When music stirs something inside you: Canadian aboriginal cello

posted on March 13th 2013 in Inspiration & Music with 0 Comments

It’s just few times in life that you listen a music that stirs something very deep and hidden inside you . This is one of those cases. It took me a while to discover who was the artist (I discovered her for the music of the CBC program 8th Fire), but take 3 minutes to listen to her music

Cris Derksen is a young half-cree (one of the largest groups of First Nations/Native Americans living in Canada) classically trained Canadian cellist whose captivating melodies and steadfast baselines have captured the attention of local and international audiences. She is a diverse musician, easily melding into hip-hop, rock, folk, country, or whatever type of music to bring an intense ball of musical passion to her work.

Using a loop station and effect pedals, she is able to create an inspiring multi-dimensional auditory experience. She uses her voice in spoken word and song to layer melodies on top of each other to construct a song form in a way that is uncharted for most classical players. Using sounds from her inherited past Cris mixes the traditional with the contemporary over and over again in both the cultural world as well as the music sphere.

Although Cris is an emerging artist, she has built up a strong resume performing at festivals such as WOMEX (World Music Expo) in Sevilla, Spain, with Inuit Throat Singer Tanya Tagaq. The Respect Festival and Colors of Ostrava in the Czech Republic. Riddu Riddu, Norway. SXSW (South by Southwest), The Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Dawson City Music Festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Brandon Folk Music Festival, APCMA (Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards), CAMA’s (Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards). As a composer, Cris has created for Karen Jamieson Dance, The Tomorrow Collective and Aerial Firedance Troupe; Firebelly Productions. She has also performed with international Hip-Hop artist Kayne West at GM place in Vancouver.

Cris Derksen live performing at TedX Vancouver.

As a session musician her diversity continues as she has built up a strong resume recording with Tanya Tagaq on her Album Auk, the Album earned 2 Juno Nominations for Best Aboriginal Album and Best Instrumental Album. Rae Spoon, The Switfy’s, Kinnie Starr, Lightening Dust (Member’s of Black Mountain), Ladyhawk, Bison, E.S.L, Girl Nobody, Fan Death as well as working with Native composer Russell Wallace.

Cris obtained a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance at UBC and shared the Principle Cellist of the UBC Symphony Orchestra title.

You can listen and buy her album The Cusp in iTunes here.

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