About Tanya Tagaq
b. 1977, Ikaluktuutiak (Cambridge Bay), Nunavut, Victoria Island, Canada. Raised in an Inuit community, Gillis studied at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. While there, she took an interest in traditional Inuit throat singing, a multiphonic and percussive form that is customarily performed by two people. Gillis was obliged to teach herself a solo variation and later taught others, thus generating partners with whom she was able to sing in duo. In 2000, Gillis was at the Great Northern Arts Festival where some of her paintings were exhibited. Unexpectedly invited to sing, she attracted attention and was recommended to Björk. The following year she joined the Icelandic singer on tour, appearing on her 2004 album, Medulla. Gillis has also performed with Shooglenifty and the Kronos Quartet, including a concert at Carnegie Hall. In performance she is often accompanied by Filipe Ugarte and his duo, Ugarte Anaiak. In 2003, she was a member of the Canada Council’s Sonic Weave tour and she visited the UK with the Shaman Voices Tour. In 2005, Gillis was voted Best Female Artist at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. Gillis has stretched the boundaries of the form and has greatly expanded its audience potential.
- Ikaluktuutiak, Nunavut, Victoria