RAISING HOLY SPARKS / DECLANQKELLY “Triveni Sangam” / “The Same River Twice” 2xC60 (Abandon Reason)

David Colohan, aka Raising Holy Sparks, plays harmonium and shruti on his half of this monster two-hour collection, adding voice and field recordings as well. “Triveni Sangam” “is the ‘confluence’ of three rivers,” according to our pals at Wikipedia, which “is a sacred place for Hindus,” where “a bath … [is] said to flush away all of one’s sins and free one from the cycle of rebirth.” Colohan names the rivers in the title of his two works here, “At the Confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna & Saraswati,” parts 1 and 2. His lengthy ambient tracks flow like the titular rivers, wash away sins like the titular rivers, and carry listeners out to sea like the titular rivers. Although it turns out that the Saraswati is a mythical river, created when the goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom, and learning (of the same name) was changed into the body of water to quench “an all-consuming fire called Vadavagni, … which could destroy the whole world.” We’re still here so it seems to have worked!

DeclanQKelly plays harmonium, Yamaha PSS, electronic shruti, electronic tanpura, electric guitar, and field recordings. He gets an assist from David Colohan (“field recordings of helicopters passing over the woods”) and Enda Trautt (Mrindigam). Over his four tracks on his two sides, he also invokes the spirit of rivers (see, title), although his bear slow crafts under the branches of spring trees. A kindred spirit to Colohan, Kelly wrings deep emotion and spiritual longing from his voyage, and he exudes tranquility from every second. The pieces lift, hover, and expand, spreading their good vibes outward in all directions, bringing rest and hope after the long journey.

Abandon Reason is a label based in Galway, Ireland, and the Bandcamp information on the site says this release, catalog number ABRE002, was released in 2014, but it now apparently has found its way to me. It’s certainly never too late to find something as wonderful as this. The Bandcamp page includes the following technical specs: “Two home-dubbed recycled C60 cassettes. Hand-painted acetate covers with photographic inlay card.Limited to 18 boxes.” And this, from the liner notes: “The cassettes these recordings find themselves on were found in various charity shops. The materials that previously existed on them were converted to MP3 before being overwritten. Contact reasonabandon@gmail.com if you would like to hear them.” I may just do that!