ABOUT: A lifelong artist and musician, Steve Brand originally recorded and released in the experimental realm under the name “Augur,” with more than 20 limited edition releases on various independent labels. In 2003, Steve began creating in the “ambient” genre under his own name. He describes this change in moniker and musical expression as “Part of the process of moving out of my head and more into my heart.” Since then, Brand has issued a number of self-released disks, as well as a number of solo and collaborative releases on the esteemed U.S. labels, Hypnos and AtmoWorks, and the Italian label, Afe. Instruments used in Brand’s music include keyboards, field recordings, various flutes, whistles, zither, ocarina, voice, medicine drum, shakers and rattles, various bells, kalimba, prayer bowls, kora, gongs. Along with John Koch-Northrup and Geoff Small, Brand helps run the relaxedMACHINERY label as Art Director/Designer and Chief Boat Floater.
- Selected tracks have been featured on Stephen Hill’s nationally syndicated radio show “Hearts of Space” on 7 occasions (October 2007 “Darkwater” edition, August 2008 “Reading the Bones” edition, July 2010 “Heatwaves” edition, October 2010 “The Crossing” edition, May 2011 “Timescapes” edition, August 2011 “Desert Solitaire” edition, February 2012 “Supernatural” edition), and continues in rotation on SomaFM’s DroneZone, StillStream.com and Reneé Blanches “Nights Tides.”
- July of 2009, Brand’s AtmoWorks release, “Because We Were Once Covered In Gold,” was honored as the “Featured Album of the Month” on StillStream.com.
- In January of 2010, his Hypnos Secret Sounds release, “Children of Alcyone” was named one of Star’s End’s “Top 15″ for January 2010.
- Steve’s 2010 Relaxed Machinery release, “Circular Scriptures” was one of PingThings “Top 10” for 2010.
- “Avatara,” released on Hypnos Records in April, 2010, was named as one of Stars End “Top 10″ for July and August of 2011, and Galactic Travels “Top 20″ for December, 2011.
- “Catalyst,” the June 2012 Relaxed Machinery release, was on the WVKR-FM “Secret Music Top 20″ for the month of August.
- Brand was the #2 “Top 30 Artists by Listeners” on the Drone Zone/SomaFM charts for the week of November 17, 2012, and the week of January 5, 2013.
- His Hypnos Secret Sounds releases, “Bridge To Nowhere” and “Children Of Alcyone,” were on Dave Butler’s “Spectral voyages” (on KRSC Kentucky) “Top 20” for April 2012.
- Steve’s music can be found on CDBaby, Bandcamp, iTunes, Napster, Amazon, eMusic, etc.
REVIEWS: Steve’s music has been described as “ambient,” “tribal,” “ritualistic,” “a direct link to our ancient, and arcane ancestry,” “…not mere music, but an almost shamanic attempt at deconstructing our interpretation of reality, by connecting us to an anti-technological, primal psyche,” and “Brand has tapped into a sound or feeling that’s at the core of all things, a universal essence.” Hypnos Records says of Steve, “(he has)…quickly established himself as one of the more interesting and distinctive artists working in ambient music…”
PERSONAL BACKGROUND: In addition to his sound work, Brand is a Reiki Master and visual artist. He is committed to the idea that, “art/music, more than being just an object for sale, is actually a fluid and transformative process that opens us up to new possibilities that create the potential for healing spiritually and physically, and connects us via it’s roots in our common ancient past—it’s wellspring in the depths of our larger selves. The results of this creative process can be sound maps of/to lost and uncharted realms of Being. Having said all this, I understand perfectly that some are more comfortable with ‘who-what-where’ biographies from artists. Why. Where is the passion and personal risk in that. I feel that when at it’s best, creativity doesn’t take a dispassionate, neutral or risk-free stance. Instead, I choose to make the very personal and active effort to reach into the gray areas of feeling, intuition, passion and the unknown—in doing so, I make music that is intended to facilitate expansion and healing.”