by Andrew Balfour

Join SING THE NORTH to sing QILAK – the stunning 8-part choral piece by Manitoba-based Cree composer ANDREW BALFOUR

Inspired by travels in Baffin Island in 2009 and a collaboration with Iqaluit folksinger and songwriter and now broadcaster Madeliene Allakariallak, Qilak was composed as part of a concert project for Winnipeg-based Camerata Nova entitled ‘Medieval Inuit: Stories of the North’. The theme of the concert explored the early contact between Scandinavian explorers and the Inuit 1000 years ago.

In Andrew Balfour’s words, “Qilak is about the Northern sky, which is so breath-taking up in the Arctic. I loved the open space, the Inuit’s relationship with the land, and the musical sound of Inuktitut.”

The aesthetic of the piece reflects the expanse of the sky and the shimmering reflections of sun on snow. Balfour’s composition hints at influences of Inuit throat singing and hauntingly echoes the vocables of traditional Ayaya songs of Southern Baffin Island.


About the Project

  • Starts May 8 and runs for four weeks.
  • Rehearsals Saturdays (full choir) & Tuesdays (sectionals). Download our timetable here.
  • All sessions recorded to view whenever is convenient for you.
  • Fee includes your score, practice tracks, live zoom rehearsals, rehearsal video archive to watch in your own time PLUS…
  • Includes virtual field trip to Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin Island in the Arctic Circle) on the STN Virtual Tour Bus to meet the people who live and work on the island that inspired Andrew Balfour.

All are welcome, wherever you live across Canada or around the world.