Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson represents a unique artistic voice for west coast indigenous culture. She is a Haida musician, artist, and lawyer, well known for her work in aboriginal-environmental law and as a recognized keeper of traditions for Haida music. Born and raised in Haida Gwaii, Terri-Lynn has dedicated herself to the continuation of Haida culture. At the age of 13 she was drawn to the songs her centenarian great-grandmother sang. She subsequently helped rescue a legacy of Haida music from obscurity through her work with the Haida Gwaii Singers Society, preserving songs that might otherwise have been lost.
Her second album ‘New Journeys’ garnered a ‘Best Female Artist’ Canadian Aboriginal Music Award (“CAMA”) and numerous nominations, and stayed on the National Aboriginal Music Countdown for almost 40 weeks. Her first album ‘Lalaxaaygans: Beautiful Sound’ received a ‘Best Female/Traditional Cultural Roots’ CAMA.
Her third album, released in August 2017 “Grizzly Bear Town” is a collaboration between Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, Bill Henderson and Claire Lawrence.
“The heart of this album is to bridge cultures, by respectfully blending ancient knowledge with contemporary music to propel the conversation about past and future, history and legacy.”
The songs illustrate aspects of Haida culture, including concepts of supernatural beings, spirituality, and indigenous laws. The album incorporates the endangered Haida language and music, both of which are unrepresented in Canada’s music industry. Terri-Lynn was fortunate to work with elders to translate the compositions from English to Haida.
The album is best described as “cutting edge ancient.” Each performer brings their own musical backgrounds to this compelling creation, breaking genre barriers. Improvisatory techniques are used to explore the diverse perspectives in this album, cut live-off-the-floor and in the primordial, mystical islands of Haida Gwaii. Their joy and love of this shared creation shines through their compelling performances.
The album was released on August 8 in Haida Gwaii (and iTunes) and August 27 in Vancouver.
The trio first began working together for a MusicBC fundraising concert to purchase instruments for schools in Haida Gwaii in December, 2012. They came together again in 2016 to embark on “Grizzly Bear Town”.