North·Audio

Musicians of the Midnight Sun: Angus Beaulieu

Angus Beaulieu, a master Métis fiddler from Deninu Kue First Nation in Fort Resolution, N.W.T, has been playing the fiddle for almost 70 years, but he wasn't always a master fiddler.

Master Métis fiddler recalls playing his first dance

Angus Beaulieu is a Métis master fiddler from Fort Resolution, N.W.T. who has been playing the fiddle for almost 70 years. (Submitted by Pat Braden )

Musicians of the Midnight Sun is a new 10-part CBC radio series produced by Northern musical icon Pat Braden. Braden has spent 15 years collecting interviews, photographs, and recordings from some of the North's most celebrated artists, which he is releasing in an online archive.

A new episode of the 10-part series will debut on CBC Radio One's The Trailbreaker every Tuesday morning at 7:40 MT.

Listen to Episode 4 of Musicians of the Midnight Sun

Angus Beaulieu, a Métis master fiddler from Deninu Kue First Nation in Fort Resolution, N.W.T, has been playing the fiddle for almost 70 years, but he wasn't always a master fiddler.

Beaulieu is the fourth musician profiled by the new CBC radio series Musicians of the Midnight Sun.

In his interview with Pat Braden, Angus Beaulieu, who is pictured in this undated photo, recalls playing fiddle at a dance for the first time when he was 14 years old. (Submitted by Pat Braden )

In his interview with series producer Pat Braden, Beaulieu recalls the first time that he played at a dance when he was 14 years old. He said his arms became tired and he had to stop playing before the dance was over.  

"I got so embarassed everybody was looking at me I put the fiddle down i ran home," he said. "I was embarassed, I felt like crying and I thought I'm never going to touch that fiddle again all kinds of things went through my mind."

Determined to improve, Beaulieu said he set up an old alarm clock and practised until he was able to play the fiddle up to 20 minutes without stopping.  

Angus Beaulieu, right, is a founding member of The Native Cousins. Members of the band Tony Buggins, Leandre Beaulieu, Lloyd Cardinal and Gladys Beaulieu, left to right, are pictured playing at the opening of the Caribou Lounge in November 1973. (Submitted by Pat Braden )

Beaulieu has since gone on to mentor generations of Northern musicians and is a founding member of the celebrated band The Native Cousins.

You can listen to Pat Braden's full interview with Beaulieu and see photos from then and now on the project's website.

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