A collaboration of cultures and ideas creates ‘medicine for healing’ in score “You Are My Bones” with orchestral accompaniment by the Victoria Symphony.
Victoria B.C. – In June of 2021, the Victoria Symphony (VS) received a Canada Council for the Arts grant to commission, rehearse, and record a composition for the upcoming five-part mini-series, Bones of Crows, as written, directed, and produced by Métis/Dene filmmaker Marie Clements.
The nine-minute documentary short Symphony of Crows focuses on the recording sessions for the song “You Are My Bones,” which is a composition for voice and orchestra by Wayne Lavallee and Jesse Zubot. Featuring Cree vocalist Siibii and Tuscarora/Taino vocalist Pura Fé, alongside Indigenous singers and members of the Victoria Symphony, “You Are My Bones” now features as part of the soundtrack for the Bones of Crows mini-series and feature film of the same name, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2022.
“It means a lot to us that you’ve joined us in this collaboration” says Clements to the VS Orchestra in the opening scene of Symphony of Crows. “Thank you for the intense talent and craft to help us shape this song which comes from the heart of our lead character, Aline, in a longer story called Bones of Crows.”
Continues VS CEO Matthew White, “I felt honoured that we had the opportunity to play this very small part in the telling of this important story.”
Orchestral sessions for the composition “You Are My Bones” were led by Victoria Symphony Principal Pops Conductor Sean O’Loughlin and Associate Conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia.
Says O’Loughlin on the composition, “The power of the story is really told through the power of the music that’s accompanying it… [Lavallee and Zubot] have given us this wonderful tapestry and song with orchestration to perform.”
“We wanted to fuse those two worlds of having contemporary Indigenous voice and orchestration together” continues Lavallee in the first few minutes of the short film by Roll.Focus. Productions.
- WATCH SYMPHONY OF CROWS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHdDGq1CsK8
Victoria Symphony thanks Marie Clements, Matthew White, Giuseppe Pietraroia, Sean O’Loughlin, Wayne Lavallee, Jesse Zubot, Siibii, Christi Meyers, Brad Howland, Pura Fé, VS Musicians and Staff, Royal Theatre, Electric City Sound, and Roll.Focus. Productions for their work on this project. Symphony of Crows was made possible by Canada Council for the Arts.
About Bones of Crows
Based on true events, Bones of Crows is an epic story of resilience told through the eyes of Cree matriarch Aline Spears. As a young child, she and her siblings are taken from their home in Manitoba and forced into Canada’s residential school system.
Aline is a musical prodigy but her talents don’t shield her from the cruelty of residential school: she’s robbed of the use of her hand in a violent incident. And when the siblings make a desperate attempt to escape, their efforts end in tragedy.
Looking toward a new future and fluent in Cree, Aline is working as a code talker during the Second World War when she meets her husband Adam, an infantry soldier. Together they face their troubled past and imagine a world where they can protect their children from danger.
Over 100 years, Aline and her descendants fight against a reign of terror including starvation, sexual abuse and poverty as they struggle together toward reconciliation and a brighter future.
This sweeping five-part miniseries is the “Roots” for generations of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Bones of Crows fictionalizes real-life events and chapters of Canadian history that have been overlooked, including the Indigenous contributions to WW2, the ongoing cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
- WATCH BONES OF CROWS TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n8NAolm4jI
Bones of Crows premieres September 20 at 9 pm. Watch live on CBC & APTN or stream on CBC Gem, APTN Lumi, and in French at iciTou.tv.
ABOUT THE VICTORIA SYMPHONY
The Victoria Symphony is a highly versatile Canadian orchestra that inspires, educates, and captivates our community through the transformational power of music. For 82 years as one of British Columbia’s largest performing arts organizations, the orchestra continues to delight audiences of all ages with repertoire that offers something for everyone.
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