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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tandberg 114-116-8 Alnico Coaxial speakers



Repetita juvant, folks... I already talked about these lovely 1965 vintage Tandberg's speakers... their transparency and zestness put to shame many high regarded so-called hi-end speakers.

They were the top-of-the-line model back then.







I repeat myself showing such a lovely family picture: the truly ugly-named 114-116-8 and System 11 on Foundation Designer speakers-stands.



Beauties from a long-gone era.





Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Happy Birthday to the 12" disc...





Happy birthday to the LP record, turning 70 today.








LP developer Peter Goldmark of Columbia Records holds the initial LP launch catalog, while standing next to the same music on 78s. Picture taken on June 18, 1948 at Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC.







Sunday, June 17, 2018

A young luthier came to town




When a young luthier, after getting his laurel at Cremona renown luthiery academy, opens his workshop in old downtown, well... I'm both moved and thrilled... church bells ring and music have one more chance top be spread as the most peaceful of human artefacts.









Best wishes to Giacomo for his new adventure... and, WOW!... compliments, indeed, for the nice classical guitar I had the pleasure to briefly taste, his first instrument, French polish finished and nice, mellow sound, full of harmonics.

Good luck!




Monday, June 11, 2018

When worlds collides in a musical way of beauty




My good friend Klaus Speth today hosted some Japanese and Thailandese pals at his place...

Klaus is a family-man and he loves his life and enjoys his music system and music... no Audio Fairs, no international meetings... he's a true master and to get a master you have to get his place... secluded, in the hills out of Koln...



These pixies represent a sort-of miracle: Klaus' system and Yuki, Moriyama's daughter in a nice, NICE shot taken by another Japanese pal, the maker of superb WE 13A replicas, Yasutoshi Sasamato-san.


Germany, Japan, Thailand, France... people come from different parts of the world, yet sharing same passion for music and beauty and friendship.









Love it...






... and yes: proud to know these nice people, all.







Sunday, June 10, 2018

June Flea-Market ephemeral joys



... only a glimpse of the 26 records I found... early morning, as usual, fresh air, black birds singing and only die-hard sellers and buyers, around...

 Japanese pressing

... was searching for this bastard for eons...

Japanese pressing 


 ... maybe the best piano recording I ever listened to: engineered by J.F. Pontefract in 1986


His Bobness best disc? Maybe... sure a PERFECT copy, 1st Japanese pressing.







Hoffnung Festival I, II & III on French Harmonia Mundi



Have you ever heard about Gerard Hoffnung?

He sure was an eccentric, cartoonist and amateur tuba player (...) and his sense of musical parody is... well: eccentric.



Found this morning at local flea-market the three volumes... well, also if not on sought-after Columbia 33CX... pressings, the music on these waxes is superb and the vinyl on French Harmonia Mundi is premium quality...

A very, very nice find and a live recordings at Royal Albert Hall in London - conducted by Malcolm Arnold, Norman del Mar and other great artists - whose quality is just a cherry on the cake.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Studer C37 trivia - a day in Regensdorf






2 Inches Records from Switzerland




Cool...




... if the case, beside the 140 grams vinyl, you may get the reel-to-reel version...


No computer editing or... other weird, third-millenium technologies!








Anthony Bourdain passed away...




... and this is sad news!

Don't know why, but his food reportages and the seminal "Hell's Kitchen" really and deeply inspired and intrigued me... a sort-of food/quality/quest empathy.



Very, very sad as he - reportedly - committed suicide when in Strasbourg, France...

My humble condolences to his partner, Asia Argento, his family and close friends...

A lesser world it is...



Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Woodstock 2




An iconic 7,5 IPS reel to reel tape from my vault...



... a reel to reel relic, part of my musical DNA...



Monday, June 4, 2018

Joni








 



She attended the James Taylor concert at the Hollywood Bowl last night, sitting discreetly at the back of the Garden section wearing a ball cap and wrapped in warm clothing in a wheelchair.
Most people didn't notice her, some people wouldn't even recognize who she was if they did see her.
Joni Mitchell doesn't make music anymore.
That simple fact is sad enough, because at 74, had she not smoked fo...
r 61 years, she STILL might've sung her sweet and beautiful songs like"Both sides now", "Big Yellow Taxi" "Woodstock", ""Help me", and "A case of you" somewhere on some stage on some tour.
But it wasn't to be.
Her voice has been ravaged, and her life has been tormented with battles with polio, paranoia and her struggle with a rare and controversial disease called Morgellons
Joni Mitchell remains, to me, perhaps the greatest singer/artist/ songwriters of the 20th century...or at least one of the elite.










