Kurt Swinghammer has established a unique presence on the Toronto arts scene as a singer/songwriter, session musician, composer for Film & TV, illustrator, designer and visual artist. In the mid 80’s he started to release his home recordings on a series of low edition cassettes. In 1986 he produced the first cassette by Ron Sexsmith titled There’s A Way, and has since co-written and toured with the celebrated artist. Kurt’s first CD, PoMo A GoGo, an eclectic selection of stylistically diverse pop songs, came out in 1991, and landed him the cover of NOW Magazine. His follow up was an experimental, instrumental collaboration with Andy Stochansky called Remote. In 2000 he independently released VOSTOK 6, an elaborate concept album about Valentina Tereshkova - the Russian cosmonaut who was the first woman in space. Mixed by multiple Juno Award winner Michael Phillip Wojewoda, the album was re-released internationally on Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records, and Swinghammer opened several of her tours in the US. His follow up in 2002 was Black Eyed Sue, a song cycle about a relationship set in current day Toronto which balanced light hearted humour with deeply personal confessions. In 2004 he was asked to record songs live for a CBC broadcast, and these were released as the solo acoustic CD Augusta - the name of the street he lived on for 13 years in Kensington Market.
Swinghammer’s interest in scoring film and TV projects consumed much of his time over the rest of the decade, and in May 2011 he released his long awaited concept album Turpentine Wind, produced by Michael Phillip Wojewoda. A song cycle inspired by Canadian painter Tom Thomson, the 12 song CD follows the trajectory of the artist’s life from birth in spring in Owen Sound, to his death in winter at the bottom of Canoe Lake. The CD is accompanied by a Bluray disc of ambient instrumental remixes set to painterly animations based on the WAV files of the digital recordings of the vocal tracks.
Maury LaFoy Bass
Kurt Swinghammer Lead Vocals / Guitar / Compositions
Mark Mariash Drums
David Matheson Keyboards