Feature

PIQSIQ shares a new holiday carol and a recipe!

 

Sisters Inuksuk Mackay and Tiffany Ayalik, better known as the acclaimed throat singing duo PIQSIQ (“pilk-silk”), are in the holiday spirit again this year with a new single: a stunning rendition of “Coventry Carol,” which dates back to 16th Century England.

They’ve also answered our call here at Roots Music Canada to share a favourite holiday recipe with us.

More on that in a moment, but first, let’s talk about the song.

“The Coventry Carol” is one of the duo’s favourite holiday songs, and they felt its bittersweet theme was appropriate this year to acknowledge both the joys of the season and the pain of being separated from loved ones.

As a song often sung by choirs, the sisters also chose to record “Coventry Carol” to symbolize how their two voices can replicate the power of many. With pandemic restrictions limiting mass gatherings, PIQSIQ have reinvented the choir, and provided a sense of community that is being denied this year to so many.

Inuksuk explained, “Recording our [2019] holiday album Quviasugvik: In Search of Harmony using throat singing, a traditional art form that was once illegal as a result of that colonization, was an interesting journey in stitching together our varied swatches of experience. This year, the themes of pain and joy continue. With COVID on the rise in many places, gathering will not bring the safety and community it once did, and one thing we have always loved about Christmas is choirs, which certainly are not in the holiday plans this year.”

One thing that still is part of a lot of people’s plans is preparing favourite holiday foods.

We here at Roots Music Canada put out a call to our favourite artists asking them to share favourite holiday recipes with us like we all used to do in old times.

PIQSIQ answered our call by sharing their recipe for Inuk charcuterie.

“Traditional foods are such a special part of our holiday celebrations,” the duo told us in an email when they sent us this recipe. “This Inuk charcuterie is the first thing devoured in our home whenever it is put out.”

Ingredients:
Beluga whale skin (maktaaq)
Caribou dry meat (nikku)
Room temperature butter
Sea salt

Tools:
Ulu (sharpened)
Empty cereal box

Take maktaaq out of the freezer and let thaw for at least 30 minutes, longer if it is a big one
Sharpen ulu
Cut open cereal box
Important: place on floor
Cut maktaaq into small squares and score
Season with salt to taste
Cut nikku into small pieces
Dip into butter
Season with salt to taste

Enjoy!

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