Howard Givens & Madhavi Devi: Source of Compassion
A marvelous Earth current flows through Source of Compassion (66’47”). A productive collaboration between Howard Givens and Cheryl Gallagher (known here as Madhavi Devi), this duo takes the way of the thinker – in an experience that burns slow, but burns clean. Source of Compassion sounds out in six passages of blessed delectation. An economical use of rhythm and melody leaves it to harmony and texture to commend their ideas and feelings to the listener. Warm rounded synthesizer tones roll out and sustain beneath cavernous reverberation. As keys change, contrast is gently administered, and an interesting tension detected. Repeating notes gradually emerge, providing propulsion through mist shrouded dream zones. The pulsing of soft stepping percussion moves through a message found in an atmosphere of floating thoughts. Try as we might, the deliberate, building organization of Source of Compassion escapes us – as each track mysteriously relaxes our minds, while magically working our thoughts. This album is an irresistible wonderland. Implicit in its existence is a conviction that people are reachable, that music is capable of enlarging us. The quietly enigmatic interaction between Givens & Gallagher and their audience is enlivening. Their relationship finds its form in the sonic – and what they encounter turns out to be far greater than what they sought. Givens & Gallahgher have completed a journey that few have made, one that has advanced their craft, and given finer meaning to their hearts.