Harlan Mark Vale
Gig Seeker Pro

Harlan Mark Vale

Prescott, Arizona, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1973 | INDIE

Prescott, Arizona, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1973
Solo Jazz New Age




"Meet a bright angel"

Some artists have the ability to create a world of sound for the listener. A world where the mind is free and there are no boundaries. When you put this music on, you don’t have to meditate to meditate. Your mind drifts along, either you want it or not. Harlan Mark Vale’s solo piano album Bright Angel is that special kind of music. With a few gentle strokes on the piano keys, he takes you into this magical world of sound. It is a warm and beautiful sphere, filled with angels and light.

But don’t get me wrong; Bright Angel is not an easy album. It demands attention. There is a lot of improvisation in Harlan Mark Vale’s piano works, and you have to tune your ears to it. This is not background music. But when you take the time to listen - to explore the world of the angels - you are rewarded.

The title track, Bright Angel, is the perfect introduction to Vale’s style. The first sharp tones grip your attention at once. For the first 4 minutes you can hear and feel the improvisation; it is like a river of sound. I guess this is where a few listeners will quit, because of the lack of melody and consistency. But if you close your eyes and let your subconsciousness do the work, you will see that this is not random notes. Suddenly more and more elements of a melody emerge. And when it does, your mind reacts. The intertwining melodies on this first track are truly beautiful, and the piano sounds divine; the last 3 minutes are tones from heaven itself.

Track number two is called Buddha Temple. The first seven minutes are gentle and you can hear some Asian influences in the use of sharp and flat notes. For me it is like seeing the Buddha Temple manifest itself out of a fog. The structure is built by 4 minutes of powerful melodic elements. The piano is beautifully played, and definitely shows how talented Harlan Mark Vale is. The ending is quiet. Suddenly the Buddha Temple disappears into the fog it came from.

World of Good is track number 3. The atmosphere is positive and light from beginning to end, so it is easy to understand why it has such a name. Most of the song is played in a gentle way, but some parts in the middle are more powerful. The song ends with a pleasant shower of tones. Warm and uplifting at the same time.

Decisions & Fate is a dramatic song. Some elements are dark, other lighter. Here is room for the feelings of both defeat and greatness. It is interesting to hear how fast Vale can change from one theme to the next.

Track number 5, The White Phase, is like a winter day. You can almost see the falling snow and feel the cold on your skin. But it not a dark song; it has a positive vibe. After all, winter is only sleep and not death. Soon spring will come knocking on the door. This is what I feel this song is communicating.

The last part of the album is the Intuition Suite. It is divided into three songs; Delivered Fresh From Eternity, Touched By Infinite Possibility and Manifestations of the Heart. Here Harlan Mark Vale goes much deeper into his artistic project. The three tracks have the same form; an intro with improvisation, and then beautiful melodic elements. There is a weightless feeling here, which make them perfect for meditation and relaxation. I just have to point out the great sounding names on these tracks. They are very poetical, don’t you agree?

The quality of the recording is very good. You can hear that it is not a studio recording. But I think that this gives the album a more authentic feeling. After all, piano music is live music.

Bright Angel is not uncomplicated or easy. But at the same time it is perhaps the most relaxing music I have ever heard. When you buy this album, you are not only getting beautiful music – you are also getting an instant meditation kit; press play and your mind takes off. Since large parts of the songs are improvisation, the replay possibilities are almost endless. You don’t get tired of these songs easily - and when you are finished listening, you know that you have been touched by an angel. http://newagemusic.nu/ - News 2008-08-02 by btfas

"Harlan Mark Vale: Bright Angel"

Harlan Mark Vale: Bright Angel
2008 (CD, 77:18); independent release
Style: Ambient/jazz/new age
Sound: **** Composition ** Musicianship: ***1/2
Performance: ***1/2 Total rating: 13

I'm always intrigued by musicians whose works are inspired by visual stimuli. In this case, pianist Harlan Mark Vale presents six lengthy, spontaneous ruminations on the Grand Canyon's majesty and serenity. Can Vale help the listener "feel and hear" what he sees? It's easy enough to go along with the notion of this album serving as a soundtrack to Mother Nature's special handiwork, but the beautifully introspective quality of this music should not be limited to one vista in the mind's eye.

Vale's compositions certainly conjure the feelings of awe and reverence, and occasionally (as during some of his more active "flourishes") joyous inspiration. Bright Angel most definitely carries a spiritual vibe, reflected in some of Vale's song titles (the title track of course, "Buddha Temple" "Intuition Suite"). But this is far from saccharine lullaby music; a certain transcendent honesty abides throughout, inviting serious introspection.

