Bush Lady
CST133      CD 180gLP MP3 FLAC
"Obomsawin’s activist films often reveal their stories slowly through many perspectives and timeframes, cracking open rarely heard voices to the light, considering events not only at their most frantic but during their long aftermaths. The essence of its story is contained in a film’s pace and rhythm as much as in its subject matter; the same can be true of a song. A reviewer in the 80s noted that Bush Lady stood out with its sparse arrangements of violin, flute and oboe, new compositions taking precedence over traditional songs, and the cover art featuring an impressionistic drawing of Obomsawin rather than an ethnographic photograph, casting her as a solo artist rather than a representative of an endangered group. A precursor to musicians such as Tanya Tagaq, Raven Chacon and the Sami singer Mari Boine, Obomsawin was redefining what ‘indigenous’ music could be – and production-wise Bush Lady inhabits the same kind of refined sonic space as Boine’s ECM recordings. The interplay of voice and chamber ensemble brings to mind the arrangements on another ECM album, Meredith Monk’s Songs Of Ascension. But while Monk creates an archetypal folkloric past, Obomsawin can’t avoid specificity."
THE WIRE (Lead reissue review)

"It’s remarkable that someone can conjure so much from such a limited palette. With vinyl sales on the rise, in particular, each week sees a glut of re-releases, many of which feel utterly pointless, but this record is an exemplary instance of an essential repressing. As a true rediscovered treasure it sounds as radical as it must have done on its release over 30 years ago. Bush Lady is a thoroughly magical record that is also deeply compassionate and strikingly real."
Drowned in Sound

"As a performer, storyteller, activist, administrator, writer, producer and director, she's been a pioneering force who has enriched the scene from every conceivable angle, while creating a lifetime of movies that matter."

“Alanis Obomsawin, OC, is a filmmaker, singer, artist, storyteller of Abenaki descent (born 31 August 1932 near Lebanon, New Hampshire). One of Canada's most distinguished documentary filmmakers, Alanis Obomsawin began her career as a professional singer and storyteller before joining the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) in 1967. Her award-winning films address the struggles of Aboriginal peoples in Canada from their perspective, giving prominence to voices that have long fallen on deaf ears. An Officer of the Order of Canada, she has received multiple Governor General's Awards, lifetime achievement awards and honorary degrees.”

QuieterCarla Bozulich180gLP / DL
Slowly ParadiseEric ChenauxCD / 180gLP / DL
Mechanics Of DominionEsmerineCD / 180gLP / DL
Pools Of LightJessica MossCD / 180gLP / DL
A Common TruthSaltlandCD / 180gLP / DL
If He Dies, If If If If If IfJerusalem In My Heart   CD / 180gLP / DL
COIN COIN Chapter Three: river run theeMatana Roberts   CD / 180gLP / DL
BoyCarla Bozulich   CD / 180gLP / DL
COIN COIN Chapter Two: Mississippi MoonchileMatana Roberts  CD / 180gLP / DL
The Big MangoLand of Kush  CD / 180gLP / DL
Stand With The Stillness Of This DayElizabeth Anka Vajagic   CD / 180gLP / DL

