Nearly four years after the release of The Ballad of the Runaway Girl, her stunning third solo album, Elisapie unveils* Uummati Attanarsimat (Heart of Glass)*, an Inuktitut rendition of Blondie's 1979 hit. The Inuk artist also announces Uvattini, a series of shows which will be presented in Montreal and Quebec City in December 2023.
Translated from English to Inuktitut by Elisapie, and produced by her long-time collaborator Joe Grass, Uummati Attanarsimat (Heart of Glass) was inspired by a childhood memory of hers:
My adoptive mother was from the small village of Ivujivik. It was a 30 minute plane ride from my village. We would often go there to visit her family. Once we arrived in Ivujivik, my parents would go gambling at some random cousin’s house. I would later have mixed feelings towards their gambling addiction. But not back then.
Back then, it meant the children were free to do whatever they pleased. The older kids were the ones who ran the show and they knew how to throw a party. When I was around 5 or 6 years old, I remember one particular night when they put Heart of Glass on. They all started dancing like crazy. I watched their joy with such admiration. I couldn’t believe I got to stay up so late. I felt so loved by my maniacal babysitters. They laughed at me and swung me around. They treated me like the most beautiful doll. When this song comes on, I am back in that wonderful small dance hall of sorts with my big cousins.
And even though it was a tiny venue, in a tiny village, isolated from the rest of the world, in my mind, it still was the wildest crowded dancefloor, in the coolest, most dynamic discotheque in the world.
Elisapie's new song comes with a video directed by Philippe Léonard using archival footage shot on Super 8 film in the Far North of Quebec. Showcasing breathtaking landscapes as well as various elements of the Inuit winter lifestyle through a collection of everyday scenes, the footage was obtained from the Avataq Cultural Institute and the Mary & Bill Cowley Collection.
Taking place at Usine C in Montréal on December 7th and 8th, as well as at Grand Théâtre in Quebec City on December 21st, Elisapie's new show combines music, narration, video and performance to create a space of ritual where past and present merge, bringing out sweet but also sad memories and powerful emotions. Titled Uvattini (which means "home" in Inuktitut) and directed by Émilie Monnet, the live experience bears witness to Elisapie's personal story and that of her community of Salluit, a village located in the very north of Nunavik. With its documentary and poetic nature, Uvattini embodies, both visually and musically, the Inuit identity and the cultural significance of their territory. By incorporating various projections, the show reveals landscapes and intimate slices of life, creating movements to accompany the songs, like a pulse that beats to the rhythm of the music.
Tickets for Uvattini will go on sale on March 10th.