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Hermes Orchestra — Live
(New England Records 9-60212, 2003, CD)

by Roel Steverink, Published 2007-03-01

Live Cover artDan Hermes is a jack-of-all-trades and music is just one of his passions. On this album professionally trained musicians play the compositions of Dan Hermes. All this was performed live at the Tremont Theatre in Boston. Instruments involved are piano, guitar, clarinet, flute, cello, bass, and drums. Keyboards are the conspicuous absentees. I detect a clear basis of classical music, which forms the starting point from where the improvisations can freely take off. Molly Eckman (flute) and Christine Hatch (clarinet) give impressive, sensitive demonstrations of their playing skills. Cello pops up on the very classical (but not without improvisational moments) layered “Quartet: mov. II.” The piano of Hermes himself is the spill that all the other instruments circumvent; always present, working together with flute, clarinet and acoustic guitar, all backed by an tight bass-drum section. In David Patterson’s electric guitar playing I hear hints of Gary Moore’s blues, the latin master Santana and even the doleful, but spicy Iconoclasta. Recommended.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Hermes Orchestra

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Premier of New Echo Us Video

From the press release:

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.

“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.

“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)

As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.



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