Big Ears Festival Stars the Avant-Garde


The avant-garde is a notion shaped by discomfort, as well as defiance. No music gets that designation unless it makes people feel uneasy or threatened. Tanya Tagaq, a singer from Nunavut, the northernmost territory in Canada, gave an exemplary lesson in assuaging worry here on Saturday afternoon at Big Ears, an ambitious three-day festival of experimental music in a place without much of a history of nurturing it.