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In this his twelfth album, Doug Hammer does not disappoint with the beautiful and intriguing Celtique, a solo piano juxtaposition of Celtic influenced pieces, where the piano is used to create the wonderful richness that is Celtic music.

Delightful and dreamy in parts, vibrant and full of life, powerful, strong and peaceful in others, the album is a wonderful composition of mood and movement which will enchant from beginning to end. Based about the life of a fisherman the album begins and ends with Celtique, completing the circle of a day on the seas.

Celtique (Daybreak) introduces the work with a delightful, gentle, melody immediately bringing to mind the grey white softness of misty morning as the fishermen get ready to head out for the mornings work, which slowly builds to a faster, more frenetic pace as the boats reach the open waters of the sea.

As with all Doug Hammers albums they contain the unexpected as is shown in Wandering Path, a complete change creating the mood of a gentle stroll along the cliffs edge or across the vastness of the moors: wandering along at times as if enjoying the moment, brisker as the pace increases, perhaps to lead towards an interesting object on the pathway. Or perhaps a cold drink at journey’s end.

Ancient Stones is a favourite track as it has been created in tribute to the majestic and wonderful rows of the standing stones of Carnac. The three fields – Ménec, Kermario and Kerlescan – contain around 3,000 aligned megaliths, which date from 4000BC and were dug out and erected where they stand in timeless witness to the world passing them bye. She Beckons is once again introduced with a gentle soft melody that quickly moves into a vibrant and playful dance rhythm which fits well with the previous track.

Each of the song titles chosen introduces the moments of the day with the glorious Wind And Waves, a perfect piece to create the vision of the sea beginning to rise, become choppy as the wind begins to stir the water, the day beginning to draw in, the fishermen beginning to point their boats towards a Safe Harbor, a piece with a refreshing, bright and energetic melody which perfectly completes the safe coming home.

A change of pace is created with Voices of the Past a hauntingly beautiful piece whereas Moss and Earth introduces a deep and sombre melody, before moving into a jaunty little rhythm that intrigues, as it once again changes to a full bodied melody and then changes back, yet again.

Celtique (Twilight) draws to close a day in the life of a fisherman, the evening drawing in, the mood gentle, slow and peaceful; a fitting and relaxed final piece.

Delightful, full of joy and peace, this work from Doug Hammer is unashamedly, beautifully Celtic!

Distributor CD Baby
Released September 2018
Running Time 59:94 secs
Artists Doug Hammer