Exposé Online banner

Howard Givens & Craig Padilla — Being of Light
(Spotted Peccary SPM-9094, 2017, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-10-30

Being of Light Cover art

Craig Padilla has been composing long-form deep space epics for over twenty years, with over two dozen releases to his credit; his first release for the Spotted Peccary label was the ambient masterpiece Vostok way back in 2002, with at least six more releases for the label in the years since. Howard Givens has an even longer career going back thirty or more years, but without nearly as many releases, though he is the founder of the Spotted Peccary label (their very first release was his project Brain Laughter's In the Land of Power) and produces and engineers nearly all of the releases on the label, as well as for other artists in a similar vein like Steve Roach. This is the duo’s second collaboration, the first being 2015’s essential release Life Flows Water. The release at hand, Being of Light, is an expansive widescreen ambient panorama that moves forward at a measured pace, but remains full of electronic subtleties and beautiful washes of harmonic color, primarily electronic but punctuated with acoustic and electric instrumentation (piano, guitar) and mysterious and mesmerizing textures borne of modular synths and visionary studio techniques. The disc opens with “Clearing the Mind,” a mostly electronic piece that builds itself slowly over its thirteen minutes around two repeated chords played on a grand piano, which by the end becomes the backbone of the piece. Following that, we have the nearly fifteen minute “Threads of Thought” that stretches out to further horizons, now introducing the electric guitar into the mix with a dreamy wash of synths. The album’s centerpiece is the 30+ minute aptly titled “A Contemplative State,” a deep reflective wall of interacting elastic synth threads that is constantly in motion yet still capable of inducing a near-dreamlike state if that’s where the listener chooses to go, though this disc can be experiences on many different levels. The title track closes the set nicely, ten minutes of slow evolution and expansive states that are at once deep, captivating and stunningly beautiful.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Craig Padilla, Howard Givens

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tipographica - Tipographica – While Japan has always had its share of inventive new musics, the recent surge in this area has put the country on the map like never before. With Happy Family, Il Berlione, Ruins, Zypressen,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues