by Danny Michel

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On August 23rd 2016, I left on a trip that would unknowingly change my life forever. I was invited to join "Generator Arctic”, a group of filmmakers, photographers, and writers from around the globe chosen by Evan and Chris Hadfield to embark on an 18 day expedition through the Northwest Passage to the furthest fjords of Ellesmere Island. Our home: the infamous Kapitan Khlebnikov, a 24,000 horsepower Soviet icebreaker (the first ship to circumnavigate both the Arctic and Antarctic). Our mission: to document this breathtaking corner of our planet through art and science, and share it with the world. There in cabin 712 I set up a make-shift studio and tried to capture the indescribable beauty and magnitude of this adventure through song. Once home, I handed off the recordings to renowned film and television composer (and childhood pal) Rob Carli who wrote brass and string arrangements to accompany them. This is the result. A 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 ~ Endless thanks to Evan & Chris Hadfield, Rob Carli, Karl Kannstadter & Quark Expeditions.

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released January 20, 2017

Produced by Danny Michel & Rob Carli
String & brass arrangements - Rob Carli
Copyist and Music Assistant - Virginia Kilbertus

Angelique Toews - Violin
Bridget Hunt - Violin
Chris Hadfield - Guitar & vocals on “Fall”
& Backing vocals on “The Dishwasher’s Dream”
Danny Michel - Guitar, vocals, bass, percussion & oil drum
Gabe Radford - French horn
Ivan Ivanovich - Viola
Jen Stephen - Tuba
Jenny Thompson - Violin
Leshtaev Valentine – BGs vox on “The Dishwasher’s Dream”
Neil Deland - French horn
Paul Rogers - Double bass
Rob Carli - Saxophones, flute & clarinet
Semy Kin – BGs on “The Dishwasher’s Dream”
Steve Woomert - Trumpet
Vanessa Fralick - Trombone
Winona Zelenka - Cello

Tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 written by Danny Michel
Tracks 1, 6, 10 written by Rob Carli
Track 7 written by Hadfield / Pushkin
“The Dishwasher’s Dream” inspired by Kohn (The Horse Song)
by Igorevich Matvienko and Alexeivich Shaganov

Guitar & vocals recorded in cabin 712 / Kapitan Khlebnikov
Orchestral overdubs recorded at Revolution Recordings, Toronto, ON
Engineer - Dennis Patterson
Mixed by Danny at Coutnac Beach, Penetanguishene, Ontario
Mastered by Joao at Joao Carvalho Studios

Cover - Ben Brown
Inside photos - Vivienne Gucwa @travellinglens
Back cover, disc, tracy & booklet - Danny Michel
Khlebnikov centerfold - Unknown

Art design - Danny Michel
Graphic roadie - Brennen Halliwell
Art layout - Andrew Korsh

Special thanks to Darrell & Sandi Halliwell, Carl & Rhonda Stuart, Randy Gillies, Johnny Mac, Kevin & Patricia Huscroft, Ellen Doty, Aaron Tango Tang, Shane Evoy, Alex Sullivan, Tyler Shaw, Jess Milton, Wayne Bond & Eric Duerrstein



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Track Name: Khlebnikov
We roll back and forth
Dodging icebergs, changing course
Along the broken fjord
Everything's screwed to the floor
It’s the end of the line, there's nothing left
In the sled dog’s frozen breath
The sun burns the moon away
The constellations hide their face
Back to the Khlebnikov
For hot soup and vodka shots
Songs with cosmonauts 
We'll dance to Rachmaninoff           
Aboard Khlebnikov
The icebergs roll in the broken light 
The humpback blows a kiss goodnight
With harpoon scars and lonely eyes
My heart breaks open wide
The faint smell of cigarettes 
The sun here, it never sets
A black sea and a silver sky
The constellations liquify   
Track Name: 24,000 Horses
I waited & wondered
If the dream would return
What I saw through that porthole
Is tattooed and burnt
On the shore where we landed
3 graves by the sea
In the loneliest place
You ever did see

I sing the verses
You sing the chorus
With 24,000 old Russian horses
We crush through the ice
In the bright summer night
On the Kapitan Khlebnikov
This is the life

Seal skins drying
In the bright frozen sun
There's mouths to be fed
The work’s never done
Through the Northwest Passage
I stand at the bow
And I thought I’d seen beauty
Until right here right now

Once we had dreams
But they fell through the seams
Like the ice here all melting away
Track Name: Homeless
I woke up sleeping in the midnight sun
We were underway and overcome
For 18 days and 20 tons
We crushed through them one by one
This ancient glacier ice
These brand new shades of blue

Homeless here on a frozen sea
Something’s got a hold on me.

