Cover art of Kate Beever’s “Rewild.” Photo by Kate Beever, design by Jeff Beam

Multi-instrumentalist, singer and music therapist Kate Beever long has been hyper-aware of the sounds and rhythms that surround all of us during everyday life – sounds like human steps, rustling leaves, heartbeats and busy hallways.

To help us all to become more aware of these sounds, she’s recorded an album that incorporates them.

Beever is releasing her debut album, “Rewild,” on May 17, hoping to offer a different type of meditative music that will keep listeners’ brains in a state of daydream. Spoiler alert: She’s done that, and more.

Its eight instrumental tracks have burrowed their way into my heart and brain with an infusion of enchanting serenity and sprightly sun bursts that blend actual instruments with an assortment of Beever’s collected sounds.

Some of the instruments you’ll hear are vibraphone, marimba, drums, piano, tambourine, bass drum and gong. Objects used to create sound include a block of metal, tap shoes, straw chair and piano skeleton. I also heard the sound of running water, perhaps from a stream, on at least one track.

Beever, who lives in Falmouth, has appeared on several albums by other local artists, including her husband Jeff Beam’s 2020 solo album, Emila Dahlin’s “Green Things to Grow” and three albums by Zach Jones. “Rewild” was made in February with Todd Hutchinson at Acadia Recording.

Beever explained that the term “rewild” has to do with restoring native plants to an ecosystem, and part of her desire to make people listen to what’s around them is about paying attention to the earth and living in a more intentional and sustainable manner. Musically, she said, the album is her way of returning to her rhythmic ecosystem. “These are the cyclical rhythms that are in my head all the time. Having a whole year off reminded me of my own sound.”

Kate Beever. Photo by Will Wohler, Wohler & Co.

Beever, who grew up in Cornish and went to school in Gorham, studied classical percussion at the University of Southern Maine then earned her master’s in music psychotherapy at New York University. In 2011, she launched her music therapy practice. Music, for all intents and purposes, is her life. She started with piano as a young child under the tutelage of her piano teacher grandmother. Drums lessons started when she was in sixth grade. Beever also plays guitar, keys, synths and vibraphone.

As for the timing of recording and releasing “Rewild,” Beever said that, during the past year, she has felt stifled and depressed but also full of pent-up energy.

“The album was a way to get out all the stuff I’d been processing while also creating something that might give other people space to process,” she said.

The May release date coincides with the 10-year anniversary of her music therapy business, she said, “and this feels like a good way to honor that.”

Her music therapy clients often ask about relaxation music, but Beever doesn’t find the more traditional ambient music typically used all that helpful.

“I need rhythm and movement in order to feel calm, so that’s what I tried to create here,” she said.

Beever released the track “Planet (Airy) Health” last week, and it opens with a man’s voice speaking these words: “If you have faith in your mission, your goal, your dreams, I would urge you to remain true to this commitment which is at the very core of your existence. In other words, be true to yourself.”

It’s the voice of the late, world renowned classical pianist Frank Glazer who passed away in 2015 a few days shy of his 100th birthday. Beever worked for him for almost 15 years, and the passage is from a commencement address he delivered at Bates College. Beever first met Glazer while in high school when she worked as a page turner at his concerts. Through college and after grad school, she was his personal assistant and helped him organize marketing materials from a career that spanned nine decades. The two became very close friends.

“I wanted to include some piece of him on this album,” she said.

The rest of the album is a sublime assemblage of tracks. “Train History” comes to life with a vibraphone that brings to mind a butterfly flitting about in a field of flowers and ends with the sounds of a train pulling out of a station. “Paddle” pulls you in with a hypnotic drum beat, piano notes and the occasional cymbal crash. It has a sense of urgency to it like it’s fighting its way to the surface, not desperate for air but rather longing to see sunlight.

“Knots” starts with a sweeping, almost mechanical whooshing sound that gives way to percussion and the pitter-patter of tap dancing. “Woodworking” has a fairy tale feeling to it. As you hear the vibraphone you might find yourself picturing an elf exploring a few parts of the forest. “Catboat” is a truly lovely piece of piano music and you’ll hear Beever’s cat Wilma purring at the end.

All of this is to say, “Rewild” will take you on a thoughtful sonic journey and when you reach the end, you’ll find yourself compelled to listen again.

“Rewild” will be available digitally on Beever’s Bandcamp page, where you can also order a physical CD. Beever also plans to make it available on streaming platforms.


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