Music’s an almost alchemical force to Canadian Mi’kmaq fiddler and singer Morgan Toney. In just a short amount of time, Toney has invigorated both the Atlantic music communities and Mi’kmaq communities by bringing together the fiery fiddling of Cape Breton Island with the old songs of the Mi’kmaq, some dating back up to 500 years. He calls this fusion Mi’kmaltic (Mi’kmaq + Celtic) and it’s his way of celebrating his language and heritage.
“There are two worlds of Mi’kmaq music,” Toney explains, “song and fiddle. They had never come together before. People knew of each, but never had I ever seen a collaboration between Celtic and Mi’kmaq cultures before. Toney’s debut album First Flight, nominated for 3 East Coast Music Awards and a Canadian Folk Music Award, showcases this unique combination, both in the way he transforms traditional songs like the Ko’jua and the Mi’kmaq Honour Song, but also for the new songs he’s creating. “Msit No’kmaq” was written partially in Mi’kmaq and features a fiddle break from the great Cape Breton fiddler Ashley MacIsaac. “Kwana Li” is a traditional Mi’kmaq song that Toney added new English lyrics and “For the Elders” is a newly composed waltz from Toney.