Composer and artistic director
Katia Makdissi-Warren studied composition in Quebec and in Hamburg, as well as Arabic and Syrian music in Beirut, with Ennio Morricone, Franco Donatoni, Manfred Stahnke, P Louis Hage and Michel Longtin.
An innovative composer, she drew attention on the national and international scene with her unique style, where the music of the Middle-East, the West and Native America meet. In 2001 she founded the Oktoecho ensemble, specialized in the blending of cultures, for which she regularly composes in addition to helming it as its artistic director. Her aesthetic of fusion drove her to work regularly – as a composer, an ensemble director and a performer – with the Native American, Arab and Jewish communities. Katia has won several prizes through her ensemble, including the 2019 Prix Opus for Album of the year, and the Conseil des Arts de Montréal prize for inclusion and diversity in 2020.
While staying deeply committed to diverse cultural communities, Katia Makdissi-Warren remains very active in the milieu of contemporary music. In 2019, Katia was chosen by the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) as the spotlight artist in the 2019-2020 season of their prestigious Homage Series. She has received ensemble orders from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Beirut National Oriental Orchestra, the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, I Musici de Montréal, the McGill Chamber Orchestra and the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal (ECM+). Her works are regularly played by performers and chamber music ensembles beyond Canadian borders, in France, Germany, Lebanon, Morocco, Argentina and Spain.
Katia has written numerous soundtracks for the stage, dance, film, television and exhibitions in Canada, France, Singapore, Japan and the United Arab Emirates – including the “At The Top” exhibition of the tallest skyscraper in the world, the Burj-Khalifa in Dubai.
Artistic co-director, indigenous chapter
Originally from Kangiqsualujjuaq in Nunavik, Lydia Etok remained close to her nation by being daily involved in the Makivik Society, which allows her to dedicate her time to developing cultural sensitivity and fostering understanding between people from the north and people from the south, with an approach based on skills development.
In the field of creation, she actively participates in numerous projects which allow her to both share and marie her traditions and her culture, through throat singing and traditional tales.
Curious by nature, she also gained experience in making traditional and contemporary attire inspired her cultural heritage. She wishes to instill in this multimedia and interactive project her sensitivity, her values, her experience and her commitment to exchanges between different cultures.
In collaboration with the Indigenous organizations Feux Sacrés and Avataq, she also participates in the validation of all stages of creation to ensure that her nation is well represented.
Crédits photo : Damian Siqueiros