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Doug Hammer & Amethyste | Secret World

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Amethyste Doug Hammer

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United States - Mass. - Boston

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental New Age: Neo-Classical Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Secret World

by Doug Hammer & Amethyste

Secret World is a collaboration between award-winning composer and pianist Doug Hammer and ambient thereminist Améthyste Spardel. The music is haunting and ethereal, creating a unique soundscape that hasn’t been heard before.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. The Ones We Leave Behind
Doug Hammer & Amethyste
7:18 $0.99
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2. Winter’s Last Goodbye
Doug Hammer & Amethyste
6:36 $0.99
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3. Crimson Sky
Doug Hammer & Amethyste
6:47 $0.99
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4. Raindrops
Doug Hammer & Amethyste
7:28 $0.99
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5. Desert Bloom
Doug Hammer & Amethyste
6:17 $0.99
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6. Crystal Water
Doug Hammer & Amethyste
3:33 $0.99
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7. El Dorado Wind
Doug Hammer & Amethyste
5:01 $0.99
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8. Moonflower
Doug Hammer & Amethyste
6:15 $0.99
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9. The Road Behind
Doug Hammer & Amethyste
5:19 $0.99
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10. Redemption
Doug Hammer & Amethyste
7:10 $0.99
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11. Wrapped in Hope
Doug Hammer & Amethyste
6:20 $0.99
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12. I Will Wait
Doug Hammer & Amethyste
5:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Secret World is a collaboration between award-winning composer and pianist Doug Hammer and ambient thereminist Améthyste Spardel. The music is haunting and ethereal, creating a unique soundscape that hasn’t been heard before.

Secret World emerged from their combined intention of creating something in the moment. Every note was improvised together, uniting piano and theremin, an ethereal blend of beauty, passion and hope.

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
I have been a big fan of Doug Hammer and his music since his 2007 solo piano debut, "Solace," and have always admired his “out of the box” thinking and creativity. His new release with Amethyste is a one-of-a-kind collaboration of improvised music on piano and theremin. The theremin is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist (performer).The instrument's controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas that sense the relative position of the thereminist's hands, and control oscillators for frequency with one hand and amplitude (volume) with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker. It has a rather otherworldly sound and can be very mournful and even spooky; it can also be very peaceful and serene. Amethyste has obviously mastered this unusual instrument and, paired with Hammer’s grand piano, it’s an effective and unique combination. Amethyste has worked on some of Hammer’s projects and vice-verse, but this is their first full-length project as a creative team - with promises of more to come.

In the liner notes, the artists say: “Secret World emerged from our combined intention of creating something together in the moment. Every note was improvised, born from an unconscious place; uniting piano and theremin, an ethereal blend of beauty, passion and hope.” They also say in one of the album’s promotional videos that the piano represents the earth and the theremin represents the sky or that the piano represents that which can be seen and the theremin that which cannot be seen. The album was recorded over a period of several months and resulted in about three hours of music to select from for the album.

Most of the twelve tracks are 5-8 minutes long, allowing plenty of time for the music to grow organically and evolve without being rushed. That the music was created in the moment is truly amazing. These two artists obviously understand each other extremely well and trust the other’s spontaneous creativity to the point that they were able to dissolve themselves into the music and allow it to freely unfold. It’s a very impressive project that richly deserves recognition and attention (and will provide hours of listening pleasure!). Give your ears a treat and allow yourself to be transported to a "Secret World"!
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Cathy Oakes

Reviewed By Enlightened Piano Radio
First, let me say that Doug Hammer’s music always makes me cry. And I very seldom cry about anything! It’s not a sad cry. The sheer beauty and raw emotion of his music touch my heart in a way that cannot be described with mere words.

Every musician fears that moment when they “peak” and find that they have written the best that they will write. When I wrote the review of “Heart,” I truly thought that Mr. Hammer had reached that peak. How could anyone write anything more beautiful than that? But he’s done it again! And not only has he equaled his immense creativity with “Secret World,” he has added the unbelievable, ethereal beauty of Amethyste’s theremin. Her precision and expression are flawless. In this work, Doug and Amethyste take an instrument made of wood and metal and a piece of electronic equipment and give them very human voices. That is true art!

The music of this CD was a collaborative, spontaneous improvisation. Improvising at this level is such an act of baring one’s soul. And the fact that these two highly talented, very creative musicians could do this together – in the moment, makes one wonder if they are two distinct people created from the same soul. The sheer genius of this work is amazing. In a promotional video, they say that the piano represents the earth and the theremin represents the sky. The music paints a most beautiful picture of the perfect joining of those two elements.

From the first mysterious, booming note of “The Ones We Leave Behind,” the opening track, you KNOW this is going to be good! The theremin joins in with a beautiful, soaring melody - evoking emotion from the very first moments of the piece.

In “Crimson Sky,” Amethyste uses the rich lower tones of the theremin to paint the vibrant colors of a sunset after a storm. Meanwhile, Mr. Hammer’s piano adds a sense of movement and changing shades. This is the piece that first caused me to physically hear their idea of “earth and sky.”

I love the echo effect of “Raindrops” - the theremin playing a phrase and the piano echoing that phrase back. They play back and forth like this for several moments, creating an audio ripple effect. Later in the piece, Mr. Hammer creates musical raindrops that trickle and sparkle up and down the keyboard.

The haunting melody of “El Dorado Wind” literally “got inside of me!” I felt it. It stayed with me for days at a time. It is so beautiful and mesmerizing. I could hear the wind singing through canyons. Again and again, I found myself going back to the place it led me by playing it over and over in my mind. This is without any doubt, my favorite piece on the CD.

The CD finishes with “I Will Wait,” which, to me, is a perfect depiction of the constant back-and-forth swing between patience and impatience that comes with waiting. But there is a hopefulness and even shades of joy weaving through this piece. It reminds me that even in waiting, there is joy in the journey. It is a beautiful reminder and a beautiful ending to an excellent grouping of 12 beautiful pieces.

The entire CD will take you on a journey lasting more than 70 minutes filled with incredible beauty and stirring emotion. But be prepared to engage yourself. This is no “background” music. It will reach inside you, pull you out of that place inside yourself and commune with you, leaving you beautifully changed for the better. Excellent work of art, Doug and Amethyste!

Once again, I find myself constrained by the five-star rating system. I would give this work 20 stars if I could. But I will stay with the system and give it 5++. VERY highly recommended. I hope we hear much more of this beautiful music created by two very creative minds and beautiful souls sharing one musical voice!
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