There's Life On Broken Ground

by Bruce Rimell

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** Album download includes high-quality FLAC files and a 28-page PDF document with notes and images to accompany each track **

Broken Ground. An ambiguous phrase with two opposing feelings. On the one hand, it’s breaking new ground, the optimistic excitement of pushing forward into the future to find something fresh and different. On the other, it’s the pervasive sense that something fundamental has gone wrong, that the ground you walk on is somehow broken. But there’s life there, new and old, in those simultaneous feelings.

As the pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the world in autumn 2020, Bruce headed out to the wild places on his bike, and while cycling along some of the roughest terrain, he began to hear scraps of imagined melodies.

‘There’s Life On Broken Ground’ emerged from these fragments. Originally conceived of as a single composition, it steadily evolved into an album of inter-related ambient musical pieces in an episodic structure that allowed him to experiment with different genres – from piano piece to filmic soundscape, orchestral to drone – often within the space of a few minutes.

The emotional landscape changes too, from hopeful to sorrowful, from warm and sentimental at times to wintry and isolated, but similar refrains and melodies throughout pin the album into a single coherent movement.

“My main compositional guiding principle here,” Bruce says, “was to ‘break’ the music, giving the album’s title a third meaning. I’d set up some musical idea, develop it neatly, and then tear it down into something else. A rolling drone, sirens, storms, and even weird but subtle rhythmic interruptions break a number of the tracks, and the episodic structure was a good way of doing that.”

This way of making music means that ‘…Broken Ground’ moves from one musical style to another fairly quickly, and quick changes in mood make for a rollercoaster musical experience at times. Bruce also did not strive for absolute perfection with this album, either:

“It’s rough and ready in places, with occasional crackles and unexpected artefacts. That makes it a pretty accurate expression of that simultaneous ‘breaking’ and ‘broken’ I have been feeling this year. So I have left some of those noises be as they are, because they are as I am right now…”


released February 4, 2021

Bruce Rimell - composition, mix/master & artworks
(September to December 2020)

Deep thanks to:
Daniel Shepherd for his constant musical encouragement
Chris Rimell for being my brilliant husband


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Bruce Rimell Leeds, UK

British visual artist Bruce Rimell returns to ambient music after 13 years of silence.

Favouring meditative soundscapes, lilting melodies and beatless rhythms, his music is primarily oriented towards relaxation and stillness.

This site documents his ongoing re-emergence into the world of sound. Enjoy!
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