The Creation Cycle


Way back in 1988, Sault Ste Marie Anishnabe artist Peter Maqua was beginning work on his massive concept piece, Creation Cycle '89. It was an immense project that would ultimately involve literally hundreds of Peter's paintings, monoprints and sculptures, and other artists in the community would contribute pottery, woven banners, iron castings by Algoma Steel, wood carvings, Hudson's Bay blankets, and dozens of sacred objects from the Anishnabek tradition. The only thing missing was music. But Peter didn't want to go with some traditional Ojibway songs and drumming. One of the themes of Creation Cycle '89 was the reconcilliation of aboriginal and contemporary cultures, emphasizing their commonalities rather than their differences, so Peter's idea was to have music that blended both traditional and contemporary elements.

Quite by accident, Pete heard a piece of music that I had written some years earlier, and tracked me down to ask if I would be willing to compose a piece of music to be the audio component to his installation. Now, I've always believed that odd suggestions like this that kind of come at you out of the blue sky are actually "dancing lessons from God" (to paraphrase a line from Kurt Vonnegut), so without really knowing anything about Peter or his project, I immediately accepted, not knowing where it would all lead. It would eventually lead to my composing a forty minute concept work, largely in the wee hours between two and six AM, and ultimately to become a close friend of Peter's and an integral part of the whole Creation Cycle project, as it toured art galleries throughout Eastern Canada and into the United States. It would also lead to the commissioning of several other works, some of which are featured on the Projects and Music pages. You can also hear a couple of tracks from The Creation Cycle on the Music page.

The Creation Cycle was originally recorded using analog equipment and released on cassette (CDs weren't all that affordable back then). It has since been digitally remastered and is available as a limited-edition CD. Contact Northwind Sound (click the "Contact" button below) for more information.

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