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Doug Hammer | Heart

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United States - Massachusetts

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New Age: Solo Instrumental New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Moods: Featuring Piano
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by Doug Hammer

Heart, the emotional follow-up to Doug Hammer's award-winning album, Travels.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Heart (Piano)
4:01 $0.99
2. Spinning Sky
3:44 $0.99
3. Your Face in the Moonlight
3:33 $0.99
4. Heart Clock
3:04 $0.99
5. For Camden
4:10 FREE
6. Rain Clown
4:45 $0.99
7. A Piece of Home
4:06 $0.99
8. Peace for Martin
5:44 FREE
9. I Will Always Love You
5:21 $0.99
10. Arielle
4:00 $0.99
11. Newtown
4:55 FREE
12. Fly Away
2:37 $0.99
13. Shine Like the Stars
6:03 $0.99
14. All Is Calm
3:39 $0.99
15. Heartlight
3:53 $0.99
16. The Chimes Are Ringing
4:01 $0.99
17. Last Dance
3:32 $0.99
18. Heart
4:02 FREE
19. Heart (Epilogue)
2:01 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Heart, the long-awaited follow-up to Doug Hammer's award-winning album, Travels. An emotional tour de force, Heart showcases the full spectrum of the human heart.

Heart features 17 original new songs, including "A Piece Of Home" with lyrics. It also includes a poignant and powerful arrangement of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You".

Special guests Améthyste (vocals) and Velleda Miragias (cello) are featured on "A Piece Of Home", "Newtown" and the title track, "Heart".



to write a review


I had the pleasure to work with Doug for several years already and I have had the privilege to witness the beautiful and wonderful blossoming of this wonderful the artist of today. What distinctively highlights Doug's artistry is his ability to really capture his emotions into something tangible for us to dream to. His music is timeless and certainly resonates directly to the heart, leaving you with feelings of hope and soul soaring. This CD is immaculate on so many levels... You owe it to yourself to own such perfect compositions so that you can enjoy at any time of the day... or night.

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Heart" is the much-anticipated follow-up to Doug Hammer’s award-winning and critically-acclaimed 2011 release, "Travels." Greatly impacted by the tragic events in Newtown and the Boston Marathon bombings, the nineteen tracks are a loving tribute to those who lost their lives as well as a testament to the power of love. While this sounds like a potential downer, Hammer conveys the full spectrum of the human heart with his gentle (mostly), passionate (always) piano solos. Guest artists, vocalist Amethyste and cellist Velleda Miragias, add their own musical magic on three tracks. An intensely personal collection of original compositions (and one cover), "Heart" provides an emotional 78-minute retreat to a place of soothing warmth and loving kindness - something the world needs a lot more of!

"Heart" begins with the title track, a beautiful piece with a poignant melody and a steadily repeated left hand that conveys the beating of a heart - a very powerful opening. Hammer was thinking of time lapse photography of stars flying through the sky and the dizzying feelings of new love when he wrote “Spinning Sky.” He uses a rapid piano figure to suggest movement as well as a sense of urgency. The lyrical and very graceful “Your Face in the Moonlight” is a love song, pure and simple. Composed for his wife, it’s a slow dance from a dream. “For Camden” is one of two pieces Hammer has composed for a six-year-old boy who never had a chance. The loving tenderness that comes through the piece is a heartfelt and touching memorial. “Rain Clown” was inspired by a photo of a merry-go-round at nighttime in the rain. Very simple yet extremely haunting, the gentle, bittersweet melody expresses many emotions. “A Piece of Home” is the only piece with lyrics. Composed for Hammer’s parents, it’s a loving thank you from a grateful son. Amethyste obviously understood Hammer’s intentions with the song, as her emotional expression is perfect, as is Miragias’ cello. The one cover song is Hammer’s gorgeous arrangement of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” “Newtown” is quiet and simple, but achingly beautiful. Miragias once again adds the perfect tonal colors with her cello. Conveying profound sadness and loss, it is not without hope. A passage near the end of the piece becomes much bigger, with dark bass chords that gradually fade and return to the original theme - an amazing piece! “Fly Away” and “Shine Like the Stars” are both very spare and minimalist, overflowing with emotion and saying so much with so little. Both are favorites. “The Chimes Are Ringing” is quite different from the other tracks in that it is bright and celebratory. A reprise of “Heart” comes near the end of the album with vocalise by Amethyste as well as cello, adding new colors and even deeper emotions - stunning! The closing track is “Heart (epilogue),” which lightens the mood a bit and closes this amazing album with a gentle, understanding smile.

