Copyright and Produced
by Matthew Lien 1995


“I had the matter of wolves deep in my heart. The Yukon government’s wolf kill program was in full swing, and Bleeding Wolves became an especially intense and, at times, painful effort for me. With the album’s recording completed, I embarked on a journey down the Yukon’s awe-inspiring Coal River. The Coal was to be the focus of that year’s annual Yukon Wildlands Project. Back home in Whitehorse, plans were being made for the Bleeding Wolves concert tour through Canada’s Maritimes. But for now, I was given the time to cleanse my sprit and mind by travelling through the powerful Coal River wilderness.

“It was about halfway through the two-week journey on a warm, sunny day. The river was calm as it moved toward the great canyon ahead. We had pulled off the river for lunch, onto an embankment about 10 metres wide. There stood the forest, thick and dark. We had just started to unpack the food containers when we heard what sounded like a cross between a howling ape and a great bird. It was loud, and it was right there in the trees, near us. The sound was so vocal, almost human-like, and we had no idea what it was. Then we spotted the shapes heading towards us from down river. Several wolves were loping casually along the riverbank, and they seemed just as curious about us as we were about them. The lead wolf, black and shimmering in the mid-day sun, stopped about 15 metres away and locked its gaze upon us. There we all stood, silent and unmoving with even time standing still, until someone slowly reached for a camera. As if to confirm that this shared moment was for the spirit and not the film, they all bounded into the trees that lined the riverbank. Not wanting this magical experience to end, I began howling, calling to them. And sure enough, they answered. The wolves and I carried on in conversation for awhile, as the others stood by listening. We were all caught in an eddy of enchantment.

“Soon the river trip was over, and I was off to begin the Bleeding Wolves concert tour. We would start the tour in a most appropriate community – Wolfville, Nova Scotia.”