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.
Producer: Festival of the Sound
Artistic Director: James Campbell
Composer: Timothy Corlis
Librettist: Armand Garnet Ruffo
Director: Larry Beckwith
Lighting Designer: Gabriel Cropley
Project Manager: Laurelle Favreau
Narrator: Brian McInnes
Francis Pegahmagabow: Waawaate Fobister
Deer Spirit Woman: Jennifer Kreisberg
Shaman, General Officer, Reporter, Indian Agent: Larry Beckwith
Festival of the Sound Ensemble:
Mark Fewer, violin
Joel Quarrington, double bass
James Campbell, clarinet
James McKay, bassoon
Guy Few, trumpet
Rachel Thomas, trombone
Beverley Johnston, percussion
Larry Beckwith, conductor
19 July 2018: Premiere - Parry Island, ON [Wausauksing Reservation]
20 July 2018: Parry Sound, ON [Festival of the Sound]
22 July 2018: Elora, ON [Elora Festival]
23 July 2018: Toronto, ON [Toronto Summer Music Festival]
31 July 2018: Ottawa, ON [ChamberFest]
This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.