Emilie-Claire Barlow’s latest album began in Arctic

Emilie-Claire Barlow in Mexico where some of the creation of this latest album took place.(Steve Webster/via RCI)
Emilie-Claire Barlow in Mexico where some of the creation of this latest album took place.(Steve Webster/via RCI)
Emilie-Claire Barlow is releasing her 11th album, ‘Clear Day’, and a Canadian ice-breaker played a major role. The Toronto born-and- raised singer, and voice actor, says this one began on an August night with the midnight sun.
“It became the path that is this record”

Accepting an invitation to join a group of researchers at work aboard the Coast Guard ship, The Amundsen, during the summer of 2011, Barlow and her guitar player provided entertainment in exchange for an experience she says was life-changing.

“I think that the experience of being there in the Arctic and just feeling the hugeness and the wonder of the world made me brave enough to look inside and realize that there was a part of my life that was feeling not aligned… It became the path that is this record.”

‘Clear Day’ is made up of her versions of great tunes by groups and artists from the Beatles to Cold Play and David Bowie, to name a few. The songs were chosen for their verisimilitude to her own experiences over the past few years.

She describes the songs as the soundtrack to her life. The accompaniment of the Dutch-based Orkest Metropole magnifies the cinematic quality. “At the opening of ‘On a Clear Day’ you’ll hear these very dramatic cellos and this high pling pling pling of the piano and that’s basically representing the moment when I’m on the helicopter and I’m going to land on the ship.”

Feature Interview
 Radio Canada International’s Carmel Kilkenny speaks with Emilie-Claire Barlow  about her work and her inspiration. 

There are shows and tours planned over the next year. In November she’ll be one of the artists featured during the 20th anniversary celebrations at Montreal’s Upstairs Jazz Bar. Montreal is Barlow’s new home, another change that resulted from the arctic experience. A show is in the works for the city’s eponymous Jazz Festival in 2016, and in February, a performance at Toronto’s legendary Massey Hallwill be a heart-felt homecoming.

Emilie-Claire Barlow released first album ‘Sings in 1998. She received Canada’s Juno Award, the highest musical honour, for her album Seule ce soir winning for best Jazz Vocal Recording in 2013. Barlow was named Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2008 National Jazz Awards. She credits Ella Fitzgerald, Tony BennettStevie Wonder and Canadian Holly Cole, as major musical influences.

As a voice actor Barlow is well known to many for the voices in animated television series, includingSailor Venus and Sailor Mars in Sailor Moon, Bakugan Battle Brawlers and one of the lead charactersCourtney in Total Drama Island.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  ‘Iceberg’ sculpture captures ‘awe’ of Canadian Arctic, Radio Canada International

Finland: London gallery offers multimedia Sámi art, Yle News

Russia: Karelian art on show in Russia, Yle News

Sweden:  Swedish Sámi visual artist shaping climate changes, Radio Sweden

United States:  Feature Interview – Alaskan artist Nicholas Galanin, Eye on the Arctic



Carmel Kilkenny

Carmel Kilkenny grew up in Toronto as it was in the early stages of becoming the "most multi-cultural city" in the world. A year living in Paris, France provided the time and opportunity to study the language, and experience the culture. It also provided a base to visit other European destinations. Now Carmel makes her home in Montreal, Quebec. Following a degree in Communication Studies and Journalism, Carmel anchored Quebec’s late-night TV newscast, worked in radio, locally and on RCI’s short-waves, and spent some time sharing daily forecasts on a network of radio stations across Canada as a weather specialist. These days, as a freelance writer-broadcaster, she is lending her voice and writing skills to a number of projects and continuing to share great Canadian stories on Radio Canada International’s website. RCI journalist Carmel Kilkenny dies after short illness

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