Oliver Schroer Hymns and Hers

In spite of fighting for his life, master violinist and teacher Oliver Schroer presents an uplifting, joyful new record. Diagnosed with a pre-leukaemia condition a year after releasing one of his most ambitious and acclaimed records, 2006’s Camino, Schroer has mostly been dealing with a terminal illness and concentrating on his health ever since. That said, his first order of business after being admitted to a Toronto hospital was to conceive of Hymns and Hers. Where Camino was a solitary effort with an ambient, atmospheric glow for accompaniment and a solemn tone, Schroer’s newest record is a testament to camaraderie, as he called upon a host of players and vocalists to contribute to a glorious fiddle record that rises and falls organically. New tunes and ideas gushed out of Schroer in the earliest days of his illness but, if they reflect any particular mood or state, here all is affirmative, if not reasonably contemplative. With soothing voices and gorgeous strings and guitars, Hymns and Hers is a deeply satisfying exhibition of Oliver Schroer in all his strength. (Big Dog Music)