – St. Catherine’s, ON – FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
December 9 – tkaronto – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
Order “Skicinuwihkuk” by Jeremy Dutcher HERE
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