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CD REVIEW: Oliver Schroer - Camino
By Francesco Emmanuel - 04/26/2006 - 09:07 PM EDT

Artist: Oliver Schroer
Album: Camino
CD Review: When I opened the envelope that contained this CD the first thing that struck me was the cover – a long winding road through a forest hillside. I put in the album, pressed play - and from the first note, I knew it was going to be good. A lone violin, playing high notes in G major, resonating with such a natural reverb, like that of a hall, or better yet, a church!

Violinist Oliver Schroer has taken a journey of a lifetime. Along with his wife Elena and friends Diane and Peter, Oliver and company set out in May 2004 to walk the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrim trail that stretches across France and Spain. These four friends walked 1,000 km in just two months.

They packed what was necessary; Oliver packed a violin and a portable recording studio. The music that was inspired by this journey was recorded in churches and cathedrals along the way. Whenever he found a church that had the right acoustics, he’d play. He played for many people; at times he played for just a single listener. All in all 25 churches sing praise to Oliver’s playing, and add their ambience to this beautiful recording.

This music is so contemplative; it’s very soothing and yet haunting at times. A lone violin, nothing else, no other instruments, just a violin player in a church.
The mood of the song varies with the key it is played in. There is on this album an equal number of songs played in major and minor keys. There are short pieces featuring the sounds of the church, birds chirping, children passing by, they all add to the feel of the album, a journey through a place untouched by the passage of time.

The amazing photography that graces each page of the CD booklet, as well as the front and back CD cover was taken by none other than Oliver’s traveling friends, Diane and Peter, while Oliver played, his friends took photos. The result is Camino, an album resonating with texture, and a 28-page booklet of Peter Coffman’s photographs, with text by Peter and Oliver, perfectly designed by Michael Wrycraft.

It is worth noting that Oliver has written and composed all the material on this record, he has a wealth of experience both as a solo artist/composer, and also as a collaborator. Oliver has shared the stage with many renowned musicians during his career; he has toured North America and Europe, he has played on over 100 albums of new traditional, acoustic and popular music. Oliver himself has composed over 1,000 pieces and has recorded eight albums previous to Camino. He also produced over thirty records, eight of which have been nominated for Juno awards.

On his latest effort, Oliver Schroer’s Camino – the road, leads us all to his sonic temple of music.
Publicity: Last Tango Productions 416-538-1838

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