While I might take issue with Mark Bruland's claim of his music as "ambient", a term coined by Brian Eno for a sound and approach that's not really the equivalent of 'ambiant', I won't argue that BEEing Human is atmospheric and indeed suggests pastoral ambiance throughout. As opposed to the Enossification of things, Bruland's piano-dominated music is very much in line with William Akkerman's hallowed old Windham Hill label, the kind of thing that would go well with Phil Aaberg, George Winston, maybe some Scott Cossu, and others but with a deal more good-humoredness involved. Some cuts, OMS Child being one, followed by Eclair (both refer to his daughters), are quite reminiscent of Randy Newman's soundtrack work, very noticeably so. On the other hand, tracks like Richard's Horn are indeed quite ambient, so……
All of those people were influences, you see, and when Bruland decided to chuck a successful 25-year run as a food industry executive and farm instead, making music avocationally, he manifested the sounds which most appealed to him, indexing admired gents quite nicely into his own voice (and, yep, I can even detect the James Horner angle). So, this disc is neither Keith Jarrett nor Dr. John, but it's definitely non-cheezoid (as too much of another of Bruland's influences was: David Arkenstone) and not really New Age, though the cover might seem to suggest it, very relaxing with just a bit of classical grounding. BEEing Human is music for putting on in the background while you take a seat on the porch and watch the sun head for the horizon, skies darkening, insects setting up their nighttime buzz, with the dogs heading back homewards for a good meal and nocturnal rest.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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