Copper Inuit cut their first record (1913-1918)

Like our Hymn Hour project with the now dearly departed Sam and Lena Kikpak, this year marks another 10-year anniversary for us ... 10 years of the Kugluktuk Gold show. It's pretty awesome for people here to tune in to the show and hear their great great grandparents singing strong, drumming hard or laughing having a good time. We use this 10-year anniversary to commemorate the next 5 years to the 100 th anniversary of Canada's first scientific exploration of the arctic, an expedition that helped preserve such Inuit classics for generations.

Some great tunes were cut back then. About 30% of the Copper Inuit recordings are unique to Copper Inuit; the others were picked-up from Inuit as far away as Alaska to the west, and Inuit around Hudson Bay to the east. People travelled lots back then to exchange more than just trade goods, and this kept musical traditions and cultural innovation active.

We worked tirelessly but thankfully with the Canadian Museum of Civilization to bring the recordings back home to Kugluktukmiut for educational purposes. After the Green Book (Hymn Hour) project, the 1913-1918 recordings became a full-time, KRS production gig that forms the core of our Kugluktuk Gold show. 

Expedition member, Dr. Diamond Jenness (Dr. DJ) recorded songs by the Copper Inuit, the Mackenzie River Inuit and other northern peoples. The recording phonograph used a needle to scratch sound vibrations on 'wax' cylinders. This was the hi tech used in 1913 to record music ... the arctic's first outdoor concerts recorded live, really.


Recording on wax? How was that done? Check-out this video from the museum named after the inventor whose technology forever changed the world of music: 


It's pretty wild going back to the future ... go back to the 'modern' world of a 100 plus years ago that came north:


As featured on our Kugluktuk Gold show, check-out some of Dr. DJ's first Copper Inuit tunes ever recorded:

Weather Incantation Dance Song # 34
Dance Song Dance Song # 55
Old Dance song (Pisik) Dance Song # 40
WeatherIncantation Old dance song #72

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