Indigenous artists are creating some of the most exciting music in Canada today, blending traditional cultures with a wide spectrum of contemporary genres to give voice to their communities, their stories, their truth.
Unity is a quartet of Indigenous women based in Peterborough. Using only percussion instruments and their own voices, they perform a mix of original contemporary music and traditional Indigenous songs, with their own haunting harmonies.
Barb Rivett, Joeann Argue, Brenda Maracle-O’Toole and Heather Shpuniarsky first joined forces in 2005. Since then they have performed throughout Ontario. They also present music and storytelling workshops as part of Indigenous cultural awareness programmes, and they were artists in residence at Mount Allison University for two years. They are affectionately known as the Trent University house band, performing Honour songs at convocations each year.
In recent years they have been working with classical composers and musicians, creating exciting new works that blend Indigenous music with classical composition.
This event is a collaboration with the Massey College Chapel Royal Symposium. Scheduled this year for March 26, it will focus on music as a path to communication and reconciliation. Further details will be announced soon.