by Carolyn Podruchny
Daniel Robert Laxer grew up in Edmonton and graduated from the University of Alberta, attending York University for his M.A. and the University of Toronto for his Ph.D. in history. He works as a researcher in the Negotiations and Reconciliation Division of Ontario’s Ministry of Indigenous Affairs.
Listening to the Fur Trade: Soundways and Music in the British North American Fur Trade, 1760-1840 focuses for the first time on how the fur trade sounded. Topics include firearms as sound-making devices, musical encounters, military instruments and “turned” drums, dances and diplomacy, soundways from Montreal to the Great Lakes, voyageur paddling songs, orchansons d’aviron, Indigenous hunting and healing songs as encountered by fur traders, and the development of instrumental dance music at the trading posts that centred around the fiddle. Listening to the Fur Trade traces the diverse soundways and musical exchanges that developed between English and French, master and servant, and Indigenous peoples and fur traders.