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When I now think of music that breathes Nature, illuminates that certain “feel” of being outdoors, of losing one’s psyche in the grand vistas of the Creation – I think of the music of Danna and Clément. Ah but yes foremost will always be composers of such ilk as Delius, Copland, and Hohvaness but they didn’t compose works quite like Danna and Clément. And that is good – each era brings fresh ideas.
I first came across Danna and Clément reviewing their “best of” release recently. I have since deemed it one of my Top Five favorite ambient works. Now I have reached back in time, contacting Hearts of Space to obtain certain foundational releases, North of Niagara, being one of 1995’s best HOS releases.
North of Niagara is a musical stroll, a hike, a vision quest of impressions along Canada’s Bruce Trail. This is a trail in Canada that somewhat parallels the Appalachian Trail in the United States. Danna and Clément weave “live” trail environmental atmospherics, piano, synths, steel guitar, bass, bassoon, and even accordion into twelve tenderly beautiful, awesomely austere, and uniquely unforgettable pieces.
I have hiked and camped along the Bruce, walked the rocky shorelines of Tobermory, (tears of wonder flooding my eyes), and peered from stone citadels down into azure blue waters of pristine clarity that is the Georgian Bay. Hiking in 1993 up the Bruce Peninsula, where this Bruce Trail lives, her quiet majesty has me returning the summer of 2001 for more memories. Danna and Clément have captured all this delicate magic in their perfect homage to one of the world’s most beautiful yet virtually unknown places.
If you enjoy vision-laden, minimalist keys and synths with unexpected embellishings that work to achieve a wondrous harmony of soul and grandeur of peacefulness, then seek out North of Niagara by Danna and Clément. It is worth the time to point and click that mouse. You won’t be sorry – I promise. This release is splendid!
Track Listing: Tracks: Cootes Paradise, Ravensview, Remember Summer, Old Mail Road, Mount Nemo, Silent Lake, Avening, Crook's Hollow, Headwater Trail, Crawford Lake, Green River Formation, Lookout Point