Music releases

Joseph

Joseph

By The Keen & The Kind

Released
Friday, December 4, 2020
Producer
MOSMA | Mid-Ocean School of Media Arts
Studio 23
Joseph

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"Joseph"

The making of "Joseph" . . .

Joseph Huppe was Violet Vopni's great grandfather. He was born in 1900, fought in WW1 in 1916, married Vopni's great grandmother Jenny Vopni in 1923, and was father to four children, Harold, Allan, Doris and Beatrice. Beatrice is Vopni's grandmother. Joseph was Metis, but being born 15 years after the Northwest Rebellion, he was forced to keep his identity a secret. Vopni believes he kept this secret to avoid being sent to a residential school where he would have been abused not only by the teachers, but also by his fellow students. Metis people were known in those days for being in between people because of their combined French and Indigenous lineage. Joseph's story is one that is common to all Metis people born in the last 135 years since the Northwest Rebellion in 1885.

Vopni wrote the song to shed light on how moments in history can affect us as people hundreds of years later. Joseph struggled through alcoholism, he struggled to find where he belonged, and ultimately, he left the family, and we do not know what happened to him. What we do know is that he left a woman to raise four children on her own in the 1920s and 30s. Those children subsequently went through traumas of their own. Allan died in WW2, Doris was murdered, and Beatrice became an alcoholic and married an abusive man. Vopni's grandmother Beatrice lost a father and a brother and passed that trauma onto her only child Kim (Vopni's mother) who in turn passed down that trauma to Vopni herself.

We know a lot about the people Joseph left behind in the world, his wife, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, but we don't know a lot about him, so this song is his story and how his life affected the lives of so many others. All we know is who he left behind, and the wounds cut so deep.

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