On Sunday November 13, Chronos presented a concert featuring Andrew Balfour’s war oratorio, Notinikew: Going to War. This innovative multidisciplinary work is a powerful exploration first inspired by the stories of Indigenous soldiers who served in Canada’s military in World War I; facing the horrors of war while fighting for freedom abroad, then denied rights and freedoms at home. 

The audience was challenged and moved by this program, a powerful lament that takes the listener on a moving journey through choral singing, dramatic narration, and traditional drumming and singing. For this performance Chronos welcomed composer Andrew Balfour, special guest Elder Margaret Cardinal, and collaborators Ryan Arcand, Leanne Zacharias, Nolan Kehler, and Paul Grindlay.

Notinikew is “an Indigenous identity piece – a tragedy that speaks […] about all wars and all Indigenous soldiers,” says composer Andrew Balfour, who is of Cree descent, originally from Manitoba. “Notinikew was difficult to write but also magical and important. It is an honour to try, in my own way, to tell the stories of our people.”

To see photos from the concert, preparations, and rehearsals: click here.

Many thanks to our concert sponsor, Sonder Creative