From the Big Land: Music of Makkovik, Featuring Gerald Mitchell


• 18 tracks, especially the Labrador hit songs of Gerald Mitchell, first released on LPs in the 1970s

• new songs by younger Makkovik songwriters; a previously unrecorded Gerald Mitchell composition performed by Gary and Jennifer Mitchell; and an Inuktitut rendition by Susie and Joas Onalik

• interview with Labrador lyricist, Byron Chaulk, describing the miraculous day he and Gerald created 14 songs in one afternoon

Click here for tracklist


• detailed song notes and history of music in the Labrador community; photos; reproductions of Gerald Mitchell’s artistic work; personal memoirs and oral narratives from Makkovik residents

Researched and produced by Joan Andersen, Tim Borlase, Gary Mitchell, and Beverley Diamond in collaboration with Gerald Mitchell, the CD and booklet present a fascinating story of music in a unique Labrador community. Read about the impact of the Moravian church, or Uncle Jim Andersen’s story about the day his father had to decide whether to buy a piano or a sawmill, as well as his memories of dances at the Mill House when the coastal boat, the Kyle, docked in town. There are reflections on the traumatic move of Inuit from northern Labrador into the Settler community of Makkovik and descriptions of the impact of radio in coastal Labrador.

To order your copy of From the Big Land, click here.

  One Part of My Life – Gary Mitchell and Jennifer Mitchell, new recording

 One of only three songs texts composed by Gerald Mitchell himself, this song conveys nostalgia for lost places and ways of the past, similar to many others that emerged in the 1970s.

  Young Billie – Gerald Mitchell, archival

 This song, written from the perspective of a grieving mother, was inspired by a story Gerald Mitchell had heard about someone along the coast who had gone missing while travelling by dog team.

  Jesusip Pairiallamanga – Susie and Joas Onalik, archival

 Performed as part of the 1986 Sound Symposium, this adaptation of an Inuktitut hymn reveals the performers’ love of early country musicians such as Wilf Carter.


Gerald Mitchell recording From the Big Land in the MMaP studio, 2010; Photo: Spencer Crewe


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