Throatsinger heads to East Coast
Northern News Services
Kugluktuk's Angela Hovak-Johnston, 30, has contributed her unique rhythmic vocals to a new CD, "Dramatic Reminiscence," by Drumlin, a Maritime "folk-pop" act from Bridgewater, N.S.
"We're getting lots of attention here in Nova Scotia with this," she said, during a group interview in Bridgewater with two members of the band.
The band consists of four young siblings: Liam Gilbert, 7, on drums, Kassia, 12, on cello, Anya Gilbert, 14, on violin and mandolin and Dal Gilbert, 18, on guitar.
Their music is a fusion of traditional Maritime and pop melodies, Anya said.
The fusion between Northern and eastern traditions is best demonstrated by the track "Papillon," in which Hovak-Johnston's vocals ride and rise above a quick violin melody, creating a unique wall of sound.
Kassia, who wrote the song, said it was inspired by a cross-country train trip.
"It's a celebration of Canadian culture and nature," she said.
Hovak-Johnston said the response from local media was very positive.
"(A reporter) said it was the most unique thing they have ever heard in their life," she said.
Hovak-Johnston said the collaboration was natural, as the family has a "great respect for the North," having spent a few years living in Fort St. James in northern B.C.
She said they even had a dog-team at one point.
"They're more Inuit than I am. I didn't have a dog team," she said, sending the room into a fit of giggles.
Hovak-Johnston said she has performed around the country, including appearances at Yellowknife's annual Folk on the Rocks festival in 1999 and 2000 with Tanya Tagaq Gillis.
Despite her travels, Hovak-Johnston calls herself a "closet throat singer," as she is self-taught.
"But not really, because we didn't have a closet," she said with a laugh.
Adding to the CD's Northern connection, Hovak-Johnston said the album will be available for sale in Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk.
She is in the process of completing a solo CD as well, which she hopes will be out "in the next few months."