Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa is the new project of Canadian virtuoso, Jeremy Dutcher.
Yes, you read that album title correctly and yes, it’s a lot of letters. It is the native language of the Tobique First Nation, an indigenous community in Canada, called Wolastoqey and it means “Our Maliseet Songs.” The album is a romantic ode to his lineage, in which Dutcher beautifully sings traditional songs that incorporate contemporary flavors. He is not just referencing his lineage, he is continuing it with great reverence and respect.
The entire album includes recordings of his Wolastoq ancestors singing the native songs, which was an incredibly important aspect of the creative process. It was actually the catalyst for the albums creation.
The first single is called “Pomok naka Poktoinskwes.” The song tells a story of a Fisher and Water Spirit. Dutcher’s voice is magic and illustrates the story in clear detail, alongside classical orchestral instruments. It is dramatic and layered with subtleties that are just so captivating. This is where his contemporary influences come to shine with sharp, punctuated rhythms contrasted with dissonant and flowing harmonies.
History is the Driving Force for ‘Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (Our Maliseet Songs)’
Dutcher makes a strong case for the preservation of a language with Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa. His research and own ties to the Wolastoq community are really what make this album so special. Obviously, the music is wonderfully unique and performed with gusto, but to be a witness to the pride of a man’s ancestry is, perhaps, the best part.
You can hear his love for the language with every melodic syllable. Really, its evident in every aspect of Dutcher himself. The album art, his story, and his mission are totally driven to preserve and admire the culture of this Canadian First Nation while adapting to the changing social, cultural landscape.
Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (Our Maliseet Songs) releases on April 6. Dutcher is a treasure of a composer and a pioneer of historically significant contemporary music.