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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Frank Zappa... how I agree!

In these shaking, earthquake days... here is - shouting - my very sincere feeling... thanks dear Frank for saying so well.

Jean Vigo's L'Atalante (1934)

It has been a personal fave of mine for decades, thanking Enrico Ghezzi's "Fuori Orario" TV program... Enrico used Patti Smith's "Because the Night" anthemic song during the gramophone scenes he used as program opening... he still does, after 25 years... and Juliette's smile, the shiny, handsome actress Ditta Parlo, made a younger me falling in love, decades ago... in love as I still am!

Superbly powerful stuff!

Thanking Peter (Sikking)'s Blog and this superb French Blog, as well... they both reactivated my remembrance and pre-puberal, film-buff memories;-).


-BACH: Sonatas & Partitas - Jacques DUMONT (violin) 3LP set BELVEDERE ELY 06130/32 stereo - original issue, pressed in Germany (no other issue exists) - original plum/silver label (G) gatefolds near mint, records mint & unplayed IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND BETTER COPY ! € 4.990!!!

EUR 4.990!!!!!! fourthousandninehundredandninetyeuros... BUT "only" USD 3000 on Ebay, only some weeks ago... same copy:-)))?!?!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

... and a VERY special speaker: Luciano Berio's...

... actually an unique one, as this VERY mono speaker came from RAI's "Centro di Fonologia", directed by the late, great Luciano Berio himself!

Classy and rare stuff, folks... thanking my friend Gab for the pixes...

Ali Baba's Cave

A friend 's friend system(s) and audio gears collection... I can recognize Garrard 301, EMT 930st, WE 618B, Ortofon RMG309 and...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

World most expensive guitar!

World’s most expensive guitar?

A signed Fender Standard Series Stratocaster became the world’s most expensive guitar after fetching a massive $2.8 million at auction in Doha, Qatar.

The Strat was signed by a string of rock musicians in aid of victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami disaster.

According to Fender, “the idea started when Fender Europe’s Jamie Crompton contacted Bryan Adams to see how people from the music industry could reach out to help the victims of such a devastating natural disaster. Bryan got his phone book out and rang 19 of rock’s most treasured artists to sign a Standard Series Fender Stratocaster guitar, donated by Jamie and Fender Europe.”

The artists who signed the guitar were:

- Jimmy Page
- Eric Clapton
- Mick Jagger
- Brian May
- Liam Gallagher
- Jeff Beck
- Pete Townshend
- Ray Davies
- David Gilmour
- Bryan Adams
- Tony Iommi
- Mark Knopfler
- Angus Young
- Malcolm Young
- Keith Richards
- Ronnie Wood
- Paul McCartney
- Sting
- Noel Gallagher

The previous record for the world’s most expensive guitar was held by Eric Clapton’s $959,500.00 black Strat.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Music and its tools - Dick Rosmini's 12 strings guitar

Finally Here! Dick Rosmini's 12-String guitar. A 1953 Martin D-28, serial # 132201, that was converted to a 12-string by Candelas Guitars circa 1960/1961. Purchased by Dick from the Candelas shop in 1961. This is the only 12-string used on any of the Rosmini recordings as both artist for the Elektra and Imperial labels and as a side man/session player. Dick can be heard playing it on the “Black Stallion” & “Leadbelly” soundtracks and on numerous recording dates from the ‘60’s through the late ‘80’s.

The Estate’s asking price is $7500 + shipping/insurance from Seattle WA. Interested parties should contact me (Rick Ruskin) directly via email at

Cool find, Rick!

Dick was THE 12 strings master... I still cherish his Elektra and JBL records... to par with his musicianship and skill as a guitar player extraordinaire, his good taste as a recordist was legendary, as his Telefunken M251 microphones... R.I.P.

Brook acoustic guitars from Exeter, Devon (UK)

Lovely guitars... and movie.


Lost & Found Dept. - Pete Berryman...

