This week on Mixtape, we share the hour with a quintessential bundle of creative energy.
Danny Michel is a three-time JUNO Nominee. His recorded output includes a collection of David Bowie songs – apparently Bowie himself was quite complementary – and an album recorded with legendary musicians from Belize. He has been part of David Suzuki’s Blue Dot Tour and continues to travel the world as a musical guest with Gold Medal Plates – Canada’s Culinary Championships. He co-hosted a radio program with Emm Gryner. He toured for years with Sarah Harmer and acted as producer for a young Leeroy Stagger. He created and hosted a video series called Dan’s Space Van which involved driving across the country in a customized 1978 GMC van – airbrushed in a Star Trek theme – while musical guests perform in the van’s diamond quilted, crushed red velvet interior. In 2011 he created The Ocean Academy Fund to raise scholarship money for students of a small non-profit community high school in Belize – a country he has been visiting for years.
He has worked with Canadian astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield a number of times – his 13th album, Khlebnikov, being only the most recent example. Recorded entirely in the Canadian Arctic aboard a Russian icebreaker, the Kapitan Khlebnikov, Danny was invited by Hadfield’s Generator Arctic expedition, which saw scientists, photographers, writers, videographers and musicians travel the Arctic Ocean and capture their experience to share with the rest of the world through their respective disciplines.
Not content to write just one or two songs about the experience, Danny recorded an entire album’s worth in a makeshift studio in his cabin. The end result, due out January 20, is Khlebnikov, a (to quote Danny) “collection of songs dedicated to the sailors, chefs, helmsman, engineers, dishwashers, bar staff and maids of the Khlebnikov. To our glorious, fragile planet and precious wildlife. To the communities we visited and every soul that has ever navigated these waters.”
Danny Michel joins Monica Miller to talk about some of the music that has shaped him as a musician and as a person inhabiting planet earth – this Wednesday evening at 7.