Before she began an impressive extended performance, Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq noted that she doesn’t perform in the traditional style. Traditional throat singing, she told the crowd at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room on March 9, involves two participants using each other’s mouths to reverberate off each other. Tagaq said she distanced herself from that, aiming for a more “contemporary” style — which was obvious to anyone that this performance, part of Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series.
Tagaq’s latest album Retribution could be a spiritual companion to Ahonhi’s Hopelessness. WNYC’s John Schaefer explained Retribution “is about the rape of the Earth by heavy industry, and the threats posed to traditional culture and to the environment by Westernization and climate change. It is full of sound and fury; it draws on rock, hip hop, and the electronic avant-garde; it is provocative, forbidding, and surprisingly sensual.” Tagaq had been on WNYC’s “Soundcheck” the day before her performance at the Appel Room.