The Warrior’s Lament

Today I ordered a copy of Possibilities, an EP by Sierra Noble. I’d never heard of the ridiculously young Métis from Manitoba prior to today–which actually kind of surprises me–but as soon as I encountered her on the web today I knew I was going to buy the album.

What I encountered today (indirectly, via Penguin Eggs) that made up my mind was a video of Noble performing her composition, “The Warrior’s Lament” at the 90th Anniversary of the Assault on Vimy Ridge at the Vimy Memorial in France a couple of years ago.

I expect this will mean more to the Canadians reading, but take a second to watch this:

She was 17 when that was recorded. She wrote the piece when she was 111. Man. Two years earlier she had been involved in the Aboriginal Spiritual Journey, which probably laid the groundwork for that performance–there’s a bit of her writing about the experience up at the Veterans Affairs site.

I think my father-in-law was actually at the ceremony, and I may give him some light abuse for not mentioning this performance to me. It sure looks and sounds great in the video.

Noble has an MP3 of the performance at her site. You can hear more of her stuff, generally a lot more upbeat, at a CBC concert on demand from last year, and her MySpace page.

Not ordered today, but I swear sometime before I die: a close to actual-size museum quality reproduction of William Longstaff‘s painting The Battle Of Vimy Ridge. And maybe I’ll work a little embedded electronics into the frame, so it can play that tune.

  1. Actually, a little work with Google reveals that she wrote it as a lament for her grandmother at age 11, and subtly changed it as it transformed into “The Métis Prayer” and then “The Warrior’s Lament”.(back)

  1 comment for “The Warrior’s Lament

  1. Murray
    April 8, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    I was there as Chris suggests and her performance was hauntlingly beautiful against the backdrop of the monument. As you can see by the video, she was
    contrasted against the monument and small, yet she had the rapt attention of the thousands of people who were there—her lament was very fitting to the
    event.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.