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.
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
Running time: 00:34:08
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. 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).
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.
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")
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.