The icy tombs at Qilakitsoq
Mummified and overlooked
A sweet young baby in a reindeer skin
Tonight I feel a bit like him
The narwhal sings below
Songs of love and woe
Track Name: Lifeboat
I thought you were in theirs
They thought you were in mine
In the panic & shuffle
Were you left behind?
When the boats hit the water
We called out your name
We floated in silence
Helpless and shamed

Reach out in the night
Take hold of my hand
This lifeboat is loaded
There's no sign of land
I heard your voice
Sing "Whole Of The Moon"
In the darkest of nights
I still hear that tune

Your jagged voice
Tangled and torn
Called out for help
In the eye of the storm
A lighthouse for others
Others battered and worn
You brought us all back
Home safe and warm

Hold onto something
Track Name: Fall (feat. Chris Hadfield)
Уж небо осенью дышало
The sky with autumn’s breath is clouded
Уж реже солнышко блистало
More often now the sun is shrouded
Короче становился день
Shorter and shorter grow the days
Лесов таинственная сень
Sad rustling fills the woodland ways
С печальным шумом обнажалась
With all their mysteries laid bare

Стоял ноябрь уж у двора
November stands at the gate

Ложился на поля туман
Southward stretch the caravans
Гусей крикливых караван
Of wild geese, in noisy clans
Тянулся к югу: приближалась
And, mist on meadows everywhere
Довольно скучная пора
A tedious season is here
Лесов таинственная сень
Sad rustling fills the woodland ways
С печальным шумом обнажалась
With all their mysteries laid bare
Track Name: The Dishwasher's Dream
Сяду я верхом на коня
I ride, here astride this steed
Ты неси по полю меня
You carry me across these fields
По бескрайнему полю моему
Across these, my endless fields
По бескрайнему полю моему
Across these, my endless fields

A frozen scarlet sunset in the snow
I ride across the fields of my home
As far as I can see, starlight over me
never will I ever be alone

Дай-ка я разок посмотрю
Let me just this once have a glimpse
Где рождает поле зарю
Where these fields give birth to the dawn
Ай, брусничный цвет, алый да рассвет
Oh, the cranberry scarlet
colour of the sunrise
Али есть то место, али его нет.
Could this place be real, alas perhaps not
Ай брусничный цвет, алый да рассвет
Oh, the cranberry scarlet
colour of the sunrise
Али есть то место, али его нет
Could this place be real, alas perhaps not

In spring thaw the orchard blooms to life
The winding river leads home to my wife
With flowers in her hair
She sleeps without a care
In Mother Russia’s golden morning light
But alas it’s just a dream
I wake up here at sea
On Khlebnikov breaking through the night

Ай, брусничный цвет, алый да рассвет
Oh, the cranberry scarlet
colour of the sunrise
Али есть то место, али его нет
Could this place be real, alas perhaps not
Track Name: Down Down Down
Down Down Down we go
Into the belly here far below
Through the kitchen & down the hatch
Past the boilers & the grease traps

Down Down Down we go
Don’t dare call this ship a boat
I dance with the crew on a steel floor
I haven't a care in this world no more

Down Down Down some more
Out of the light & far from shore
The polar bear with his yellow hide
The cigarette-stained frozen skies

Down Down Down
That poor old world above
Running so low on love
Down Down Down
Sailing through it’s melting tears
The glacier disappears

Down Down Down we go
With a bread crumb trail of pistachios
No one will find you or hear you shout
Lose your way & you'll never get out

Down Down Down we go
Out of minds and in from the snow
Vladimir turns 58 today
We eat sardines & celebrate

Down Down Down some more
The anchors slice the ocean floor
Don’t get caught whistling a tune
Or it's up and overboard with you

Down Down Down again
One last time, goodbye my friends
With a sailor's grip and a polar tan
Vertigo dreams of the motherland