Century Trail reflects the incredible beauty KT Tunstall experienced at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge this past October. At more than 11 miles long, Karluk Lake is Kodiak Island’s largest lake and is home to abundant salmon runs, legendary Kodiak brown bears, and rich cultural history. Camp Island is the site of a former fish research lab and is shared with Koniag’s Kodiak Brown Bear Center. The old lab, while cozy, had KT Tunstall composing bear-related songs on the fly.
Tunstall also spent time in the community of Kodiak. She met with Alutiiq Museum staff to tour the museum and view archaeological artifacts from the Karluk area, learned about bear ecology and behavior with the Kodiak Refuge bear biologist, toured the refuge research vessel Ursa Major II, and practiced salmon skin sewing and beadwork with Alutiiq artist Kayla McDermott. She visited Kodiak’s Main Elementary School as the last activity of her residency, where she spoke with students about music and taught them her award-winning song, Suddenly I See.
The songwriting retreat was part of nonprofit Sustain Music and Nature’s Songscape program. Songscapes bring musicians to public lands across the United States to create new music inspired by our national treasures. The program brings awareness to America’s vast system of parks, refuges, rivers, forests and rangelands that require continued public support in order to thrive. This Songscape was a complex partnership between the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Primary Wave Music, and Koniag, Inc, the regional Alaska Native Corporation that represents more than 4,400 Alutiiq shareholders.
Song proceeds from Century Trail will support Sustain Music and Nature and Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges.
Sustain Music & Nature acknowledges that this Songscape was held in the Alutiiq/Sugpiaq homeland. We thank and acknowledge the ten tribes of the Kodiak Alutiiq Region. The heritage and culture of the Alutiiq people continue to enrich communities, and this project would not have occurred without the help of Aluttiq/Sugpiaq members, Koniag Government Services, Kodiak Brown Bear Center, and the Alutiiq Museum.
Sustain Music & Nature is a nonprofit that makes music a force for nature. Using the emotional hook of music and cultural sway of bands, Sustain generates new audiences for our public lands. Sustain produces music videos for our national parks, wildlife refuges and forests, hosts Trail Session hikes and concerts, and produces a podcast exploring musician relationships to nature and creativity. https://www.sustainmusicandnature.org/