“Sounding Thunder was one of the 200 exceptional projects funded in 2017-18 through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program, a musical journey into the life of the renowned Ojibwe WWI sniper and decorated officer of the Canadian military, Francis Pegahmagabow.
Composed by Tim Corlis and written by Ojibwe poet Armand Garnet Ruffo, Sounding Thunder is a complex work divided into three acts, exploring Pegahmagabow’s early years immersed in the world of the Anishinaabe spirits, his extraordinary accomplishments in the trenches of WWI, and finally his political life as Chief of the Wasauksing Ojibwe and founder of the early Indigenous political moment in Canada.
Written for multiple roles, both human and non-human, Sounding Thunder draws upon the memoirs of Pegahmagabow himself, family memories, and historical sources to introduce spectators to a little-known side of Canadian history while offering a fascinating story and a dynamic musical experience.”
– Festival of the Sound Artistic Director, James Campbell
“For young Indigenous people growing up in this society, our great leaders and heroes have been obscured. This production gives all young Indigenous people a story and a hero they can feel proud of.”
– Hon. Murray Sinclair
Chancellor, Queens University, Kingston, ON
Chair, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Chief Justice Emeritus
“If we can get this kind of art to mend the injustices of several centuries, maybe truth as well as reconciliation actually stand a chance.”
– John Terauds, Toronto Star
“The overall effect was moving and deeply thought provoking and one of the best pieces created as a conscious contribution to Truth and Reconciliation that I have experienced.”
– Opera Ramblings
“Sounding Thunder: the Songs of Francis Pegahmagabow showed how collaboration should be done”
– Natasha Gauthier, Artsfile