From the Big Land

From the Big Land: Music of Makkovik, featuring Gerald Mitchell (2011) presents the fascinating story of a Labrador community renowned for the intensity and innovation of its musical traditions.

The songs on this disc reflect dramatic changes in Makkovik during the twentieth century, illustrating music’s role in documenting local experiences, keeping memories alive, and helping people adapt to new circumstances.

From the Big Land pays particular tribute to the legendary musician and visual artist Gerald Mitchell, whose work exemplifies Makkovik’s vibrant cultural scene.


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From the Big LandClick here for the tracklist.


Praise for From the Big Land

“Combining archival and new recordings, consultation of personal memoirs and interviews, . . . this project is a model of how particular people and landscapes make a place unique in the too-often generalized landscape of the North.”
MUSICultures (read the full review)

  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.


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