Chuck Hammer is an American guitarist and soundtrack composer, known for textural guitar work with Lou Reed, David Bowie, and Guitarchitecture. As an artist, Hammer is best known for his Guitarchitecture recordings, though he is also widely regarded as a leading NYC based soundtrack composer, having scored approximately 300 documentary films. He is currently developing a series of improvisational textural guitar recordings.
Hammer toured extensively as a textural guitarist with Lou Reed from 1978 through 1980. During these concerts Hammer utilized new guitar technology, known as guitar-synth, to orchestrate songs from Berlin, Street Hassle, The Bells and The Velvet Underground. It was during this time that Hammer developed an approach to composing and recording known as Guitarchitecture. Hammer recorded with Lou Reed on Growing Up in Public, January 1980.
In March 1980, Hammer recorded guitar-synth tracks with David Bowie on the album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), including multiple textures across “Ashes to Ashes” and “Teenage Wildlife”, both of which marked the earliest use of guitar-synth in Bowie’s catalogue. The actual instruments utilized on these tracks included a Roland GR-500 with Eventide Harmonizer and multiple analogue tape delays.
Textural tracks such as those on Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes” and “Teenage Wildlife” exhibited a highly experimental multi-layered, approach to recording and composing with the guitar. Hammer’s recordings with David Bowie represent one of the most influential and genre defining approaches to textural guitar layering. And are regarded as having opened the door to the textural guitar movement that followed.