Utilizing research-creation techniques to explore approaches to Métis music revitalization and resurgence, Loryn Plante is spending her summer vacation reconnecting with her culture. Loryn is a combined degree student in Music and General Management and for her project is working with Dr. Monique Giroux, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Music, Culture, and Politics.
Research-creation is defined by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council as an approach to research that combines creative and academic practices to contribute to the development of knowledge and innovation through artistic expression, scholarly investigation, and experimentation.
By using research-creation as a methodology, Loryn looks to explore avenues of creating community awareness in and around Lethbridge about Métis musical belongings in archives, including those housed at the University of Lethbridge. They will be using this approach to share archival Métis music and related recordings through contemporary electroacoustic composition and recording.
Speaking on what attracted her to this research, Loryn notes that this project is a unique opportunity to integrate their post-secondary education with their own cultural re-connection. Through learning about ancestral musicking knowledge and practices, which are vital to the continuity and resurgence of Métis culture, Loryn has been able to take a closer, more in-depth look at the way music functions in Métis culture and the ways it can contribute to current efforts of cultural revitalization.
Traditionally, this knowledge and these practices would have been passed down from generation to generation, and while the circumstances have changed greatly, I feel incredibly grateful to have this opportunity to learn from the Métis musicians before me and carry their teachings into my own musical practice.
Loryn adds that through the support of the larger Métis community and funding from a Chinook Summer Research Award, she is able to devote more of her attention to this research. By conducting this work at the U of L, Loryn notes that she has access to the significant depth and breadth of Métis knowledge within the institution, and the level of engagement that knowledge keepers are willing to share is a notable benefit. Through this work, Loryn says they have been able to make strong connections within the Métis community that help promote their own cultural awareness and growth.
This project has helped me to realize that no matter what music I create, it is Métis music, simply because I am Métis.