Matthew Cardinal is an Indigenous musician based in amiskwacîwâskahikan, also known as Edmonton. He uses synthesizers and samplers to create ambient and melodic music.
He recently created a musical piece that was commissioned as a cooperative initiative between Explore Edmonton and Indigenous Tourism Alberta. He visited three Alberta destinations with strong connections to Indigenous life and culture in this province: Whiskeyjack Art House, Métis Crossing, and River Cree Resort and Casino in Enoch Cree Nation. He said, “I went into the adventure open-minded, not sure what to expect, and the way I was greeted, fed, and cared for in each place warmed my creative heart—and inspired my new song, ‘three visits.'”
We asked Matthew about his process for making this unique piece. He said, “There are a lot of layers to it. With the processed electronics, there are also acoustic drum, guitar, and rattle sounds. And a voice, too. My voice. And if you listen carefully you can also hear bison grunting in the middle section of the song.”
Matthew is content to have this piece be a standalone project. It’s available on bandcamp and all streaming platforms, but it may never be part of an album. “It’s its own thing!” laughed Matthew.
Learn more about this unique project in a recent story in The Globe and Mail.