... or the other side of "Sky in my Pie"... Pete's inventive, smooth wizardry was the counterpart to John James' great playing and with their above mentioned humble masterpiece they sort-of continued in the noblest of heritages, guitar dueting, after seminal "Bert & John"...

Lovely timeless music, not only for acoustic guitar maniacs... it was a TRUE pleasure meeting him a few years ago.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lost & Found Dept. - John James - Feet on the Ground and...

... Head in the Clouds... with Sky in My Pie, thanking John James.

My ideal, folks... and, hey, finding John's nice site was like meeting again an old, friend... a dear one!

I literally grew up both as a young man and a guitar player with his music... and John Renbourn's and Bert Jansch's and John Fahey's and Peter Lang's and Pierre Bensusan's, of course... ohhh, well you know we're layered as onions, don't you?!?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Park Beauty...Chip'n'Dale or Woody Woodpeeker's home...

... not only Park Wars:-)

I found the squirrels' or Woody's itself home, finely carved in a tree... while "they" were our for shopping...

Clever woodworking!

... more Park Wars

... more psychotic artifacts... as seen at the park, today...

Eclipse in Tokyo

Thanking my friend Shinichi who took these nice shots... it's the annular sun-eclipse, as seen from his home, yesterday in Tokyo... beautiful and terrific, at the same time...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rock and ice creams

Ben & Jerry's with their Cherry Garcia flavour dedicated to - you'd bet it?!? - the late Jerry of The Grateful Dead...

... mmmhh... sweet, maybe TOO sweet for a tough Deadhead!?!


Several rumbling and shaking and fear and worrying, folks... 6th degrees Richter... only 150 km from my hometown, damaged buildings and death... and pain.

Tolteque/Maya "Popol Vuh" book talks about May 20th 2012 as Day Zero... Pleiades, Moon, Sun and Earth aligning and earthquakes... the beginning of the end... bullshit or...

Hey you, fucking Kukulkan... do your business, BUT quickly, if the case!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Simone Cecchetti: photographer


How he used 30 seconds with The Rolling Stones...



Thanking Jacopo's nice Blog.


P.S. - Jacopo's AudioAndromeda's Blog is MUCH worth a browse:-)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Strauss/Kleiber's "Die Fledermaus" on Deutsche Gramophone (1975)

Discontinued (June, 2011)

■ Product ID: ESSG-90041 / 42 [2 discs]
■ Format: SA-CD/CD Hybrid
■ Label: Deutsche Grammophon
■ DSD mastering / SA-CD layer: Stereo / CD layer: ADD
■ Deluxe Digipak packaging

Vintage symphony “Die Fledermaus” (The Bat), conducted by the charismatic conductor Carlos Kleiber, who continues to fascinate audiences even today

The popularity of conductor Carlos Kleiber (July 3, 1930–July 13, 2004) shows no signs of slowing down six years after his death. Kleiber was a charismatic conductor who held his many audiences spellbound with overwhelming and inspired performances–regardless of whether it was an opera or symphony–as well as his graceful and dazzling approach to conducting, despite the extremely small number of concert appearances and repertoire and frequent cancellations of his performances. Kleiber’s studio recordings started with “Der Freischütz” in 1973 and ended with “Tristan und Isolde” in 1982. Only eight recordings by Deutsche Grammophon (DG) and one recording by EMI have been released. Other than those, all recordings were made from live performances, both official and unofficial. Following his first complete opera album “Der Freischutz” from DG, Kleiber recorded the complete “Die Fledermaus” between 1975 and 1976. “Die Fledermaus” was the first recording Kleiber made with the Orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera with whom he had a close relationship during the later 30 years of his career. “Die Fledermaus” directed by Otto Schenk was performed for the very first time at the Bavarian State Opera on New Year’s Eve, 1974. After its premiere night, this operetta became the specialty of this opera house along with “Der Rosenkavalier” (The Knight of the Rose). Kleiber conducted almost all the performances of “Die Fledermaus” at this opera house until 1988 (the live performance in 1984 is recorded on DVD). “Die Fledermaus” album is an endeavor by DG to preserve these performances in recording sessions at the Herkulessaal concert hall.

