Chris Reimer 1986-2012

Updated February 26th: The cause of death has been given as complications related to Chris's heart condition. The funeral service is at 7PM on Wednesday February 29th, at Knox United Church, 506 - 4th Street SW Calgary. Full details here.

Chris Reimer – wonderful human being, incredibly gifted artist, and good friend – passed away Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 in his sleep. Chris suffered from a heart condition as well as other health issues. He was 26.

Chris is best known for his incredible and innovative guitar playing. In Chris's hands, a guitar was transformed into an orchestra of layers and unrecognizable sounds; watching him play would leave one stunned that he could make a guitar sound so otherworldly. As a member of the band Women, Chris contributed to two fantastic albums, and his distinctive musical voice can be heard all over both records; it's impossible to imagine either one without the soundscapes and atmospheric intervals that flow throughout and helped define the sound of that band.

Although he has left a huge impact on many people through his contributions to music, Chris will be best remembered by those around him for his wonderful presence. Chris left an impression on people all over two continents as he toured with Women and later with The Dodos, and people will remember his easy laugh, his generous nature and his wicked sense of humour.

Chris was also modest to a fault and fiercely self-critical. Many people probably knew him without knowing that he had played some of the world's greatest music festivals, or appeared on Jimmy Fallon – they just knew him as Reimer, the understated guy in a shabby parka who was sharp as a tack and always had a quick rejoinder.

It's impossible to overstate the impact that Chris's passing will have on his community, as he was greatly loved. The fact that he chose to stay in Calgary instead of moving to another music centre is a statement to his commitment to his friends and family, all of whom are in total shock about this utterly tragic and sudden loss.

Chris had been humbly amassing a catalogue of his own music over the last four or five years, and sometimes people around him would be lucky enough to get passed a simple CD-R with a word or two scrawled on top. In the hiss and crackle I can hear the unmistakable musical voice of Chris Reimer, an incredibly special individual and a much loved friend who will be missed by so many. We love you, Chris.

- Ian Russell

We were lucky to have one of Chris's songs on a compilation in 2010. Listen below.

Chris's sister also created a memorial blog here: Funeral details will be available soon.

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