 Yet, she welcomes obscurity and shuns publicity after a near death stroke that many believed would be her final curtain.
Joni Mitchell has lived with much heartbreak...she abandoned her career for two years and 'cried for a year' after a bad marriage and giving her daughter away for adoption.
When she re-united with her daughter about a decade ago, Joni also became an instant grandparent..and the joy washed away so much sorrow and guilt.
Her friends visit her, and she still paints, brilliantly, but not with the frequency she once did.
Her artistry is so diverse and her work so varied on canvas and acrylic that she might've been an even more acclaimed artist as a painter or sculptor.
She grants no interviews, but remains a passionate environmentalist, speaking only publicly on that subject.
Last night she was escorted slowly and quietly in her wheelchair and few if any paid attention to her.
By any standard, this woman has led an amazing creative and productive life.
But there is still sadness in seeing her something like her own self portrait she painted that was inspired by her hero Van Gogh.
She is alone, but not lonely, quiet but not muted, challenged but not defeated.
There is a special place in my heart for Joni Mitchell and millions have that place too..
No doubt she visited with her former lover and friend James Taylor after the show...or before it, and she might've recalled old times, music, art, or just small talk.
Joni Mitchell is alive.
She's not what she was, but she is alive and trying to live a somewhat reclusive life free from pain, anguish, and illness.
Cherish her, remember her while she is here.
A Joni Mitchell public sighting is rare, like seeing some endangered species.
But her art and her music will outlive her and remain vibrant and alive for hundreds of years.
Hope you enjoyed the show Joni.
We certainly enjoyed yours.
Stay well
.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

... gimme more Bitches Brew!



... again... yes, my apologies!




From the estate of late Frank Sinatra Jr., this reel-to-teel, this very gem amazed me in more ways: the mixing differs from Columbia 2-discs set, the balance centres Miles' trumpet, rock-steady, between the speakers  and he can be heard inciting this or that musician, something simply not there on discs, edited or lowered in mixing.

I'm not that surprised, as also - for example - the superb CSN&Y 4 Ways Street's pre-recorded tape has several differences from its vinyl issue: Crosby's chatting before or after some tunes, some nasty stage larsen-hums which, far from being... nasty;-), adds trueness to the live experience.

I shot the whole tape, played on the little, mighty Tandberg 9200-XD and the sound was so enjoyable from first to last note... smooth, relaxed, dynamic, full-bodied.

A very, very intriguing listening experience, indeed... someway reminding me the Steven Wilson's re-mixing on classic King Crimsons' et al.

Long lives Miles... and reel to reel!



Thursday, May 31, 2018

R.I.P. Dave Wilson



The WAMM's maker, an accomplished designer and experimenter, an audiophile at his heart and a fond user and scholar of open reels, passed away a few days ago...





Rest in peace, Dsve and condolences to his family and friends...



4 tracks tape goodies




I seldom heard a better sound from JA's Surrealistic Pillow!

Tandberg 9200-XD, the best sounding 4 tracks reel to reel machine I'm aware of... 



... some 4-tracks tapes...


... and the old, trusty, reliable Revox A-77... an honest machine.



Baron Tim de Paravicini at Abbey Road Studio




Love this pix... 






TdP at Abbey Road's with his Mercedes van (V12 EAR - aka Esoteric Audio Research) parked near stairway...







Saturday, May 26, 2018

... as crow flies... with a surprise














... a ladder... and voilà... I got a different point of view of my studietto... and a HUGE surprise: I gave a try to my old, faithful, trusty, beloved, vintage Marantz 7C, a piece of gears I acquired about 30 years ago and always carefully kept in top-conditions... first time, ever with the current layout and most important, power amp - i.e. the Nuforce MCA-20 Stealth 8-channels Class D beast.

Humbly said: that's the (only) problem when owning too much gears;-)... you risk to someway loose the target and miss some interesting combination... lack of time, laziness, whatever... shit happens.

I never gave a try to the ol' Marantz in a few months... too busy in swapping Mayer vs. Kaneda/Le Solstice vs. the plethora of passive line stages vs. Hiragas'... my fault.

... and...

The sound is so vastly unique: modern and unexpectedly, it proved to be - to my surprise - a truly heavenly matching... a veritable click of enormous proportions, with whole Gotorama.

Sound is extremely quick, full-bodied and rich in texture and micro/macro detailing... harmonics are first rate: one of my reference disks - i.e. last Meredith Monks' on ECM -  presents some strange hums from strings recordings... it goes back and forth, only when strings are injected in voices recording... a very subtle "defect" I only seldom appreciated to same extent.

The 7C's resolutes the above with great naturalness... only an example, yet everything is so enjoyable... and sounds like brand-new.

This 50 years old preamp never ends to give me shivers and goosebumps... and surprising me for its quality and musicality.

Thanks to Sid Smith and Saul Marantz for giving to the world gears with a soul.




Friday, May 25, 2018

Sad News - Peter Lai, aged 47 and Florio Pozza, aged 60 - passed away



I only corresponded with Peter, living st a distance - i.e. he lived and worked in Melbourne, Australia...



I always appreciated his kindness, warmth, empathy and good taste for every aspects of life.

He sadly passed away on May 24th...



The sad, sad news of his untimely death touched me deeply... only a few hours after the passing away of another good, dear friend of mine - Florio Pozza - in a car crash.

Florio with beloved didjeridoo...