The three-part, 24-minute "Intuition Suite" closes this disc with some of Vale's more experimental/unstructured musings. Close your eyes, open your ears ... what do you see? - John Collinge - Progression Magazine

"Harlan Mark Vale - Bright Angel"

Harlan Mark Vale - BRIGHT ANGEL: If you've been reading this 'zine since it started back around 1990, many of you know that I've been playing music with this gent off/on since the late 1970's... Mark & I met up in Olympia, Washington & have been making strange (& sometimes beautiful) sounds ever since. I've reviewed many of his synthesizer/drum works along the way, & can tell you that this piano excursion is (clearly) a "return to his roots"... it is, quite simply, the best playing I've ever heard him do. Highly inspired acoustic keyboard compositions and improvisations that easily shunt all the other "new age" (& often uninspired) works from other players to the side. Vale has always been a creative, in so many ways they can't really be itemized here... the titles on this album are evidence... "Delivered Fresh From Eternity" & "Touched By Infinite Possibility", just to name a couple... but what becomes even more clear as I listen through the radiant light-strewn and full-bodied chords of "The White Phase" (my favorite on the album)is that Mr. Vale has transcended earlier musical pathways and (now) joined the players who are truly universal in their ability to act as a channel for the spirit inside them! In/through this piece I'm transported backwards to a journey I once took through the end-channel (yes, I do mean an OBE) & am able to feel the same warmth I felt at the end of that tunnel... without doubt, Mark is in touch with the spirits that escort you to the higher plane & source of all light. His earlier influences (improvisation, jazz & progressive) are reflected brilliantly here, too, which makes the album so much more enjoyable than many solo piano excursions. I rate this a definite MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, and also declare it to be the "PICK" of this issue for "best inspirational piano" CD! Get more information at http://brightangelcd.com/ Rotcod Zzaj http://zzaj.freehostia.com/Z83Reviews.htm - Improvijazzation Nation

"House of Many Mansions"

There is almost no improvisation in new age music today, even though the genre itself was created out of freeform jazz and Tony Scott’s legendary jam session – resulting in the groundbreaking album Music for Zen Meditation (1964). In the world of digital audio workstations (DAWs) and virtual synths, there is simply not much room for this, due to the way music is carefully constructed.

But in Harlan Mark Vale’s brand new album, The House of Many Mansions, there is plenty of space and room for improvisation. With a few mostly improvised notes, master pianist Vale fills all the rooms of the mansions with music, expression and colors. He shows that improvisation is the key to truly divine music.

I must admit that Vale’s previous solo piano effort, Bright Angel, is one of my all-time favorite titles. I make sure to always have it with me, on my iPod, living room CD-player, PDA and PCs. I love it for the way it creates a world of its own in sound while I listen to it – much like Tony Scott’s album mentioned above. This year’s release is a little warmer and brighter than…well… oddly enough (refering to the name), Bright Angel.

It is always a good idea to listen to what an artist says about his or her album. Harlan Mark Vale says:

The House of Many Mansions was inspired by the metaphor that each ‘mansion’ is another aspect within the “dwelling places” of consciousness. These portraits of the infinite interior life are the sweet fragrances of the Divine Mystery embodied in us all.

I think it is wonderful to find an album that is so close to the artist’s intention. The opening track Doors of Surrender is like an album in itself; the 12min30sec long piece is like a walk into a dream mansion, where you go through a door and an enormous, beautifully decorated hall (in red and gold, like the cover), only to find a new door is waiting at the end of the hall. It is simply marvelous, an outstanding performance by a master at work. Since it is improvisation, that’s what it is; a performance just as much as it is a track on an album.

Track two is the title track. It is highly melodious and positive, with a very nice, 7 minute long build-up. The best word to describe it would be “colorful”. Another simply amazing song is the enigmatically named Forgiveness – Allowing the Circling Planes to land – which is not surprisingly the most dramatic song on the album. And yes, the plane lands safely after some quite heavy turbulence.

Harlan Mark Vale’s albums are never easy listening, and that is also the case with the House of Many Mansions. It is not background music, but demands active listening.

But it is worth it; this album has given this reviewer one of the most rewarding listening experiences ever. I find that there is this almost magical quality to Vale’s music that just captivates the listener. Even if you are not into solo piano music at all, you will experience that the House of Many Mansions is something quite different. Give it a go, and you’ll might get a glimpse of the Divine Mystery. Hearing truly IS believing.

Sample the album here. It is available in high quality FLAC or 320k mp3 (and other formats as well). Click here to visit Harlan Mark Vale’s homepage.
http://www.newagemusic.nu/house-of-many-mansions/ - BT Fasmer

"Unsolicited Review via Email"

Aloha Harlan,

I received your CD submission and was very impressed by your compositions and sound quality on "Bright Angel". I have listened to it several times. I have received many piano submissions over the past few years and I only play a small percentage of what I receive on the Smiling Ear. I have chosen "Bright Angel", "Buddha Temple" and "Intuition Suite III, Manifestation" for the Smiling Ear play list.

