Doug Hammer | Haiku

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental New Age: Solo Instrumental Moods: Featuring Piano
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Haiku

by Doug Hammer

Haiku, Doug Hammer’s ninth album, contains fifteen meticulously handcrafted songs, distilled to their essence.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Possibility
1:52 $0.99
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2. Flight
4:04 $0.99
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3. Wind
1:58 $0.99
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4. Glorious
3:27 $0.99
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5. Dancing
3:17 $0.99
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6. Hope
2:33 $0.99
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7. Sway
3:34 $0.99
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8. Haiku
4:16 $0.99
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9. Golden
3:36 $0.99
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10. New
4:07 $0.99
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11. Heartstring
2:42 $0.99
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12. Lost
3:30 $0.99
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13. Rise
4:23 $0.99
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14. Goodbye
3:39 $0.99
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15. Neverending
2:40 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Haiku, Doug Hammer’s ninth album, contains fifteen meticulously handcrafted songs, distilled to their essence.

Full of melody and emotion, they invite the listener on their own journey.

Simple, yet powerful, Haiku blossoms very gently, like a summer breeze, or a trickling stream.

Spacious but also dynamic, Haiku is filled with Doug Hammer’s signature playing.

Come experience Haiku.

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Haiku" is the eighth solo release by pianist/composer Doug Hammer (not counting his 2014 duet with Amethyste, "Secret World," or his inclusion in several compilations). In the crowded field of contemporary pianists, Hammer stands out as one of the best, whether he is playing a gentle, ethereal piece or letting loose in a honky-tonk or gospel style - Doug Hammer can do it all! As its title suggests, "Haiku" is mostly gently understated solo piano plus one piano and cello duet. Most of the fifteen original pieces are relatively short (2-4 minutes), perfect in their simplicity, expressing a wide variety of emotions and experiences. The piano sound is gorgeous, crystal clear and ringing in the upper registers with deep, rich bass in the lower end. This is wonderful music for relaxation, inspiration, and exceptional musical enjoyment!

"Haiku" begins with “Possibility,” a lovely piece that expresses optimism and anticipation - and then trails off at the dreamy end. “Flight” is fascinating. It starts out very simply with slowly repeated intervals, very gradually picking up speed as it continues to repeat the intervals. The simple melody weaves in and out as the intervals suggest the flapping of birds’ wings (there must be several birds flying together!). Near the end, the piece returns to the slower rhythm, ending with a gentle broken chord. “Wind” expresses a different kind of movement, swirling and dancing as it goes. “Glorious” has a quiet majesty that is punctuated by notes in the deep bass of the piano - a favorite. I also really like the poignant grace of “Dancing.” “Sway” is a bit of a surprise (a welcome one!) with its rhythmic funkiness. This isn’t a fast piece, but the joyful energy is infectious - love those deep bass notes! The title track has a Japanese flavor in its harmonies and simplicity. Very quiet and peaceful, it’s a beauty! “Heartstring” is an elegant and stirring duet for piano and cello (Velleda Miragias). Expressing inner peace as well as passionate emotion, piano and cello is one of my very favorite combinations! “Rise” is the longest track on the album, and also the most ambient. Very open and spacious, the easy flow gives the piece plenty of room to breathe. “Neverending” brings this excellent album to a quiet and tranquil close, leaving the listener feeling refreshed and uplifted.

Doug Hammer has created another truly exceptional piano album with "Haiku"! Very highly recommended!
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Steve Sheppard, One World Music Radio

