Canada, 19 min
Artists and father-daughter collaborators Brian Maracle and Zoe Leigh Hopkins team up for imagineNATIVE’s second annual sound art commission. Karenniyohston – Old Songs Made Good fuses oral language techniques and sound art training into a new aural artwork that is the first-known sound art piece in the Mohawk language. With a combination of teaching and training in Mohawk as the central creative element (Maracle is a fluent Mohawk speaker currently teaching Hopkins), the pair was given carte blanche to explore their language in an entirely new way.
The result of this collaboration is a 30-minute exploration, reflection and adaptation of five pieces of well-known national and cultural anthems from Canada, the United Kingdom and the USA. The verses from each piece were translated and interpreted by Maracle and Hopkins, revamped as horn rattle songs sung by Mohawk language singers and simultaneously recorded by the artists. Accompanying each song is a dialogue between Maracle and Hopkins about their reflections on the creative process of the production.
imagineNATIVE would like to thank its partners, New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA), for their invaluable support and training during this commission and the Ontario Arts Council.