Joanna Brouk attended Mills College in the 70s, where she remained something of an autodidact and a unique character. Her music was decidedly new age before the term was in common use, and didn't really fit in with the smartypants intellectualism of Mills' fabled music program, graduates of which include Steve Reich, Morton Subotnick, and Charles Amirkhanian. But it resonates today, at a time when much of the smarter stuff does not, for its unpretentious directness and its quietly poetent engergies. Brouk admits to being more a channeller than a composer. (Commenting on a draft of these notes, Joanna asked if I knew what "atavistic" meant; I didn't.)
at·a·vis·tic \ˌa-tə-ˈvis-tik \ adjective
1) relating to or displaying the kind of behavior that seems to be a product of impulses long since suppressed by society's rules
If you haven't already, check out her 1972 interview with Amirkhanian interspersed with several early drone pieces.
Yoga is in the process of transferring and compiling Brouk's entire recorded output for release on tape and as downloads (and vinyl if anyone wants to help make that happen). In the meantime you can purchase remaining stock copies of Brouk's most unusual, and possibly best tape Sounds of the Sea (1981, reprinted 1990), an epic blend of drones, wordless vocalizations, whale songs, flutes, and other analog elements. Side two Kate Bush's Hounds of Love (1985) is one comparison; Constance Demby's Sunborne (1980) is closer. All of Brouk's other tapes are now sold out but may still be available from Eclipse, Mimaroglu, Time-Lag, Fusetron, or Meditations (Japan). Sounds of the Sea is available from YR for $10 ppd worldwide.