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NAGAMO (Sings)

Available on
musica printima


Andrew Balfour, guest curator

Andrew Balfour.jpg


Premiered at St James Anglican Church in Vancouver, BC on May 27th 2022.


“NAGAMO (Sings) reimagines history and the concept of nation to nation respect and musical dialogue between the nations of the so-called New World and Old World.  During the beginning of the 17th century,  several Chiefs and esteemed Indigenous leaders journeyed to Europe in the hope of forging alliances. In many cases, they were treated as respected ambassadors. NAGAMO explores the fantastical idea of what might have happened if the sharing of music, and the respect of culture had contrived, and how a different history might have played out.”

Andrew Balfour, curator 


Revolving around Elizabethan choral music by Byrd, Tallis, and Gibbons, NAGAMO also features the unique musical perspective of Balfour’s reimagining of these motets into Cree and Ojibway.  Compositions by Balfour himself explores universal ideas of governance, diplomacy, and culture, as well as the challenges Indigenous peoples face today. 


As part of 2021 production of NAGAMO, Balfour initially created five new arrangements, all recorded on the NAGAMO CD:

  • Ispicwin (based on Orlando Gibbons 'Drop Drop Slow Tears')

  • Ambe Anishinaabeg (based on Thomas Weelkes 'Gloria in excelsis deo')

  • What Pow'r Art Thou (based on Henry Purcell's aria of the same name)

  • Pakaskitawew (based on Purcell's 'Hear My Prayer')

  • Four Directions (based on Tallis' 'Te lucis ante terminum')


For the 2022 NAGAMO tour, Balfour created two more works:

  • Awasis (a commission for SSA, co-commissioned with musica intima, Shallaway Youth Choir, the University of Manitoba, and Western University)

  • Ambe Anishinaabeg (based on William Byrd's 'Sing Joyfully')

All of the above works are available from musica printima.

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