Alanis Obomsawin is a member of the Abenaki Nation and one of Canada's foremost activist documentary filmmakers. Based in Montréal, she has directed 50 films with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) that explore the lives and concerns of Canada's First Nations, receiving some of the country's highest accolades, including The Order of Canada, the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Art, and most recently the 2017 Order of Montréal.
Before establishing herself as a filmmaker, Obomsawin began her artistic life as a singer-songwriter in the 1960s, as Indigenous artists from across North America were rallying in new assertions of cultural identity, consciousness and political rights, calling for reckonings with oppressive colonial history. She was invited by Folkways to perform at Town Hall in New York City in the early 1960s and spent most of that decade primarily identifying as a musician and social activist, channeling traditional First Nations songs hand-in-hand with modern composition and arrangements.
Obomsawin kept her musical output percolating alongside her burgeoning documentary film career, with performances at the legendary Mariposa Folk Festival among others. In the mid-1980s Canada's national broadcaster (CBC Radio) invited Obomsawin to record an album; unsatisfied with these recordings, she reclaimed the master tapes, remixed the material, re-recorded the title track from scratch, and issued the ensuing Bush Lady album on her own private press in 1988 complete with her own artwork and liner notes. Lacking formal distribution - and with Obomsawin focused primarily on her documentary film career - only a portion of this pressing was sold at the time, the remainder occupying a closet in her Montréal home. The album has grown to become an increasingly legendary rarity ever since.
Bush Lady is a unique and magical record by any definition. It's an invaluable example of contemporary First Nations music that blends traditional folkways with avant-garde composition. Amidst the broader and long-overdue resurgence of interest in modern Indigenous music - perhaps most notably culminating with the Grammy-nominated Native North America (Vol. 1) released in 2014 - Constellation is honoured to be working with this Canadian cultural icon to issue a remastered version of Bush Lady on audiophile 180gram vinyl and on CD for the first time. Thanks for listening.





Packaging notes
Audiophile 180gram pressing in midnight ultra-black vinyl from Optimal (Germany) comes in a 24pt jacket printed on 100% recycled paperboard with artworked inner sleeve, 12"x24" liner notes insert, 12"x24" poster, and 320kbps MP3 download card. CD comes in a 20pt 100% recycled paperboard mini-gatefold jacket with inner sleeve for the disc and a 20-page booklet of liner notes and credits. These reissues faithfully recreate Obomsawin's original 1988 cover art and liner notes (which have been slightly updated/corrected by the artist) while including some additional archival images in the liner notes and inside gatefold (on CD) and in the printed inner sleeve and pull-out poster (on vinyl).
1. Odana
2. Bush Lady (Part 1)
3. Bush Lady (Part 2)
4. Of The Earth And Of The Sea
5. Théo (Part 1)
6. Théo (Part 2)
7. Nzi Waldam
Release date: 15 June 2018
Running time: 34:08

Paroles et musique/Lyrics and music:
Alanis Obomsawin (CAPAC)
François Richard – flûte/flute
Mario Giroux – violoncelle/cello
Marie-France Richard – hautbois/oboe
Dominique Luc Tremblay – violon/violin
Arrangements et direction/Arranger and leader:
Jean Vanasse (à l'exception de/except "Bush Lady")
Dominique Luc Tremblay (pour/for "Bush Lady")
André Riopel (à l'exception de/except "Bush Lady")
Prise de son et mixage/Recorded and mixed by:
Richard Belanger ("Bush Lady")
Conception graphique/Design:
Leo Yerxa (1988); Ian Ilavsky (2018)
Musée des Abénakis d'Odanak/Odanak Abenaki Museum; Mariposa Folk Foundation, York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives; Alanis Obomsawin
Les Productions WaWa Enrg./WaWa Productions Reg.
Alain de Grosbois
Toutes les chansons, à l'exception de BUSH LADY, ont été enregistrées par le Service du Québec nordique de Radio-Canada. All songs except BUSH LADY were recorded through CBC Northern Québec Service.
Toutes les chansons ont été enregistrées au Studio Marko. All songs were recorded at Studio Marko
Nous tenons à remercier/Special thanks to Serge Gagné
Remasterisé à partir des bandes originales 1/4" analogique/Remastered from the original 1/4" analog tapes by Harris Newman, Greymarket Mastering, Montréal, 2018.
Nous tenons à remercier/Special thanks to Frédéric Savard & Radwan Ghazi Moumneh pour la réalisation de cette réédition/for bringing this reissue to fruition.
Une portion des recettes de cette réédition sera reversé au Musée des Abénakis d'Odanak/A portion of the proceeds from this reissue shall be donated to the Odanak Abenaki Museum.