C Magazine


Issue 136

to the archive
by Jeremy Dutcher

to the archive is part visual score, part road map. It describes the formation of my most recent work, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, which reinterprets 20th-century field recordings of the Wolastoqiyik. The journey of this visual piece begins in Tobique (Neqotkuk) First Nation, on the banks of the Wolastoq river. The shapes, words and colours describe the journey that follows. Drawing inspiration from John Cage’s Aria (1958), shapes and colours replace common black note notation. It concludes on the steps of the Canadian Museum of History, where this archive is housed. Sing along. Return the knowledge to the people.

to the archive


Where the two rivers meet

Eliyay (as I go)


Eliyay (as I go)

Other side of Kepek

Elakomkwik (Algonquin)
These are our relatives

Essuwonike (let’s trade)

Kani-lintuwakonol (old songs)

I dance.

The piece is a reflection of the journey to access archival material of the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet people) from the Museum of Canadian History on the unceded territories of the Algonquin people. We continue to assert our identity and work to reclaim the cultural knowledge that is institutionally held; bridges from past to future.

Neqotkuk — Tobique/ Where the two rivers meet
Eliyay — As I go
Elakomkwik — Algonquin
Essuwonike — Let’s trade
Kani-lintuwakonol — Old songs

Instructions for performance:

This score is to be rendered in an acoustically sound space. Renderers are encouraged to perform it first privately, followed by a public iteration; notice the difference. Renderers are encouraged to move in ways they see fit. Shapes indicate movement – vocal/physical. The colours indicate the qualities of the voice. Their distinctiveness is essential. Repeat as needed.