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Northern Ontario man yodels in tunnels and hopes his YouTube videos will make people smile


A Sudbury man from Europe is gaining national attention for his yodelling. He is known for performing in tunnels around town, while trying to bring happiness to those struggling during the pandemic.

Christian Howald, also known as The Lonesome Yodeler, has been practicing yodelling for about 20 years. He says it’s a way for him to pass on his legacy to his children.

“I was born in Switzerland. I am the youngest of six children. I moved to a farm in Verner and my mother always sang and yodled,” Howald said.

“But it was when I had my own kids that I started wanting to pass on the legacy…I traveled a lot and then sometimes they missed me so my wife would play them a song to help them get along. fall asleep. So we sang to them every night.

Howald says he jodes through tunnels and valleys because that’s where it sounds best.

“The sounds in there (are) so beautiful,” he said.

“It started with going kayaking with friends and then being in the valleys, they were like, ‘the sound here is really cool, you should sing.’ And then being invited to go urban kayaking where there are tunnels, that’s when we discovered that it was really cool.

He loves echoes of steel, but said echoes of cement sound the most beautiful.

Howald recently started uploading his videos to YouTube to spread happiness to those suffering during the pandemic. He said yodeling has helped him cope for the past two years.

“When I started having mental health issues I wasn’t singing anymore, my wife and kids noticed that,” he said. “The last two years have been very difficult for everyone and with all this tension it’s really difficult to breathe. That’s what I found with yodelling, it forces you to breathe differently… When I yodel or I listen to yodelling, it makes me happy.

Howald said he plans to explore other parts of northern Ontario where he can yodel — and continue spreading happiness.