For over 30 years, ambient electronic artist Howard Givens has been crafting, producing electronic music and sound spaces in search of an authentic, organic, tangible expression of an intangible origin of sound. He is directly involved with creating, recording, and producing the subtlety of sounds generated from various electronic sound sources including hardware analog and digital synthesizers, software synthesizers and samplers, and effects processing, and blending them with acoustic sounds including piano, drums, guitars, percussion, ethnic and other worldly instruments, and environmental sounds.
For him, the art of music, live or recorded, is all about an illusion that intends to convey the listener to another state of experience. Electronic instruments by their design are a natural choice for helping in this illusion, but they can also be a distraction, if not carefully treated to express a more organic quality!
In addition to working on his own projects, he has worked with many artists on the Spotted Peccary Music label as well as other artists and other genres of music including classical, rock, and jazz. His collaborations include his first releases under the name of Brain Laughter, which released 1989’s In the Land of Power and 1995’s Not Far from a Distant Sun. He has been a contributing artist on many projects, in addition to producing, mixing, and mastering on even more.
In pursuit of discovering a more authentic source, he has in recent years returned to his analog roots which were so influenced by such legends as the Roland Jupiter 6 and MKS-80, Sequential Prophet T8, Oberheim Matrix-12 and early Juno synthesizers. He is currently working with the Moog Little Phatty, Slim Phatty, Voyager, Dave Smith Prophet 08, Sequential Circuits Pro One, and Mattson, Doepfer, Synth Tech, and Bubblesound Modular synths. The analog sounds are blended with digital sound sources from the Novation UltraNova and the Nova II, Roland JP-8080 and others.
Non-synth sound sources include Martin, Fender, and Parker guitars, Steinway B Piano, Taos Drums, various percussion, all recorded with great mics from Neumann, Sennheiser, and Crowley and Tripp passing through TRUE Systems preamps, API summing, API 2500, Inward Connections OPT1A’s, and more. Effects play an equally important role in solidifying the electronic space, and for this he turns to the proven effects devices of Eventide and Lexicon.