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Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Mighty Studer C 37

Impressive, indeed...

The C 37 with lid open... look at the capstan motor...

Telefunken M 15-A and Studer C 37 

Studer C 37, B 67 and B 62 (in the dark)...

Old school technology?!?

Naaaah... they represent one of highest achievement in audio, class in spades, not dinosaurs: the best sound available, cost-no-object... beside the real thing.

... and please: don't annoy me talking about the merits of some crappy digital downloads;-)

Thanking my pal Arnaldo.

Sunday, December 24, 2017



... sounds like an Hawaiian indigenous to my ears...

Studer C37

The boy will be back, soon...

Merry Christmas!

Ho, hooo, hooooo...

... and music and peace on earth.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

My friend George's EMT 927st is for sale...

EMT 927st in Mint conditions, Ortofon 12" arm+TSD15 SFL+139st (by JPVan Vliet)+Glass Platter+Seismic Base+Power cable+ Interconnects
The beast is located in Athens, Greece... and...


... that's the steep price-tag for the Myth.

... and George is selling it! 

If interested contact him emailing at: 

Kostas Metaxas' Georges Quellet Tribute portable reel-to-reel

First glimpses from Downunder...

Metaxas & Sins GQT [Georges Quellet Tribute] 

The Portable Recording Device No.1  

Worldwide Premiere in Munich 2018, at M.O.C.

A beauty!

The Stellavox for Third Millennium!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Cool speaker

No bull-shit!

Jokes apart... material and shape of the pipe could be - using a brand-new water-closet, of course and a Fostex wide-band - a very Dadaist choice for a seldom-seen back-loaded horn speaker...

BTW: sadly, only Italian-speaking pals/reader will get the title alliteration...



Saturday, December 16, 2017

ECM - Sounds and Silence Travels With Manfred Eicher (2011)

"Some people have invented products and concepts that have revolutionized the world. Some have devoted their lives to helping others, while some have conquered mountains and have built business empires. Others have given us insight into how we should live. But some have dazzled us with their genius and art, with ideas that spark dialogue and dissent and sometimes revolution. A genuine visionary, Manfred Eicher has certainly revolutionized the world of music through his ECM label, which has aimed since its inception at capturing the most beautiful sound next to silence. For 40 years, ECM, guided by Eicher's vision and aesthetics, has released some of the most important jazz, experimental, world and modern classical recordings.
Sounds and Silence is an intimate musical portrait of this legendary label owner and producer, whose presence is the common factor in the careers of not a few musical giants. Swiss filmmakers Norbert Wiedmer and Peter Guyer followed Eicher over a period of five years and the result is a sonic journey that captures the artistry of one of the most distinctive and celebrated producers of our time. A modern day Odysseus, in the film Eicher travels to several countries, where the music was created in its original and natural surroundings.
The main story doesn't exclusively center on the main protagonist, but through him we get to see how he works with people such as composer Arvo Part on a recording session in an orthodox church in Talin, Estonia; pianist Eleni Karaindrou's concert in Athens ( Elegy of the Uprooting); a recording session with saxophonist Jan Garbarek and viola player Kim Kashkashian; oud player Anouar Brahem in Tunisia ( Voyage du Sahar 2006); pianist Nik Bartsch ( Holon 2007); cellist Anja Lechner; and bandoneon player Dino Saluzzi ( Ojos Negros, 2007); saxophonist Gianluigi Trovesi; and more. The film gives a rare glimpse of Eicher's creative process and his alchemical presence in the lives of the people he works with.
But the documentary isn't quite like any most other documentaries. Sounds and Silence is a composition of some of the ECM's most diverse and eclectic sounds, resulting in a musical canvas that stretches the imagination. It is less documentary than reverie, a series of elegiac episodes taken from the life and mind of a dedicated worker. Nothing in the movie is aggressively portrayed and nothing in it is intended to change lives forcefully. It uses slow cuts without showy montages or frantic edits, and the pictures move forward in long, serene takes with tight close-ups. Even the performances are shot differently. The result is a film that focuses completely on the playing. The musicians' empathic interaction is revelatory and both the documentary and the featured music are soothing, becalmed with that mellowness and ripeness that are ECM's trademarks.
At the heart of the film lies the art of listening. Eicher is a careful and detailed listener and always on the look out for special moments. He immerses himself in the music, he allows himself to be be moved and taken by the sheer power of it and—in the words of Nora Part, the wife of Arvo Part—he becomes the composer's companion in creation. Evidently, this restless nomad has a creative telepathy that evokes soulful performances from musicians, persuading them to rise to the challenge within. At the core of ECM's ethos are honesty, trust and human relationships. What has earned Eicher deep respect is the sincere musicality and spiritual depth in the recordings he has facilitated or produced. The effect is often mesmerizing and otherworldly but, as shown in the film, it can be fun and joyful too. Witness Eicher and Arvo Part dancing together on hearing the music, or Parts' blissful expression when he listens to the orchestra playing.
Sounds and Silence is a stirring, visually striking film. But by far the most powerful element is Eicher's clarity of vision and his sense of a high, pure beauty that results in heavenly music. When the music starts, this film becomes a vehicle of incantatory power."

For Western Electric die-hard fans only!

Lovely brass/enamel plaque...

Perfect as a gift for any WE fan!

Reed Muse 1C

An intriguing newly manufactured double-pulley belt-driven turntable...

