In 1967 Glen Gould, a famous Canadian pianist, produced a radio piece called The Idea of North for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The original Idea of North consists of five overlapping interviews mixed with ambient noises and has since become iconic in its representation of the Canadian themes of isolation, withdrawal, and solitude. I always felt that perhaps the most interesting thing about this peice is that Gould neglected to interview a single Inuit person about his or her idea of North.
So I felt that it would be an interesting and rewarding experiment to re-mix this peice with different perspectives of the north. The Idea of North Revisited splices and dices the original radio work along with field recordings of the north; beat-boxing; phone messages; news footage of Canadian military expansion in the north; throat singers Ida Oweetaluk, Margaret Miner, Lisa Kasudluak, Anisie Nowkawalk; hip-hop beats constructed by youth from the Inter-Tribal Youth Centre in Montreal through the CKUT beat workshop; elders speaking about climate change in the arctic from the film Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change by Zacharias Kanuk and Dr. Ian Mauro; DJ Mad Eskimo, spoken-word artist Mosha Folger; field recordings by Nimalan Yoganathan; and a collage of sounds from Jana Winderen's installation Energy Field.
Thanks to everyone who participated and left all those great messages on my phone! [Cathy Inouye]
Cathy Inouye co-hosts the radio-art show Easy Sonic Living on CKUT. She has previously collaborated on the Radia show Snow Squabbles with Neil Griffith and Caroline Kunzle. As Ovaries of Steel she has performed at the Megapolis Festival in Baltimore in 2010 and in the 2011 edition of Nuit Blanche in Montreal. She also plays tuba with the radical street marching band the Chaotic Insurection Ensemble and has played with Nic Caloia's Ratchet Orchestra.