News and other items covered in this episode
This episode I was joined by Academy and Golden Globe award-winning composer Mychael Danna (Life of Pi) and his life-long music partner Tim Clément on their release their new impeccably remixed and remastered classic masterpiece album North of Niagara.
Mychael Danna and Tim Clément began writing music together as teenagers in the mid-1970s. In 1982, these two Canadian composers from very different musical backgrounds quietly released a self-produced album entitled A Gradual Awakening. With this release, they single-handedly created a distinctly Canadian environmental music. The music that followed on the albums Summerland and Another Sun expanded this tradition. These albums are now coveted as “cult classics” by electronic and ambient music aficionados worldwide.
Tim Clément’s indigenous ancestral background from northern Québec is reflected in his numerous compositions portraying a deep connection to the land. Mychael Danna, trained as a classical musician, moved into environmental music after meeting Tim and contributed an air of formality rarely found in ambient and minimalist music. The duo has always held a strong belief that music has a profound effect on all aspects of ours lives – physical, emotional and spiritual. Initially released in 1995, Mychael and Tim agree that North of Niagara is their seminal work, a suite of twelve environmental music pieces inspired by locations along Ontario’s Bruce Trail.
The Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest and longest footpath with its stunning cliffs, caves, wetlands, beaches, and old-growth forests. It beings at Niagara Falls and follows the Niagara Escarpment, the edge of an ancient shallow sea, for 880 kilometres northward to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula. “We have spent much of our youth hiking along the Bruce Trail. It has always been a source of peace and inspiration just outside our suburban homes”. For this 25th anniversary, 2021 re-release, North of Niagara has been impeccably remixed and remastered from the original analog reel to reel tapes. The original digital piano parts have now been replayed on a 1983 Steinway B, even further enhancing the pastoral and ethereal nature of the music.
We discussed the origins of their long friendship and collaborations leading up to the original release of North of Niagara in 1995.
We played the video for Crawford Lake from the album, and discussed the backstory on the location along The Bruce Trail and how it inspired them.
We also played the video for Mount Nemo, one of my personal favorites from the album with it’s ominous and mysterious sound. We also discussed the packaging for the 2021 North of Niagara CD, and the uniqueness of the face of the disc itself, along with all of the wonderful art included with the package.
Mychael and Tim explained the history of the initial recording and the process of remastering and replaying elements of the original music to bring it up to 21st century standards.
But without spoiling to much, I would encourage you to watch the show and learn more.
Please visit their official site here: https://mychaeldanna-timclement.com/ for more information on North of Niagara and their backstory.
For more information on Tim Clement you can visit https://www.timclementmusic.com/, and for information on Mychael Danna you can visit https://www.mychaeldanna.com/
We had a good time overall, so go watch yourself and be sure to order a copy of this new version of North of Niagara.
And of course don’t forget to Hulk Smash the Subscribobellagongthingy!