... by chance (or not): Florio - an accomplished musician and artist - was born in Myrtlebay, Australia from italian parents and was back to Italy when 14yo... he passed away on May 22nd.

Death is part of life, sure... but, please!!!

There're bunches of fucking bad nasty people, around... why good fella goes, first?

Please!!!

Some words from Peter's daughter:



Dear friends and family, 
Below are ceremony details should you wish to attend. We appreciate your understanding in this difficult time. 
Today Friday 25th May 6pm to 9pm Jensen Funerals St Albans for viewing. 
Saturday 26th May 9am to 10.45am at Jensen Funerals St Albans for ceremony and refreshments. 11am to 1pm at Altona cemetary for cremation.
Our family would appreciate any kind of help during this difficult time. If you would like to make a donation, please do so here: https://paypal.me/ducfam
-----
Chúng tôi xin thông báo với toàn thể gia dình, bạn bè xa gần ngày tang lễ cũa con chúng tôi. Xin cám ỏn tất Cả đã chia buồn với chúng tôi trong lúc này. Chi tiết của tang lễ sẽ dược tỗ chức tại St Albans vào ngày Thứ Bãy 26/5/2018. 
Thứ Sáu 25/5 tại Ern Jensen and Sons St Albans 6-9pm để thăm viếng và thắp nhang. 
Ngày Tang Lễ
Saturday 26/5/2018
Ern Jensen and sons funeral,
St Albans 
9-10.45 am ceremony at Jensen’s funeral.
11am to Altona cemetery
11.15-11.30am Cremation 
12- 1 pm finish Ceremony

R.I.P. dear Peter... R.I.P. dear Florio... my friends.



Thursday, May 17, 2018

Martha Medeiros - Lentamente Muore







Lentamente Muore” è una splendida poesia, forse la più bella pubblicata negli ultimi anni, scritta dalla giornalista e scrittrice brasiliana Martha Medeiros, e resa pubblica per la prima volta nel 2000 sul quotidiano Zero Hora di Porto Alegre, in Brasile. Si tratta di una vera ode alla vita, perché una vita non vissuta non fa altro che avvicinare l’uomo alla sua sconfitta, alla staticità, alla morte. Del resto, non è necessario che il cuore sia fermo per morire, si può morire ogni giorno se non si è complici e partecipi della propria vita, se tutto scorre nell’abitudine, se il tempo passa inesorabilmente e soprattutto, se non si è creativi verso la propria stessa vita.
La creatività è una dimensione spirituale che ci appartiene, è interiore a noi e attraverso di essa si accetta di vivere nella fragile provvisorietà del momento, si riesce ad apprezzare la vera arte, l’armonia, la bellezza e si scoprono cose sempre nuove andando oltre l’immutabile apparenza delle situazioni e degli avvenimenti. Ecco perché oggi voglio pubblicare questa meravigliosa poesia di Martha Medeiros, perché di fronte a questa ode alla vita non ci si può non soffermare, non si può non riflettere, e prendere atto sul fatto che.. “essere vivo richiede uno sforzo di gran lunga maggiore del semplice fatto di respirare.”. Di seguito pubblico il testo della poesia (“A Morte Devagar” è il suo titolo originale):




Lentamente muore

“Lentamente muore chi diventa schiavo dell’abitudine, ripetendo ogni giorno gli stessi percorsi,chi non cambia la marcia, chi non rischia e cambia colore dei vestiti,chi non parla a chi non conosce.


Muore lentamente chi fa della televisione il suo guru.Muore lentamente chi evita una passione,chi preferisce il nero su biancoe i puntini sulle “i”piuttosto che un insieme di emozioni,proprio quelle che fanno brillare gli occhi,quelle che fanno di uno sbadiglio un sorriso,quelle che fanno battere il cuore davanti all’errore e ai sentimenti.

Lentamente muore chi non capovolge il tavolo quando è infelice sul lavoro,chi non rischia la certezza per l’incertezza per inseguire un sogno, chi non si permette almeno una volta nella vita,di fuggire ai consigli sensati.

Lentamente muore chi non viaggia,chi non legge,chi non ascolta musica,chi non trova grazia in se stesso.

Muore lentamente chi distrugge l’amor proprio,chi non si lascia aiutare chi passa i giorni a lamentarsi della propria sfortuna o della pioggia incessante.

Lentamente muore chi abbandona un progetto prima di iniziarlo,chi non fa domande sugli argomenti che non conosce o non risponde quando gli chiedono qualcosa che conosce.

Evitiamo la morte a piccole dosi,ricordando sempre che essere vivo richiede uno sforzo di gran lunga maggiore del semplice fatto di respirare.

Soltanto l’ardente pazienzaporterà al raggiungimento di una splendida felicità.



Sunday, May 13, 2018

Jaap & me



Very happy I met Jaap Pees at M.O.C. 2018... we chased trying to meet in person for at least three Hi End fair editions... we succeeded, at last...




Just in case someone argues: I'm laughing for our common pal Simone Lucchetti's kidding...