James Campbell



A musical journey into the life of the renowned Ojibwe WWI sniper and decorated officer of the Canadian military, Francis Pegahmagabow.  Composed by Tim Corlis and written by Ojibwe poet Armand Garnet Ruffo, Sounding Thunder is a complex work divided into three acts, exploring Pegahmagabow’s early years immersed in the world of the Anishinaabe spirits, his extraordinary accomplishments in the trenches of WWI, and finally his political life as Chief of the Wausauksing Ojibwe and founder of the early Indigenous political moment in Canada.

Written for multiple roles, both human and non-human, Sounding Thunder draws upon the memoirs of Pegahmagabow himself, family memories, and historical sources to introduce spectators to a little-known side of Canadian history while offering a fascinating story and a dynamic musical experience.

A multi-disciplinary production with filmography, chamber music, dance, drumming and narration. Produced by Festival of the Sound, Artistic Director James Campbell; a Canada 150 project.

Premiere July 2018.


James Campbell has followed his muse to five television specials, more than 40 recordings, over 30 works commissioned, a Juno Award, Canadaís Artist of the Year, the Queenís Golden Jubilee Medal and Canadaís highest honor, the Order of Canada. Campbell has performed as soloist and chamber musician in over 30 countries with string quartets, orchestras and luminaries like the Boston Pops, London Symphony, the Guarneri, Allegri and St Lawrence Quartets, Glenn Gould and Aaron Copland. Campbell is been Artistic Director of the Festival of the Sound and is Professor of Music at the prestigious Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University.




Press Highlights

Campbell met the quartet on its own high-energy, lushly romantic ground in the Brahms Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B minor, Op. 115. His mellow, penetrating sound meshed elegantly with the strings.

Chicago Sun Times, on performing with the Colorado String Quartet