Remy Rodden Gets ‘Involved’ in Music

It’s been 17 years since musician Remy Rodden recorded his debut “not for kids only” album, Think About the Planet, and he couldn’t be happier to be back in the Seaweed Studios in Porter Creek.

Rodden received a sound recording grant from the Yukon Film and Sound Commission and, so far, the working title is In the Hills.

Rodden, manager of Environmental Youth Programs in his other life, is still heavily influenced by the environment but, for this album, he draws his inspirations from all over.

“It’s pretty exciting to be back in the studio again, I’ve got a lifetime of material and it’s fun to be able to share that,” he said.

Although this will mark Rodden’s second LP, he hasn’t been completely out of touch with recordings, having done jingles in both French and English through the Canadian Wildlife Federation for National Wildlife Week.

“I’m not unfamiliar with the studio, but this time has been interesting because it’s material that hasn’t been specifically written in a topic area.

“As for material, things kind of accumulate over the years, but the main theme is the Yukon and Northern life.

“There are other things from my teenage writing that I could throw in there, but I wanted to keep it kind of thematically similar,” said Rodden with a chuckle.

There’s no shortage of material for Rodden to work with either, since he has enough for another environmental album, and if recording goes well enough in the studio, he said he may have time to record new songs.

Rodden has just got back from a two-week adventure in Antarctica, where he visited with a student expedition called “Students on Ice”. He held music and songwriting workshops with the kids. They spent time taking popular songs and changing the words, like, “These are a few of my Antarctic things”.

He said the experience was unlike anything he’s had the privilege of participating in.

“It’s partly due to the Antarctica trip that I’m really motivated to concentrate more on the music,” he says, explaining that just getting into the studio with even more ideas and time to focus helps.

The father of three boys claims he doesn’t consider himself to be “an accomplished instrumentalist”, but rather a vocalist and songwriter. He plays the harmonica, mandolin, trombone and the washboard. His instrument of choice, however, is the guitar, which he has played since the age of 16.

“It was thanks to the foresight of my mother, actually, who marched me into a music store when I was 16.

“I was just basically with her, in a single-parent situation, and she insisted on buying this guitar.

“I was being responsible, saying to her, ‘No, we can’t afford this,’ and everything else, and arguing against it but I finally said yes.”

It was between the ages of 16 to 18 when the songs were spilling out of him, with the common theme revolving around relationships. He said it was exciting: “I suddenly had a tool that I could write songs with.”

The tool, the talent and his passions have brought him from coast to coast to coast … and around the world; he can say he’s played in every continent with the exception of Australia.

Rodden will be performing at The Chocolate Claim on Friday, Jan. 29, from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m.

“Music is not a spectator sport; I like people to get involved; it’s not always what you’re looking for if you’re just going for a quiet coffee at The Chocolate Claim.

“But I do try to involve people and I move around a little bit, I don’t plug in or anything.

“At this one I’ll be playing a few of the environmental tunes, but some of the stuff that will be on the new CD as well. Maybe some ones from when I was 16, who knows,” he exclaims.

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