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First Flight

1. Kwana Li
2. First Flight
3. Ko'jua
4. Mi'kmaq Honour Song
5. Tribute to Mr. Bigs
6. Msit No'kmaq
7. Alasutamaqn
8. The Colour Red
9. For The Elders
10. Red River to Eskasoni

First Flight

in detail

The words "First Flight" are important for Mi'kmaq Musician Morgan Toney. Morgan had only picked up the Fiddle three and a half years ago. In 2019, Morgan has spread his wings and began to fly for the very first time. His debut album is focused on the importance of his Mi'kmaq Culture, the Mi'kmaq Language, Important Teachings, as well as important issues that the Mi'kmaq People face to this very day. Morgan's main goal as a Performer is to show his audience that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and the only way to reach that light is to move forward together.

Kwana Li - "Kwana Li" is the Mi'kmaq Feast Song. The version that Morgan did on the album is very much different than how you would hear it at a Mi'kmaq Ceremony. Morgan has added English lyrics to the piece (not a translation). The song itself only has one instrument: Morgan's ceremonial drum. The reason why Morgan has not added a full piece band to the song is to show the audience what a traditional Mi'kmaq Song would sound like. 

First Flight - "First Flight" is the very first instrumental piece that we hear on Morgan's album. The piece consists of two popular fiddle tunes that are played on Cape Breton Island (Ewe with the Crooked Horn/Hamish the Carpenter). The arrangement itself is an idea from Morgan's good friend and fiddler Bradley Murphy, who also plays on the track. Also featured on the track is Morgan's other good friend Mary Beth Carty on the guitar. Morgan made a promise in his early days as a musician that if ever he were to record an album, that Mary Beth and Bradley would be featured on it. 

Kojua - The "Ko'jua" is a type of song in Mi'kma'ki that is meant for dancing and bringing people together. There are many ways to sing the "Ko'jua" as there are many different variations among the Mi'kmaq People. A very important part of the "Ko'jua" itself is the dance that is associated with it. The dance too, also has many different styles, depending on districts and families. The version that Morgan sings is one of the oldest Mi'kmaq songs to date. This version of the "Ko'jua" has been sung in Mi'kmaki for over 500 years. The blend of two cultures (Mi'kmaq + Celtic), which Morgan calls Mi'kmaltic is very strong in this song as he has blended the Celtic Fiddle with Mi'kmaq words.

Mi'kmaq Honour Song - This song is the most important song among the Mi'kmaq People. It teaches us how the World should be. It explains that we should honour our brothers and sisters, care for Mother Earth, pray for goodness, and live under the Creator's intentions. Featured on this song once again is Bradley Murphy and Mary Beth Carty on vocals.

Tribute to Mr. Big - A couple of years ago, a Man who was well known in his community of Eskasoni First Nation, as well as the Celtic Music scene was Wilfred Prosper Jr., who was a cousin of Morgan's (through marriage). When he passed, the Mi'kmaq Nation felt it, as Mr. Big was well known for not only his fiddle playing, but also for his heart of gold. Morgan decided to pay tribute to Mr. Big with "Mr. Big's Reel", which is the first fiddle tune that we hear on this piece, followed by "Wally Jown's Reel" and "Chief Norman's Reel", all of which are compositions from Morgan Toney.

Msit No'kmaq - The words "Msit No'kmaq" is a Mi'kmaq phrase that translates to "all of my relations". We hear this phrase in every ceremony, prayer, and speech among the Mi'kmaq People. It is a very important phrase, and Morgan describes it as "making a connection" with not only ourselves but with everyone else on this Earth. The song is inspired by the "Great Spirt Prayer". It features Ashley MacIssac on the fiddle.

Alasutamaqn - meaning "to pray", Alasutamaqn is about a prayer to the Great Spirit. We call upon the Great Spirit to give us strength through difficult times, to watch over our brothers and sisters as well as our Families, and that we will also listen for the Great Spirit's response as we "listen in the wind". 
Featured on ths song is Marcel AucoinColin Grant, and Darren McMullen.

"Alasutamaqn" was created for CBC's "Stories & The Song" project in 2021. The songs that were created for this project by many different artists was about giving hope to those affected and  terrified by the COVID-19 Virus.

The Colour Red - This song was one of the most heartbreaking yet powerful songs that the iconic duo of Morgan Toney and Keith Mullins created. The song tells a story of a young female spirit who is trying to find her home after getting her life taken away from her. It is a cry for justice for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in this Country. 

For the Elders - Morgan has always looked up to his Elders for guidance. He will always credit his Elders with every performance because he would not know the teachings he knows today if it was not for them. This Waltz (a Morgan Toney composition) is a little "thank you" gift for them. 

Red River to Eskasoni - In his travels, Morgan has made many friends. Two of these friends are Patti Kusturok and Alex Kusturok. In 2020, Morgan bought a fiddle off Alex. After he bought the fiddle, Patti taught Morgan how to play the Red River Jig, which is the most popular Metis Fiddle tune to date. Back in Unama'ki (Cape Breton), there are two fiddle tunes that are well known in Mi'kmaq Communities. One is called Constitution Breakdown, composed by Lee Cremo, and the other one being Eskasoni Breakdown, composed by Lee's father Simon Cremo. Morgan wanted to create a bridge between two cultures (Metis & Mi'kmaq), so in this track he recorded the Red River Jig & Eskasoni Breakdown together.

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