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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

GIVENS & PADILLA: Being of Light (2017)

“Exquisite music which oscillates wonderfully between rhythms for soft legs and ambient structures of a sound aestheticism rich in forms and in tonal colors”

1 Clearing the Mind 13:09 2 Threads of Thought 14:34 3 A Contemplative State 30:30 4 Being of Light 10:20 Spotted Peccary ‎– SPM 9094 (CD/DDL 68:26) (V.F.) (Pacific Shool, Ambient Music)

Sound reflections dance in troubled waters while a heavy dark veil covers the static agitations of Clearing the Mind's introduction. Multiple chords turn and stroll there, like sonic verses which try to get out of a musical manuscript, entailing in a harmonious trail these sweet nightingale singings sculptured in synths as analog as digital. The whole thing releases a structure of embryonic rhythm of which the fluidity is flooded in an intense veil of immersive tones. And from the first moments on this 2nd collaboration Givens/Padilla, we notice the depth of this delicious pallet of sounds and among which the switching phases between electronic, electric and acoustic have made the delights of Life Flows Water. Discreet, the piano becomes more and more incisive, throwing a more dramatic shade to a phase which already goes in transit towards another one which is more poetic. Our ears are attracted to a well of sounds which spin like these dusts of prisms that a camera picks in a dainty swirl of dust and pollen by a radiant afternoon at springtime. Very lyrical, this second phase of Clearing the Mind spreads its charms and its synth beams which give a so tonal flavor and celestial than very esoteric to the music of the American duet. A movement of rhythm, always so silent as at the beginning, add a more intense depth to this dance of prism and to this embryonic melody of a piano always in mode evasive and melancholic. It's the piano, and its notes divided between the black and the white, which guides the lyrical dance of Clearing the Mind and who quietly drains its energy in a more ethereal finale.

Produced by the label Spotted Peccary, BEING OF LIGHT is proposed as a manufactured CD with a very beautiful digipack 4 panels artwork as well as in download of high quality on the Bandcamp site of the American label. And this 2nd collaboration between Howard Givens and Craig Padilla is in the same dimension as Life Flows Water with a music which oscillates wonderfully between rhythms for soft legs and ambient structures of a sound aestheticism rich in forms and in tonal colors. Threads of Thought follows with slow movements of scarlet colors anesthetic layers which rush towards our ears at the same speed as these gigantic ink stains from a majestic octopus which melt in the ocean. A delicious line of bass pulsations weaves a delicate rhythm to which is added a guitar and from which the persevering harmonies decrease the load of these layers which finally give a spectral touch to Threads of Thought. The sequences limp and galvanize a structure of ambient rhythm and of which the sound duel between both surrounding areas of Givens/Padilla gives a dimension of organic life. A Contemplative State manages its 30 minutes with a meditative approach which depicts the depth of its title. It's very ambient with sometimes contrasted movements and interlacing of apathetic lines which melt themselves with very subdued points of harmonies and intensity which take shape in the gravity of tones. This is a long apathetic journey that we have to follow closely in order to differentiate these more celestial passages which escape from this rather esoteric landscape. The title-track is as much beautiful as Threads of Thought, in fact the floating movements of the layers are drawn in the same elegance. There is a very beautifully morphic melody forged on a superb circular movement of the sequencer to which is added a poignant line of bass. The whole approach coupled to the endorphin layers of Craig Padilla, and I am not far from the shivers that I had with the wonderful Until We Meet the Sky from Solar Fields. A very strong title and a jewel of emotionalism my friends which concludes a splendid album from the duet Givens/Padilla. Yes, the ambient music and the music of ambiences can be very beautiful!

Sylvain Lupari (October 8th, 2017) ****½*

Available at Spotted Peccary Bandcamp

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