Dip your feet into the water with Doug Hammers latest release Haiku
There is something so very calming about a Doug Hammer release, so it is with great pleasure dear reader I bring you this review on his latest work Haiku. This is a soothing album that has a great sense of ambience to it.
I enjoyed Doug Hammer’s release Heart, so with eager anticipation I pressed play, the opening piece is a teaser called Possibility. It is a light and easy piece to get us all in the mood for another journey of bliss.
For me that bliss started early, with this oasis of ambience called Flight. A gentle and easy beginning almost creating the space needed with each key, this stunning track had me floating in its space for the whole journey, there is a slow but a progressive build to this truly magnificent track, then it pulls back in order for you to enjoy the moment, truly wonderful indeed.
Next is another short piece called Wind and like the opener just short of two minutes, by the skill of his performance, Hammer has created a certain movement and energy in this composition that one could imagine easily an autumn wind blowing leaves from the trees, and those leaves travel down the street to this very music.
Glorious could be an apt work to sum up any Hammer release, but this time around it’s the header for this track, slower in pace and more thoughtful, we are treated to a powerful, but almost latent piece, however if you listen closely, you can hear the energy of this arrangement build throughout the song and this turns the composition therefore, into almost an anthem.
Now it’s time to change the mood slightly. Dear read and listener, this is a track called Dancing. Take your partner for a waltz across the floor perhaps? But here is another piece that starts off with a graceful poise and then slowly and very carefully moves into a composition that has that sense of movement and purpose about it. A real intent of power and emotion can be felt in the second half of the arrangement as well.
Hope, the track is up next, now here is a beautifully respectful moment of reflection, one can feel the real sense of depth here and a desire that things may one day all work out for the best, a really moving composition this one.
Well I did say we have quite a bit of movement in this album and to prove that point, enjoy this one called Sway. Here is a fine example of Doug Hammer’s ability and skill, with the piano he creates not only energy of swaying, but also a melody that will be remembered for ages.
So, we now move together into the second half of the album, and into the arms of the title track itself, Haiku. This is the part in the album where I hold my breath, the title track can be the make or break point of a release and sometimes a musician will fail to make the most out of the signature track off that the release. Not this time though, Haiku has an essence that reminds me in parts of Al Conti’s Blue Rose album from a few years back, but the arrangement has a beautiful flowing nature about it, it has many segments of great skill contained within it as well, so much can be found here for you to enjoy dear listener and Hammer has created a track of great fluency and poise that suits the subject matter perfectly.
Now we move to a piece called Golden. This is an interesting track; it has a deeper feel to it, but one that lifts constantly, perhaps to remind us to look up instead of down! The performance on this composition I found extremely relaxing, but layered with a heavy intent. This would be a superb track to watch a glorious sunset; in fact I think I may well try that!
So I talked about a sunset in the last paragraph, now we move to a piece called New, the performance is spot on, as a light and careful attention is paid here to an almost virgin like piece. The progression is slow and very careful, almost like a new born baby opening its eyes for the first time, then slowly gaining confidence to take in a bigger view of the world. The repeating segment at the middle of this piece then sees a definite shift in energy and what was once new is now proud to be a part of it all. Dear constant reader, this is one of the cleverest compositions off this album, make sure you listen to this many times; you won’t want to miss a thing.
Heartstring is now upon us, I would like to you to be prepared once more to be moved, the narrative in this composition is emotive, but has a certain level of experience and knowledge built in, but please listen for the delightful Cello of Velleda Miragias. The delightful interplay between the instruments in this track makes this one my personal favourites from the album, in my opinion it is both a very moving arrangement and a deeply meaningful one as well.
From the realm of the heart, we now get lost. I mean of course the track, Lost. A mournful repose here can be found, but also a vast area to just float in as well, that ambience we talked about much earlier is back dear reader, we have an arrangement that seems to drift back and forth in a mist of musical magic, and I absolutely loved it.
Something very special however can be found in the composition called Rise. From the very beginning of this piece we are lulled into a track that seems to be tentative, but this is almost deceptive, as Hammers style here is so well crafted, that the delicacy we first heard, soon turns into a masterful playing performance and we can all enjoy, it is a piece that is so gentle but played with such a depth of style and class.
Well it’s time to say Goodbye, but only in the essence of the fact that this is our penultimate track off the album. If Doug Hammer wanted to say farewell now, this would be the perfect track with which to do so, this is stunning. There is something very special about his style and performance that I adore listening to. This piece flows so smoothly it’s like watching the day time sky turn into darkness and a vast field of stars slowly appear, from the dying embers of the day, this is a beautiful piece indeed.
So now we are here, the last track off the album and time to enjoy one more moment, from the craftsman of the keys, Doug Hammer. This last piece is called quite appropriately Neverending. Almost a secondary farewell piece here, but one with a clever and subtle message, that perhaps says, that when the end is upon us, somewhere, somehow a new beginning will soon be with us again.
Haiku is a delightful album, I always enjoy a Doug Hammer release, but once again, he has pulled off another beautiful and meaningful release here. Hammer’s skill as an artist is his incredible ability to keep you riveted to the music. On this journey with him; we have enjoyed every little twist and turn along the way.
Doug Hammer fans will be eager to add this to their musical library, but those of you who have always wondered about the piano based genre of music, but have yet to dip your feet into the waters, Haiku and Doug Hammer would be a fine place to start indeed.
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