TSF, A Circumpolar Soundscape

By John Jane at Review Vancouver


Ahh, the sweet sound of sisters singing. Leela Gilday, Nive Nielson and Diyet are solo aboriginal musicians who came together two years ago as a quartet (Silvia Cloutier from Nunavut was originally in the line-up, but recently dropped out after the birth of her child) to form the collaboration of Circumpolar Soundscape.

They acquire their ‘sisterhood’ by virtue of their common attachment to the subarctic region. What many of us city-dwellers see as bleak, they see as beauty. Where we might find the lifestyle ascetic, they find it abundant. They take the audience on an aural journey through this magnificent landscape with an eclectic mix of roots, folk and popular music.

The three women welcomed the audience appropriately with “Song of Welcome” sung in the Inuktitut language. The trio were then joined on stage by the five piece band for Leela Gilday’s “Dene Love Song” about an old woman who sings of her devotion to the husband who has passed way. The melody is actually quite cheerful, despite its melancholy theme. A native of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Gilday is a seasoned performer with a powerful wailing voice that would be just as convincing singing jazz or blues.

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