Cheryl L’Hirondelle on the APTN series AMPLIFY | Image source: APTN
Cheryl L’Hirondelle (Cree/Halfbreed) and Lacey Hill are the first guests featured on the new APTN series AMPLIFY set to debut Friday, Sept 11 at 8 pm (EST) on APTN. Episode 2 features Lacey Hill and debuts at 830 pm (EST). AMPLIFY showcases 13 Indigenous songwriters, their creative processes, and their thoughts on issues today. L’Hirondelle is an award-winning singer-songwriter as well as an interdisciplinary artist. She has a storied history of expertly showcasing modern Nêhiyawin (Cree worldview) incorporating audio, video, and music with old and new technology to create immersive environments towards ‘radical inclusion.’
Lacey Hill is Oneida/Mohawk of Six Nations, Wolf Clan. She is a singer/songwriter and inspirational speaker. Lacey went solo launching her debut album titled 528 in 2013, independently which put her in the music scene and opened up the stage for her to perform her original songs. Since then she was performed across Canada, the international stage, made TV appearances, and composed music for Tara Beagan’s sizzling hot theater performance ‘Deer Woman.’ MUSKRAT spoke with Cheryl and Lacey about their work and participation in AMPLIFY:
MM: What do you hope audiences take away from the episode?
CL: I hope people will read Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book; that they will go out to listen and become attuned with the land, not be afraid to sound out our beautiful Indigenous languages, and learn new words. I hope that if people like the song they’ll buy it on my Bandcamp site and will sing-a-long: https://cheryllhirondelle.bandcamp.com/
LH: I hope they learn something new about who we are as Haudenosaunee people and what we do to keep warm in the winter. I also hope the audiences like my song enough to become a fan.
MM: What was the experience like while working on the episode you were featured in?
CL: I have deep respect and admiration for both Michelle St John and my cousin Shane Belcourt. I knew they would take good care of me and make it a user-friendly and memorable experience. It was an honor to be asked as I had just read Robin’s book. I immediately knew what I would focus on in the song, and the making of the song as it also relates to the research surrounding my Ph.D. It was also thrilling to get to invite the Hidden River Singers into the studio (with Shane on guitar) to perform the song – AND – get to work again with my favorite music producer, David Travers-Smith. I was thrilled and honored to get to have a conversation with Robin Wall Kimmerer as part of my process and am grateful to the AMPLIFY project for making this happen.
LH: It was such an amazing opportunity to be a part of this series, to be chosen as an artist, to shine light on our winter sport, and to honor my Papa. These stories are a part of our history. Big shout out to Shane Belcourt, Jeremy Edwardes, Michelle St. John, and Zoe Hopkins and the rest of the team for making such a beautiful episode. What a powerhouse of a team. I loved it so much! Nyawehkowa……. Konoronhkwra
MM: What can we expect from you next?
LH: I am currently recording and finishing my 3rd Album. Release details coming soon! I got shows and events coming up too. So, follow @musiclacey on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. For bookings email firstname.lastname@example.org
CL: I’m currently mounting a solo exhibition of immersive new media work at the Mann Gallery in Prince Albert, SK curated by Judy McNaughton for Common Weal Community Arts. It’s based on selected songs from my ongoing project Why the Caged Bird Sings. Since 2008, I’ve been going into federal, provincial, and municipal prisons, correctional, and detention centers to facilitate a 5-day collaborative songwriting process. The songs are all released as singles with a karaoke B-side and are available at https://whythecagedbirdsings.bandcamp.com/
For folks in BC, I also have a new commissioned interdisciplinary work in the exhibition Soundings at the Belkin Art Gallery curated by Candice Hopkins (Tlingit) and Dylan Robinson (Sto:lo). I am honored that rapper Miss Christie Lee (Musqueam) contributed to this work – keep an ear to the ground for her!
This year, I am also part of the virtual Nuit Blanche in Toronto curated by Julie Nagam (Metis) featuring a new VR music video from Why the Caged Bird Sings, entitled The Beauty Within.
I’m also working on a public art commission where I’m from at Amiskwaciy-Wâskahikan/Papaschase FN (known as Edmonton, AB) collaborating with Tania Willard (Secwepemc) and Peter Morin (Tahltan). My Indigenous niche music publishing company Miyoh Music is in a growth spurt and has also recently become a record label, so there will be more happening on that front soon.
Finally, I’m just starting the final(ish) year of a practice-based Ph.D. at SMARTlab/UCD in Dublin, Ireland.
Cheryl L’Hirondelle Social Media :
Lacey Hill Social Media