Danna & Clément

North of Niagara

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Mychael Danna and Tim Clément call the style they utilize on North of Niagara "romantic minimalism," which allows them to capture the emotion of their subject by keeping the instrumentation simple and direct. That subject is the Bruce Trail, a public footpath that begins at Niagara Falls and winds its way north to Tobermory on Lake Huron some 300 miles later. The songs serve as musical as well as emotional snapshots of the trail, each having a single theme that ranges from the pastoral "Cootes Paradise" to the dramatic "Mount Nemo." This is achieved by using keyboards almost exclusively over a bed of synthesizers, with occasional augmentation by various ambient noises recorded on the trail, steel guitar, bass, and bassoon. Lush enough to be evocative yet stark enough not to be cloying, this is by far the best collaboration between these two Canadians. A beautiful work.

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