Born Mark Robert Bruininga in The Hague (The Netherlands), Mark Robert was always surrounded by music as a child - from Mozart to Chopin, from Beatles to Golden Earring, from Count Basie to Frank Sinatra.
Mark started playing guitar as a teenager on an acoustic guitar borrowed from a friend in sixth grade. Around that same time, he learned the basics of piano from his mother and developed an early liking for piano ballads, blues and boogie-woogie. He absorbed the sounds of Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Fats Domino, Carlos Santana, Percy Sledge, Rory Gallagher and many other artists.
Playing and writing music remained a dedicated hobby as Mark directed his primary focus to a career in the Information Technology business. As part of a professional exchange program, he moved to the United States in 1987 and settled in the Washington, DC area.
Over the years, Mark was a member of several DC-area bands, currently as keyboardist and vocalist with the Kevin Marvelle Band. Prior to that he was a member of southern rock band Suspicious Behavior, bassist/vocalist with Zalerozza (a 9-piece band playing a variety of Latin music), and keyboardist/vocalist with the top-40 and Blues Brothers cover band, The Earthlings.
Mark is a promising songwriter who records demos in his modest home studio in Silver Spring, MD. He typically approaches the songwriting process from the music side with lyrics following. Mark's favorite style is playing piano ballads, drifting away into the instrument's tones and harmonics. In general, Mark is into many different musical styles, but he has a special liking for traditional blues and rock & roll, and for any piano-based music from Chopin to Dr. John to Oscar Peterson.
For an entire year, Mark took a break from his business career to realize a lifelong dream of making an album with his own songs. Thus started the "Faces" project under the guidance of producer Jon Carroll (of Mary Chapin Carpenter's band and of Starland Vocal Band fame), who was instrumental in transforming Mark's home studio demos into professional studio recordings.
The main purpose of this CD was to showcase Mark Robert as a songwriter.
The title "Faces" represents the wide variety of musical styles in Mark Robert's songs. Although mostly drawn to piano ballads (like "Anything you need"), this album also includes reggae, alternative/rock, and dance/funk songs. "Faces" also refers to the content of Mark's songs that mainly deal with the various dimensions and emotions of personal relationships.