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Haida singer’s sound is sweeter still

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Raven's Eye Staff







Lalaxaaygans: Beautiful Sound received recognition for Terri- Lynn Williams-Davidson, whose CD nabbed a Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (CAMA) in November in the Best Female Traditional/Cultural Roots category.

The award was presented at an awards gala on Nov. 27, 2009 at the Hamilton Place Theatre in Hamilton, Ont.

Williams-Davidson opened the evening awards show with a love song for Mother Earth. She was emotional when she meet with the press backstage after winning the award.

“It’s overwhelming,” she said, tears brimming in her eyes.

She is part of the Haida Gwaii Singers Society which compiled a large album of all the songs of the Haida Nation spanning back to 1913. They also produced a box set of contemporary music, and Lalaxaaygans: Beautiful Sound was one of the CDs in that set.

“I think when most people think of Aboriginal people, they don’t think of music from the West Coast. It’s a very different genre of music than music from the East Coast. It’s equally as beautiful, but most people don’t know of it,” Hamilton, Ont.

Williams-Davidson said, adding that it is important for West Coast Aboriginal music to be honored in the wider Canadian Aboriginal music realm.

This is the second CAMA for Williams-Davidson, who last year received the prestigious “Keeper of Traditions” special honor award for her dedication to Haida musical traditions.

Bruce Ruddell, the producer for the Haida Gwaii Singers Legacy Project, where about 300 songs were recorded and preserved, was also honored last year with the “Industry Builder” special award.

“The CAMA awards gala ceremony was an inspiring experience: to share the stage with diverse Aboriginal talent across Canada, including the iconic Buffy Sainte-Marie. It is exciting for our ancient musical traditions to gain wider recognition, and to help shine a light on the beautiful songs of the Haida Nation”, said Williams-Davidson.

The goal of the Haida Gwaii Singers’ Legacy Project is to give new voice to ancient songs. The Haida Gwaii Singers Society is comprised of five long-standing singers from the Haida Nation who have worked together since 1978.

Reg Davidson is the principal dancer for the Rainbow Creek Dancers, and is a renowned artist working in wood, metal, and paint.

Guujaaw is a powerful singer who has circled the globe as a performer, and has mentored many younger singers; he is the president of the Haida Nation, a well-known sculptor in wood and a traditional medicine practitioner.

Marianne Jones has been a dancer and singer with the Rainbow Creek Dancers for 20 years, and is also a filmmaker, actress and the creative director of Urban Rez Productions.

Robert Davidson is the principal singer and founder of the Rainbow Creek Dancers, and is an internationally acclaimed artist.

Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson has recorded for film, television and stage productions, and has performed throughout the world.

She is also an Aboriginal environmental lawyer at White Raven Law Corporation.

The Haida Gwaii Singers Contemporary Anthology, which contains five CDs and 86 songs, Haida singer’s sound is sweeter still and the Archival Anthology of digitized archival recordings in nine CDs, are available in a limited edition cedar collector box set. Sample sound tracks and all box sets are available at www.haidagwaiisingers.ca, or through the Society at info@haidagwaiisingers.ca or by calling 604-536-5541.