"Heart" is another spectacular achievement from Doug Hammer! Very highly recommended!

Cathy Oakes

From Enlightened Piano Radio
Even before the tragic events of Newtown, CT and Boston, MA, Doug Hammer knew that he wanted to make his next album one of deep emotion. But, being the father of boys who were 7 and 9 at the time, the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary became very personal to Doug and he began a journey that even he did not foresee. And so soon after the Newtown event, came the Boston Marathon tragedy. This hit way too close to home for this Boston boy!

I had the privilege of talking with Doug as I was writing this review. He was generous enough to spend some time with me on the phone and confirm what I thought I was hearing through his music. He shared the inspiration behind specific pieces and his hopes for what they portray to the listener.

He did not set out to do a “tribute” album. And yet, as he worked his way through the emotional upheaval of the Newtown and Boston events, along with a grieving nation, that is what began to take shape. But Doug had a unique perspective that he wanted to portray. He was guided by something his father once told him, “No one wants to hear the 11:00 news told through music!” And so, Doug set out to bring tribute to the fallen and yet, portray hope. This is evident in the fact that most of the songs on this album are in major keys. His feelings and inspirations are enhanced by the golden notes of guest vocalist, Amethyste and cellist Velleda Miragias.

I must admit that this album touched me in a way that I have never been touched by any other music. The writing of this review took much longer than I expected. I became so emotionally engaged with the music that I found it difficult to “step away” enough to actually write the review. For me, this album is an emotional experience that begins with the first note and continues through the last. It is so significant to me that the album begins and ends with “Heart.” It is a tribute to the human experience – the joys, the sorrows, the love, the gratitude, and yes, the tragedy. And yet, it begins and ends with the character of the human heart, beating in a never-ending rhythm underlying all the goings, comings and emotions of everyday life. And in the end, hope reigns eternal.

At the beginning, I could not isolate any of the pieces from the whole, the total experience. But as I listened, many times over, I began to hear the character of individual pieces.

Heart has a beautiful, poignant melody that sings above the steady, rhythmic “beating” of a heart played in the left hand. Spinning Sky was conceived as Doug sat at Joe Bongiorno’s piano in Seattle, playing with a melody and watching the stars through a window. He says that it reminds him of the time-lapse photography of the beautiful skies. Your Face in the Moonlight is a lyrical love song written for his wife while they were in France. It has an almost hauntingly beautiful melody. For Camden is a tribute to a young, innocent life that ended much too soon. It is a beautiful, child-like melody that touches the soul. A Piece of Home is a gorgeous and heart-warming tribute to Doug’s parents. Great depth of emotion is expressed by the vocals of Amethyste in this piece. Peace for Martin was a song that Hammer did not want to write. But his conscience compelled him to pay tribute to this tiny fallen hero of the Boston Marathon bombing. The only cover piece on this CD, I Will Always Love You is a lovely arrangement of Dolly Parton’s beautiful song. Arielle conveys an innocence. It is playful, yet emotional in its dance-like quality. Perhaps the most difficult piece for me to get through without simply sobbing was Newtown. Doug says that this was the most difficult song he has ever written or arranged. It portrays a beautiful innocence and life just going about its daily business in small-town America. And then (with the strong chords in the bass) in one horrible moment, life is changed forever. At the end, life slowly resumes - but not quite the same. But despite all, hope returns. Fly Away is a totally improvisational piece, done in one take – unchanged. Shine Like the Stars, All Is Calm and The Chimes Are Ringing are pieces inspired by Newtown, Ct. But they are meant to portray the hope that remains. Last Dance expresses the joys and sorrows of life with it’s meandering from major to minor keys. But it also expresses Hammer’s conviction that life is fleeting and we should each treasure every moment. And finally, we return to Heart, but this time with cello and vocals. This piece is so beautiful as a piano solo. But the cello and vocals add a depth of expression that is beyond telling.

Doug said, “I almost put the CD on hold for a year while I was recording it. I did not intend to write 6 songs about Newtown, only the one. I did not intend to write Peace for Martin, but it came out anyway. I had two choices: honor what was coming through me or shelve it and live with what comes from that.” Doug, we, your listeners are ever so thankful that you chose to honor your creative process and those you have paid tribute to through this beautiful album!

VERY well done, Mr. Hammer! VERY well done, indeed! If I could give this album 12 stars, I certainly would. But, alas, I find myself confined to our 5-star system. And so, I rate this CD a very definite 5 ++ out of 5! I highly recommend this CD with a warning: Be prepared for the experience. And be prepared to listen, not only with your ears, but also with your “Heart!”