Winnipeg duo releases Cree, French, English lullaby album
Dream Big Little One a celebration of Canadian multiculturalism, artist says
A Winnipeg musical duo just released a three-language album they hope will help parents lull kids to sleep.
Singer-songwriters Nadia Gaudet and Jason Burnstick just put out Dream Big Little One, a nine track English, Cree and French selection of lullabies for children.
While this isn't his first project aimed at a young audience, Burnstick said Dream Big is different because it comes at an interesting time in his life.
"It's a fairly precious project to me. It started with one song," he said.
Burnstick was apprehended by Manitoba Child and Family Services (CFS) as a child and spent time in the residential school system when he was younger. While he did speak Cree before being taken into CFS care, Burnstick said the experience caused him to lose his language.
"I understood it before I left and when I came back it was gone," he said.
Learning language through music
Burnstick decided to marry his passion for music with a desire to get back in touch with his mother tongue. He started to re-learn Cree throughout the recording of the new album.
"Music is part of my life, it's part of who I am and I figure what better way to learn it [than] to do it [through music]," he said.
Burnstick said at one point in his life, he felt shame for not knowing his language.
"I just decided this wasn't my fault, this wasn't my choice to experience these things and be taken away."
While the album is officially in three different languages, the French flourishes come straight from Burnstick's francophone partner Nadia. While he's learning bits of the language as he goes along, Burnstick said he was never encouraged to learn French as a kid.
"I think I kind of turned my nose up to it. It wasn't until I grew up and got smart and more open to the world and I realized how closed off I was as a kid due to my experiences," Burnstick said.
This is also one of the first projects Burnstick has been a part of since losing his voice and having throat surgery. He's now in the process of reviving past projects that were put on hold during that time.
And while the lullaby album is for kids, Burnstick said he thinks it also hints at some of Canada's deeply held core values.
"You feel like Canada is all about multiculturalism. I just think this project embraces that philosophy," he said. "I love different languages…. For me it's just a part of my life."