ABOUT

Kurt Swinghammer is a Canadian musician and visual artist based in Toronto. He has sustained dual creative careers exploring a wide range of styles, mediums and media, while balancing personal projects and commercially oriented work.

photo by Lisa McIntosh, The Great Hall, 2016

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21 things Culturally Engineered by Swinghammer


Ron, Lori & Kurt photo by Eden Robbins

Co-wrote with lyricist Ron Sexsmith the album Sexsmith Swinghammer Songs by Lori Cullen, released on True North Records, 2016.

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First Artist in Residence at the National Music Centre in Calgary, 2012. Recorded 35 vintage electronic instruments from the CANTOS Collection for the album Another Another, mixed by Michael Phillip Wojewoda. To be released in 2017.

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Composed the scores for multiple episodes of David Suzuki’s The Nature Of Things

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Live solo performance recorded at the Concert For St. Stephens with Daniel Lanois, Bruce Cockburn, Jane Siberry and Molly Johnson. Released on CD in 2012 on True North Records.

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Independently released Turpentine Wind in 2011, a song cycle inspired by the life and work of landscape painter Tom Thomson. The Michael Phillip Wojewoda production Includes a Bluray of original animations set to 5.1 instrumental remixes, and an extension of the project is a body of 500 8”x10” paintings based on the WAV files of the vocal tracks. Kurt and his band of Maury Lafoy, David Matheson and Mark Mariash, performed the album with interactive video projections by Justin Stephenson at The Music Gallery in Toronto. CBC Radio recorded the concert for national broadcast.

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Guest art instructor at The National Ballet School of Canada,  2007

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Played on Serena Ryder’s If Your Memory Serves You Well, her first major label release and certified Canadian Gold Record, 2006. Produced by Steve McKinnon, Kurt joined the core band of Kevin Breit, Gary Breit, Russ Boswell, and the legendary Doug Reily.

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Guitarist in Peter Murphy’s band for European dates. Murphy later came to Toronto to co-write with Swinghammer, which resulted in a song on the former Bauhaus frontman’s Shattered CD, 2004. They also co-wrote a song that was recorded for a Bauhuas reunion album that was shelved over eternal band conflicts.

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Composed the score for the horror film Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed, directed by Brett Sullivan, 2004. Released on CD by Outside Music. Due to the sequels’ cult following and the support of hard core goths everywhere, this has rather surprisingly turned out to be one of the most  successful Swinghammer albums.

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Designs for the Sam The Record Man chain including T-Shirts, a font called SAM for all in-store signs, the shopping bag, and the Sam’s sponsored Zamboni at Maple Leaf Gardens, which Kurt turned into a Big Daddy Roth inspired hotrod complete with a flame job and scoop. It was a big hit with Leaf fans, and Kurt was asked to do the treatment a second time when the first customized Zamboni was retired. Back in the day one in three records sold in Canada were from a Sam’s. Kurt bought his first single at the Yonge Street Store when he was seven.

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Won Local Guitarist Of The Year from NOW Magazine’s People’s Choice Awards, 2001.

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VOSTOK 6 – a concept album about Valentine Tershkova, the first woman in space, released internationally on Ani Difranco’s Righteous Babe Records in 2000. Kurt was opener on Difranco tours in the States and plays on the To The Teeth album which includes contributions from Prince and Maceo Parker.

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Performed with Wild Strawberries on the first Lilith Fair tour in 1997. Appears on the CD Lilith Fair: A Celebration Of Women In Music, Vol. 1. Jammed with Sarah McLachlan onstage, and was dissed by Jewel off.

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Designed a sculptural set for contemporary dancer Peggy Baker’s In A Landscape (1995), choreographed to the John Cage piano piece.

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Set designer for MuchMusic’s award winning Intimate & Interactive with Joni Mitchell in 1994. Kurt painted a huge scrim as a Van Gogh inspired Turbulent Indigo sky hung above a prairie horizon line filled with 200 sunflowers flown in from California.

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Illustrated the children’s book My Stompin Grounds: the songs of Stompin Tom Connors, for Doubleday, 1992. Publicity around the release included an invitation to Stompin Tom to appear on the late night CBC talk show Friday Night Live with Ralph Benmurgui. Connors demanded a $10,000 fee, which was declined. Kurt was asked to appear in his place, and performed Canada’s Sweetheart, his ode to figure skating legend Karen Magnussen. He was joined by The Shuffle Demons and the Matt Zimball-led house band on the song, and Magnussen joined Kurt for an interview with Benmurgui.

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Cover story of NOW Magazine with the release of his first CD PoMo A GoGo, on Fringe Product, 1991. Kurt quit the last part time job he’s had just a week before appearing on the cover. The job was delivering NOW Magazines.

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Art directed the 1989 Maestro Fresh Wes videos Drop The Needle (Juno Award Video Of The Year) and Let Your Backbone Slide (MuchMusic Best Hip Hop Video Award and first Canadian Rap Top 40 hit).

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Created the original hand painted wardrobe and album covers for The Shuffle Demons. Art directed their video Out Of My House Roach, 1988.

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Large painting “King and Jarvis” purchased by The Canada Council Art Bank in Ottawa in 1987 for their permanent collection.

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Arranged and Produced the first full-length Ron Sexsmith independent cassette release There’s A Way, 1986. Ron holds no grudges and the two remain close friends.

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