Highest quality entertainment by a top-notch cast

The cast of “Die Fledermaus” was put together with some of the best operatic vocalists at the time of the recording, including Julia Varady, Lucia Popp, Hermann Prey, René Kollo, and Bernd Weikl, in order to delight the audience with an assemblage of brilliant singing voices. Ivan Rebroff, who was famous for singing Russian folk songs, was appointed to the role of Prince Orlofsky, and Rebroff’s original approach to playing this character with his falsetto singing stands out in the recording. One of the biggest appeals of this album that you cannot perceive in other performances is the masculine sound of the orchestra that quickly responds to Kleiber’s flexible style of conducting. This quality can be heard throughout the tracks on this album, most notably in the overture, which was often conducted by Kleiber for the encore at concerts, as well as the awe-inspiring “Unter Donner und Blitz” (Thunder and Lightning), which is played in Act 2 and considered to be the climax among all the tracks. For this recording, the dialog of the performers was supervised by Otto Schenk, who was director for the opera performance. You can capture the feel of a lively stage from this recording session that is almost like a live opera performance, in the same way as Karajan’s recording session album “Die Lustige Witwe” (The Merry Widow).

Ultimate sound quality by Super Audio CD (SACD)/CD hybridization

The recording sessions of this album took place at the Munich Herkulessaal concert hall, which has superb acoustics. This hall makes it possible to clearly reproduce the details of the performances with a high quality sound. DG has assembled a detailed knowledge of this hall’s sound effects through a series of recordings made by conductor Rafael Kubelík with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. The creation of a clear and consistent sound, made possible only by such knowledge of DG, unleashes the full musical genius of Kleiber, who appears to place great value on the harmony of the delicate pianissimo. DG’s “Die Fledermaus” album was released on CD during the early days of digital recordings in 1985. Subsequently, a new recording on CD made using DG’s special re-mastering technology called Original-Image Bit-Processing (OIBP) was released in 1999, followed by another re-mastering released on Super High Material CD (SHM-CD) in 2008. This time, however, ESOTERIC is issuing a new Direct Stream Digital (DSD) re-mastering and a new CD layer, from high sound-quality master, allowing the listeners to experience an outstanding performance that Kleiber created through a vivid and yet clear sound for the first time.

Johann Strauss II (1825-1899)
Die Fledermaus

Bayerisches Staatsorchester
Conducted by Carlos Kleiber

Hermann Prey
Julia Varady
Lucia Popp
Benno Kusche
Iwan Rebroff
René Kollo

Bayerischer Staatsopernchor
Einstudierung: Wolfgang Baumgart
Dialog-Regie: Otto Schenk

Exective producer: Hans Hirsch
Recording producer: Hans Weber
Balance engineer: Klaus Scheibe
Recording engineer: Klaus Behrens/Wolf-Dieter Karwatky
Location: München, Rezidentz, Herkules-Saal
Recording date: Oct. 1975

Producer: Motoaki Ohmachi (ESOTERIC COMPANY)
Mastering Engineer: Kazuie Sugimoto (JVC Mastering Center)

A well kept secret, superb quality recording and another hint from the recent Kolner trip, with a BIG thank you to Jean and Reinhard.

Moving Coils transformers or the Zenith of an obsession

A new star is born? Dunno;-)... yet, after extensively trying, enjoying, hating, loving, evaluating, purchasing and re-selling, owning and using about 30+ different Moving Coil transformers, both new and vintage, toroidal, permalloy, nickel coils, silver and copper wire, cheap and hideously expensive, salon and pawn shop sourced, by Haufe (more models), Neumann, Cotter, Lundhal, Ortofon (more models), Philips, Partridge (more models), Beyer (more models), Fidelity Research (more models), Yamamura, Miyajima, UTC, JS, Kanno, Uesugi, Harman Kardon, Western Electric, Triad, Peerless (more models) and Tango... I felt I was someway "ready" - as I learned "what" to look for in these humble audio gears in terms of sonic refinement, resolution and trueness - to try to give a voice, my own one, to my very musical tastes.

