Inuit Musical Duo Records Album For New Canadian Animated Film | CBC News


Yellowknife-born sisters Inuksuk Mackay and Tiffany Ayalik, known as PIQSIQ, are the voices behind the score of the new Canadian animated film Sunburnt Unicorn.

PIQSIQ’s Tiffany Ayalik and Inuksuk Mackay created the movie’s score CBC News

· Posted: May 28, 2024 11:04 AM EDT | Last Updated: May 28

Inuksuk Mackay, left and Tiffany Ayalik, the duo known as PIQSIQ, record the soundtrack for Sunburnt Unicorn. (Submitted by PIQSIQ )A throat-singing duo from the N.W.T. has recorded a full-length soundtrack for a new Canadian film. 

Yellowknife-born sisters Inuksuk Mackay and Tiffany Ayalik, known as PIQSIQ, are the voices behind the score of the new animated film called Sunburnt Unicorn. 

The film, written and directed by Nick Johnson, follows the journey of an injured teen lost in an endless desert to rescue his father. 

Ayalik said it all started when Johnson saw PIQSIQ perform at Calgary Folk Music Festival last year. He was lying in the grass when he heard the pair’s music. 

“He said lying and listening to those two songs cured his writer’s block,” Ayalik said. “And he figured out the ending to the film that he had been kind of wrestling with and then he got in touch with us.” 

It’s the first full-length soundtrack for the sisters, titled Cactus King March, and is lyric-less. 

Mackay said the sisters haven’t done anything like this before. 

“I was a little daunted, honestly, you know, to bite off something that big. The experience was incredible. I’d work with Nick again in a heartbeat,” Mackay said.

“We really enjoyed having that creative freedom to basically create a world with sound,” she added. 

A screenshot from director Nick Johnson’s new animated film, Sunburnt Unicorn, which follows a boy’s journey through the desert to find his father. (Submitted by Nick Johnson )Mackay also said they created the music to flow with the film, in their own style. 

“I would say it’s wholesome but there’s a dark side to it. Which is right up our alley,” Mackay said

Ayalik said the music is much different than their previous albums. A big screen TV would be wheeled into the studio, and the sisters would record while the movie was playing in front of them. 

“It’s such a fun way to work, because in some ways it’s so similar to the way we perform live but it’s different because we go back and we refine and we refine and we come up with quite a polished composition,” Ayalik said.

“So it still definitely sounds like PIQSIQ, but there’s this whole other compositional element.”

The album is available to stream now. Sunburnt Unicorn will launch at the Annecy film festival in France on June 14, and will be available to a Canadian audience at a later date. 

With files from Hilary Bird

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *