Release Date: April 28, 2023
When a musician becomes a fan of another musician's music, things can happen in extraordinary ways. In matters of life circumstances, social media, and a combination thereof, Doug Hammer became acquainted with Stephan Eicher.
Swim To America Vol. 1 (une rétrospective Stephan Eicher au piano) is the first of three volumes of music Doug plans on releasing this year, covering tracks from the Eicher catalog. It is the 16th release for Doug.
Doug's interpretation of the Eicher compositions encompasses the thirteen tracks of this large-scale project for volume one. Covering one's tunes would be the easier route. However, the artistry and musical intelligence of Mr. Hammer takes the road less traveled. The level of difficulty covering someone's music your way takes tremendous patience and creativity. Taking each piece as an inspiration and springboard to jump off, the process begins with respect and love for the music you are paying tribute to.
That fact becomes evident from the first track to the last of this release. Remember that this is only the piano, nothing else supporting Doug. There are 13 tracks of purely instrumental music falling squarely into contemporary instrumental, influenced strongly by the classical and new age. Then again, classical music has been here on this earth for so long that it only makes sense that everyone is influenced by it in some manner, musically speaking in general terms.
However, because many tracks hold such beauty and a relaxing ambiance, I must give new-age music much credit as a vital underpinning, reflecting the artist's original intent. It is a show of respect and joy for the music. And it celebrates both artists at the same time.
That is a beautiful thing to witness and hear. It also creates some curiosity for listeners to seek out the background and music of the celebrated artist Stephan Eicher more in-depth. The length of the tracks is just right, not too long nor too short. Doug Hammer uses all his tools to create beautiful music from an admired composer and makes it his own. That is a more remarkable tribute than just covering the compositions. He breathes new life into the music following his intuition and heart, and it works out beautifully. One creation blossoms into another, and that is how it should work.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder
May 12, 2023
01. Ce peu d’amour 4:00
02. Cendrillon après minuit 4:15
03. Déjeuner en paix 3:26
04. Für Immer 3:43
05. 1000 Vies 3:18
06. Je te mentirais disant 3:30
07. Manteau de gloire 4:30
08. Swim to America 3:21
09. Autour de ton cou 3:13
10. Si tu veux (Que je chante) 2:54
11. Djian's Waltz 3:20
12. Prisonnière 2:43
13. Nocturne 3:17