After some pondering and ifs and buts... I'm almost ready to give a try to my very own newly brewed, 1:50 Permalloy toroidal-core MC irons, as per my specs for low impedance and sensitivity cartridges.

The irons will be housed in one of those nice solid aluminium CNC machined boxes from South Korea;-)

Just kiddin', but... Audio Consulting of Switzerland... be prepared: a new star is born;-)))

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ivan's Choice - (Blue Nile's) Paul Buchanan - Mid Air

Mid Air is an extraordinarily intimate record, its spare piano and vocal-based arrangements unfurling at a meditative pace. Thirteen of its fourteen tracks are less than three minutes long, but rest assured all life is here. Buchanan's beautifully bruised voice remains a faithful conduit of all things emotive, and Mid Air was written from a place of humility and wee-small-hours contemplation. Says Paul: "I think if I'd tried to make a record that sounds like the band I'd be quite nervous, but this is more of a record-ette. It's quite small in stature and the songs are very brief, but don't get me wrong - it kept me awake at night." Buchanan also concedes that, in some ways, he is "continually re-writing the same song", chipping away at the themes that have absorbed him from day one. 'Far above the chimney tops / Take me where the bus don't stop" he sings here on My True Country. Naturally, such starry-eyed sentiments will chime with fans of the Blue Nile's charmed 1983 debut, A Walk Across The Rooftops. At root, these beautifully smudged miniatures represent a still more potent distillation of all that has made Buchanan's past work so special. Mid Air - his little "record-ette" as he calls it - is wonderfully big of heart.


Jonathan Faralli performing John Cage's "Cartridge Music"

Thanking Jean Hiraga for hinting this very disk, a 24bit/96Khz AMAZING recording on Arts by Jonathan Faralli and Percussion XX group, recorded in Montevarchi, Florence (Italy) in Jonathan's workshop and percussions warehouse is an absolute masterpiece... well, it's not for everyone or music to be whistled under the shower;-)

Nonetheless, Cage really wrote in music notation every step, noise, thud and thump and zing, in a Futurism-like fashion...

Yesterday evening I had a VERY involving listening of this very music from the above mentioned disk and I get a mind-blowing - no jokes or hypes - aural experience.

Like Hiraga-san - only a couple weeks ago in Germany - was asking to our friend Klaus to finely tune the "right" volume setting to properly feel the shimmering cymbals super dynamic initial sound, I did the same and... kapooow!!!

... that sense of unlashed power, not music, actually, but raw sound, like a thunder or a waterfall mightyness...

Subterranean gongs... shaking the building and more... simply amazing.

I STRONGLY suggest - Luigi already did;-) - to grab this disk and enjoy this weird fruit of top notch, free artistic creativity.

... with a warning: again, it's NOT for everyone or every moment, folks... yet, it's - again - amazing music and a recording to par.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


... left, right and all together, while playing Capt. Beefheart's "Odd Job"... in low-fi iPhone-vision... and hyper-fi Gotorama:-)


BTW - if asking about "that" light in Elodis' bass horn, I found a cool LED bar at Ikea - cheap, unobtrusive, elegant and... voilà!

I love the effect...

Miwa Matreyek's "Myth and Infrastructure"

Dig it, pals...

Miwa Matreyek creates performances where real shapes and virtual images trade places, amid layers of animation, video and live bodies. Using animation, projections and her own moving shadow, Miwa Matreyek performs a gorgeous, meditative piece about inner and outer discovery. The piece Matreyek performed at TEDGlobal 2010 is an abridgement of the work "Myth and Infrastructure." Take a quiet 10 minutes and dive in. With music from Anna Oxygen, Mirah, Caroline Lufkin and Mileece.

Nice, indeed...