Inuit

Inuit: Fifty-Five Historical Recordings

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In order to appeal to both researchers and armchair travelers, ethnological records must present two traits: extensive (enough) documentation of the material presented, and a certain kind of romantic evocativeness. The first trait is the result of years of research. The second is more difficult to pin down and has to do with the variety in the material and how the recordings convey the geographical and historical nature of the performances -- if you prefer, call it the "exotic factor." Inuit: Fifty-Five Historical Recordings scores high on both counts, making it one of the (if not the) very essential sources of Inuit folklore. Overseen by the Danish ethnomusicologist Michael A. Hauser, himself an active field recordist, this album culls 52 traditional songs from the four corners of Greenland, plus three from Northern Canada (Pond Inlet and Cape Dorset). Recorded on-site between 1905 and 1987, these tracks capture an evolving culture in its own environment. The oldest recordings, preserved on wax cylinders, are difficult to listen to, but the melodies they salvage help put the more recent recordings in perspective. Men, women and children of all ages are singing of love, joy, sorrow, and daily life, sometimes a cappella or to the beating of a drum, solo, in duets (called duel-songs) or occasionally in groups. One recognizes elements from the hypnotic repetition of Native American tribes and the concept of melody found in Scandinavian folklore. Certain pieces also bear the influence of European music. The booklet provides descriptions of each song, the name, age and location of each singer, and indicates who recorded the song and when. Most of all, the listener is transported to another world, the authenticity of the recordings evoking grainy black and white footage of faraway times and faraway people.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
2:51 Amazon
2
3:07 Amazon
3
3:21 Amazon
4
1:08 Amazon
5
1:54 Amazon
6
2:03 Amazon
7
1:56 Amazon
8
feat: Kunnak
0:27 Amazon
9
feat: Olga Maratse
0:45 Amazon
10
1:27 Amazon
11
0:53 Amazon
12
0:41 Amazon
13
1:03 Amazon
14
0:15 Amazon
15
feat: Jakob Dorph
4:16 Amazon
16
feat: Karen Hansen
1:02 Amazon
17
4:33 Amazon
18
2:22 Amazon
19
2:41 Amazon
20
1:00 Amazon
21
feat: Henrik Lund
0:37 Amazon
22
0:33 Amazon
23
feat: Kanape
0:35 Amazon
24
0:27 Amazon
25
0:49 Amazon
26
feat: Iletdluk
0:47 Amazon
27
0:55 Amazon
28
0:51 Amazon
29
1:04 Amazon
30
0:42 Amazon
31
feat: Sofie Eipe
0:18 Amazon
32
feat: Ajako Mitek
0:37 Amazon
33
1:10 Amazon
34
1:41 Amazon
35
1:03 Amazon
36
feat: Ungahak'
1:23 Amazon
37
0:35 Amazon
38
1:21 Amazon
39
feat: Puatorssuak'
2:33 Amazon
40
1:32 Amazon
41
0:31 Amazon
42
1:20 Amazon
43
feat: K'iajuk
1:38 Amazon
44
feat: Kaiyayyuk
2:08 Amazon
45
2:22 Amazon
46
0:27 Amazon
47
1:17 Amazon
48
3:25 Amazon
49
1:06 Amazon
50
0:41 Amazon
51
feat: Kigatikak
1:14 Amazon
52
1:05 Amazon
53
0:42 Amazon
54
0:52 Amazon
55
feat: Aisake
0:29 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick