Tar Sands Songbook: Tanya Kalmanovitch (Violin) & Ted Reichmann (Piano)

Tarsands Songbook

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Tar Sands Songbook weaves together a chorus of voices with an original, improvised score. The words of indigenous activists, engineers, equipment operators, elders, oil patch workers, scientists, and family, fuel discussions of our past and the powerful forces that shape our future.

The Tar Sands Songbook is the creation of Tanya Kalmanovitch, born in Fort McMurray near the site of the Athabasca Oil Sands, where residents’ lives were shaped by living close to oil development and its effects. When a fire in 2016 destroyed the town and 6,000 square kilometers of land, driving 80,000 people from their homes, she was inspired to tell their stories,

Kalmanovitch asks us to reconsider our unseen relationships with oil. She decided to become a musician as a teenager because “it had nothing to do with oil,” and was drawn to ethnomusicology to explore the ways in which music can speak to the world’s biggest problems. She has been a faculty member at the New England Conservatory since 2006 and played a leading role in the school’s departments of Contemporary Improvisation and Entrepreneurial Musicianship. In 2013, she joined the faculty at Mannes School of Music at The New School New York City, where she is an Associate Professor.

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