Producing and performing a successful piano only CD is in my opinion, one of the most difficult undertakings by a musician. You have created a beautiful body of work that is both completely relaxing and inspirational. In each of your compositions you have created a unique place or setting, and then take the listener on a gentle journey which allows the imagination to explore and wonder. The variations of tonal scale and contrast throughout your CD invokes visions of dancing light on water, amorphous cloud formations and majestic landscapes.

I would recommend "Bright Angel" as the perfect background for relaxing and melting away the stresses of the day, meditation and yoga exercises, and creating a peaceful atmosphere for doing creative work.

Again, I would like to commend you on the excellent sound quality of this CD, the packaging and for properly including the mp3 tags for each song.

I will pass this recommendation on to my sister who is a Yoga teacher. Her website is www.spiritualwellnessctr.com

All the best!

Steven Parente
Producer: Smiling Ear Internet Radio
Parente Studios
Animator, Concept Artist, Designer, Consultant
P.O. Box 1241
Hilo, HI 96721
808-938-5302 - Steven Parente Producer: Smiling Ear Internet Radio

"Email Quote From Eddie Watkins Jr."

"I started listening to Bright Angel and could not stop. I love your music" - Eddie Watkins Jr.

"Evaluation by Eugene Foley"

"1" Indicates the Lowest Score
"5" Indicates The Highest Score

Recording Quality/Production: 4.5

Musicianship: 5

Music Composing: 5

Melodies: 5

Song Arrangement: 5

Overall Score: A+

Dear Harlan,

Thanks for submitting the material for the evaluation.

I enjoyed listening to the songs and learning more about you. It's nice to see someone using their talents to create positive music and be a vehicle for things good and spiritual. Well done!

Your composing as well as playing are outstanding. There's so much heart and emotion in every single note.

To give you insight to the scoring scale above, the majority
of artists score in the 2.5 to 3.5 range in the various categories.

Whenever an artist sees a 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3 or 3.5 as a score in a certain category (or categories) it means that's an area I feel they need to improve and develop.

When someone sees 4, 4.5 or 5 as their score in a category, that tells them, to me, they are in the professional league and have strong potential. It's a validation from a pro, letting you know you are doing a fine job.

Every artist should work hard to earn 4.5 to 5 in every category.

It's a very competitive business and people averaging in the 3's (or less) will probably not get too far without a great deal of improvement and development.

I don't give out 4's and 5's easily, so any of those you see, you have earned. Well done! - http://www.FoleyEntertainment.com

"Harlan Mark Vale - Bright Angel"

Before sitting down to listen to Bright Angel, I was not in the mood to listen to over an hour of piano music. Harlan Mark Vale had other plans for me though. Two minutes into the opening title track, I was in the mood because he put me there.

The entire album has wonderful piano playing and arrangements, and though Vale’s music is labeled as ambient, it will certainly hold your attention. Vale never lingers on one theme too long and each movement the music takes is wonderful.

The songs of Bright Angel were composed while Vale visited the Grand Canyon and stayed at the El Tovar Hotel. Vale’s playing does an excellent job of capturing the view he saw on a daily basis. There is a majestic quality to the songs and he isn’t afraid to stretch out the space between the notes. After all, the Grand Canyon is really a big space. It’s clear that Vale is trying to evoke and create emotions and visions with his music, unlike some instrumentalists who sound as though their only goal is to prove their technical proficiency.

Another interesting aspect of Bright Angel is that Vale believes it to have healing powers. On his MySpace site, he writes, “The Bright Angel CD has been shown to calibrate at over 700 on Dr. David Hawkins' consciousness scale. This is the level of pure consciousness. Hawkins theorizes that anything at this level can produce healing effects.” He goes on to say that, he has performed at-home tests on listeners’ muscles and claims that they test stronger after listening.

How one determines the level of pure consciousness, I don’t know. And I don’t know if that is supposed to prove that Bright Angel is somehow better than other music. Luckily, most people don’t need a calibrated scale to tell them something sounds good and Bright Angel most definitely does.

Dennis Mersmann MuzikReviews.com Staff

December 23, 2008
- Muzik Reviews

"Artist Profile: Harlan Mark Vale"

At times evoking Ryuchi Sakamoto, experimental John Cale, instrumental David Sylvian, or *gasp* George Benson, Harlan Mark Vale’s music summons delicate things in the imagination - a water spider skating across the surface of a lake, a meditative gaze beneath a willow tree. But there is something edgy about his work that keeps it in step with the most contemporary artists, reserving the bright sincerity of it all from the glibness of an easy listening pile. - Music Zeitgeist / http://musiczeitgeist.com/artist-profile-harlan-mark-vale/

"Eternus Conscientia by Harlan Mark Vale"

Eternus Conscientia by Harlan Mark Vale
PostDateIcon December 7th, 2009 | PostAuthorIcon Author: BT Fasmer

I think that some of the most interesting new age music is to be found in the crossing point between ambient and soundscapes, in the vast borderland referred to as space music. This music is without a doubt the most artistic music in our genre, and not even the most serious music critic can label it as “easy listening”. One such album is Harlan Mark Vale’s Eternus Conscientia. It is space music of the most distant form, with never ending soundscapes and lush ambient melodies.

