Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Blog About My Blog

I found myself with some extra time yesterday so I decided to tinker with my blog and make a few changes. I've added another northern blog to my sidebar, my first non-Nunavut blog (Open Head Space). This one comes out of Quaqtaq in Nunavik, the northern region of Quebec. I've found it to be a good read since before coming to teach on Baffin Island, I considered teaching in the Nunavik region pretty seriously.

I also added a number of northern books that I've accumulated and read since I began my teaching career in 2000. Listing them on my sidebar helped refresh my memory on them since there are a few I haven't looked through in awhile. It also allowed me to do some tidying up in the spare bedroom when I went searching for the boxes containing them.

The one thing I noticed pretty quickly is that the entire collection was written by "qallunaat" (Southerners), with the exception of Freedman's book "Life Among the Qallunaat". Too many of them stand out in my mind as good reads, though I generally find that teachers, RCMP members, nurses and HBC Company traders have some great stories to tell about the early years of Arctic colonization. "Teaching in a Cold and Windy Place" is an excellent introductory book for teachers new to Nunavut and I found "Ellesmere Land: A Mountie in the High Arctic" to be a short yet fascinating account of 1950's life in Grise Fiord.

I also added a few extra links for news and weather, as well as my alma mater in Windsor. I decided to pop onto the website for my old university and was delighted to see that my former piano professor, Dr. Adamson, had released a CD in 2003 which I was able to order. The CD is a collection of works by the early 20th century French composer Andre Jolivet. Little known today, but important in the development of the atonal style of composition. I was never really into this particular style of composition, much preferring Bach, Beethoven or Chopin. However, I look forward to getting my professor's CD as a fond memento of my years in Windsor.


John Mutford said...

Re: Northern books by qallunaat

A few suggestions for Inuit authors:

Michael Kusugak- while I'm only familiar with his childrens books, he has a young adult novel out right now entitled Curse of the Shaman

Eskimo Poems Even though the amazon link lists Knud Rasmussen as the author, he was actually the translator, having collected these poems from the Inuit back in the early 1900s. It's a great read.

Way Way Up said...

Thanks for the tip, John. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for these.

c'est moi said...

Was Jolivet music similar to that of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring?

Way Way Up said...

I've never actually heard Jolivet before though I have heard plenty of music in the atonal style in which he composed. I'm not familiar with any large orchestral works by Jolivet. Stravinsky is best known for his large orchestral works (like the Rite of Spring). He does use some bizarre harmonies but his work still followed his classical predessors in that his music still had a tonal centre so while a bit jarring at times, it does not come across as wandering and disorganized like atonal music. I have Rite of Spring somewhere in my collection, and was actually looking for it tonight......just haven't come across it yet.