When talking about space music one cannot help thinking about the sound of analogue synths of the 70s and 80s, masterly done by Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis.

This is not such an album. Eternus Conscientia rather has the high pitched glass/ice sound of modern VST synths – which is also nice, but more sterile (but so is space, one can argue). Like Vale’s previous albums, this one is also heavily improvised.

In this setting improvisation is a very nice effect, making it more alive, in a contrast to most sequenced space music albums that have the precision of modern computers.

The album has six tracks with beautiful, otherworldly sounding names – like Ingressus Counstituo Prodigium and Valens Laetor; unique titles for sure. There are no real melodies here, but plenty of melodic segments that come and go. The key word here is atmosphere. Most of the tracks have a pleasant, warm sound – while other are more icy. My favorite track is Appareo Ex Informis, which has that larger-than-life feel of Vangelis’ music.

The only thing that is missing, is that you don’t get a feel of just how great a pianist and keyboardist mr. Vale is (like you get on his piano albums). But the arrangement is tasteful and professional in all respects. The sound quality is, as expected, very good.

Eternus Conscientia is a must-have album for the space music enthusiast – or anyone who is tired of waiting for space tourism. This is your ticket while here on Earth! Eternus Conscientia is as beautiful as it is vast, and offers almost endless replay possibilities.

Sample the album on Amazon.
PostCategoryIcon Posted in General New Age, Mood: Dreamy, Space | PostTagIcon Tags: Harlan Mark Vale
- BT Fasmer


Harlan Mark Vale - Pillars of Light Music Artist
    Catalog of Current Available Albums

2022    Astrolabe 

2021    Gloss

2021    Centaur
2020    Liminality
2020    Hope Is The Thing With Feathers
2019    The Orphic Circle
2019    Transcribing The Sacred Experience
2019    Sonications
2018    Evolving Through Lifetimes
2018    Age of Shamanic Trance
2018    Wear The World Like A Loose Garment
2016    Gazing Into Infinity
2016    Invisible Ink From The Think Bottle
2015    Hyperborea
2014    This Fragile Life
2015    The Stillness of Light
2014    Orgone
2014    Crossing Into Samadhi
2013    Treasury
2013    Plateaux of the Strong Hearts
2013    The A-UM Project
2012    For Every Life Upon This Earth
2011    Willing The Elegant Choice
2011    The Cloud of Unknowing EP
2010    Orchestral Works
2010    House of Many Mansions
2009    Sitting At The Controls Of The Light Machine
2009    Eternus Conscientia
2009    Nectar
2009    Lanugo
2008    Visioning For Your Life
2008    Bright Angel
1994    From Babylon To India



My name is Harlan Mark Vale. I am a musician. I live and breathe music. Without music, there is no life. I am also spirit. The journey that got me to this realization is also the journey that created the album, Bright Angel. The music I have created here is a free-flowing river of the Divine expressing itself through me.

My formal music training began at The Evergreen State College in Washington State in the 70’s, where I studied electronic music and audio engineering. Later, I performed with Trillium, The New Art Orchestra, and others creating free improvisational jazz and experimental genres playing piano, synthesizer and percussion.

After years of playing and recording electronic music covering many genres, I have finally returned to my beginnings; the piano. This is where my hearts speaks to me most clearly.

The album title, “Bright Angel” came about after spending time at the Grand Canyon. There is a feature in the canyon called Bright Angel Point as well as a trailhead by the name of Bright Angel Trail. These features are moving and inspiring by their very nature. While at the canyon, I discovered a baby grand piano on the mezzanine above the lobby at the El Tovar Hotel, situated on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was here that I gave birth to the music portrayed on the Bright Angel CD. These pieces are my attempt to capture the majesty and serenity I feel being and performing at the Grand Canyon.

As an interesting aside, I have conducted home studies of the music on the Bright Angel CD using standard muscle testing techniques. Listeners test stronger during and after listening to this music than they do before. I would be curious to find out if these results could be duplicated by others under more controlled conditions.

The journey to this point has been long and winding, but worth the wait. I finally feel that the Universe and I are playing the same piano. Nothing on the album have I written, it’s more that I am allowing the music to emerge from me fully formed. My job is to make the Divine connection, step out of the way and become the conduit for creative exploration.