Love the chassis and platter.

Made in Lithuania.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Woodsong Audio - Chris Harban's workshop idler-wheels display


What I like more is the recessed Garrards' or Thorens' chassis/plinth and the care Chris infuse in all his creations... including taking the time to let finishes to mature and properly harden on a shelf, with no hurry... the way to go, indeed.

Please have a look at Chris' newly built Woodsong Audio site.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Flea-market ephemeral musical-joys...

I simply love chasing for vinyls at flea-markets... as you never know whats in the bins... the prize - i.e. the gem - can be the next disc your fingers will touch... no Discogs or Ebay will give you same goose-bumps shivers!

Tippett's on mono EMI, with a great cover... and such a sought-after disc!

Benjamin Britten on Decca Wide Band... gorgeous music and sound!

Fritz Reiner's RCA Red Seal, Japanese pressing!

Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention on original Verve/MGM U.S. blue/silver label, very first pressing, with cut-out insert.

... what a find...  Messiaen on piano, an early Harmonia Mundi...

Killer sound on an obscure UK label.

... not only "La Fille Mal Garde"... another Lanchbery-directed nugget! A truly seldom seen disc.

... and just one, a solitary, one-and-only, cherry-picked silver disk, on Chesky... by David Chesky, playing a truly thunderous Bosendorfer Imperial 290 Grand Piano... a majestic recording. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Yerkes-Dodson Law

Our life is a quest for happiness.  We try to do things that would help us become happier. And pursuing “more” is a common approach because we believe that having more of something means more happiness: we usually seek more money, more assets, more friends or even more likes on social media.

“More” is also popular as a design approach because that’s what customers want: more quantities, more functionalities, more amenities, more decorations, and so on.

But interestingly, an increasing number of people are overwhelmed, stressed, and feeling distracted surrounded by so much “stuff.”  They are realizing that it’s easy to lose control when you sink into a heap of “more.” 

So the minimalist movement emerged: minimalists decided to give up excess belongings that caused stress and distraction. Decluttering follows the same path: it forces you to go through your belongings so that you ONLY own what “sparks joy”- what you can happily manage.

If it is true that more does not guarantee happiness, and can even cause stress, can we understand it scientifically? We could tap on to the Yerkes-Dodson Law.

The Yerkes-Dodson Law is an empirical theory between arousal and performance. As you can see in the black bell-curve above, the law maintains that our performance increases as we become physiologically and mentally aroused – or become alert and concentrated – but only up to a point.

When the level of arousal becomes too high, we feel increasingly stressed and anxious, and the quality of our performance decreases.

If you change the Y-axis from “performance” to “ability to feel happy,” and add a linear line of “the amount of belongings” (red line), you easily see what’s going on.

Applying the Yerkes-Dodson Law, we can establish a hypothesis that our ability to feel happiness is not limitless. There is an optimal point after which our happiness actually start diminishing, even if we keep increasing the amount of our belongings. 

And it’s something we all experience: you cannot stay with someone 24/7 no matter how much you love her/him, nor can you keep eating ice cream forever even if you are a big fan of Cherry Garcia (that’s me).  We’ve known that “moderation is the key,” even before the minimalist movement.

Zen, or the Buddhism in general, has been pursuing this “optimal point of arousal” for thousands of years. Whereas we almost automatically believed a liner correlation between happiness and the amount of belongings that could satisfy our desires, Buddhism knew that the relationship was a bell-curve with a plateau.

And it resolutely assumed that the highest point could be attained when we minimized the amount of external help, whether it was materials or relationships, to satisfy our desires.

Thanking this superb site for great inspiration in Zen, architecture, art and minimalism interactions... a true goldmine I'm in-debt with. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Alvin Lucier - Illuminated by the Moon

Alvin Lucier is among America’s most important composers - a towering pilar intellect, creativity, and beauty realised through sound. In celebration of his 85th birthday, the Zurich based imprint Züricher Hochschule der Kunste offers one of the most stunning releases of the year, Illuminated by the Moon, a epic 4 LP + 1x CD Box set with an extensive 120 pages lavish book plenty of previously unseen images, dedicated to the composer and theorist’s work. 
Safe to say that this one’s aimed at the Lucier aficionados, but it’s a real eye-opener for anyone into the far reaches of experimental music and the sonic art. Given the cost and scale of the project it's unlikely these will ever get a re-press. Only 500 individually numbered copies have been if you want one of these, it's now or never.

Alvin Lucier

Alvin Lucier

Illuminated by The Moon (4 LP box, Book, Cd)

Within the histories of avant-garde practice, there are two primary forms through which revolutions take hold - radical, paradigm breaking confrontations, exemplified by figures like John Cage, Ornette Coleman, Pierre Henry, and Cornelius Cardew, etc, and quieter, more intricate, discrete gestures, which, while arguably yielding greater effect and change, often find their initial passage into the world relatively unnoticed. Alvin Lucier is among the later, a composer whose efforts are steeped in such a profound and inward intelligence, and are so singular, that they have entirely reformed the terms through which we approach the possibilities presented within the sonic arts. He is among America’s most important composers - a towering pilar intellect, creativity, and beauty realised through sound. In celebration of his 85th birthday, the Zurich based imprint Züricher Hochschule der Kunste offers one of the most stunning releases of the year, Illuminated by the Moon, a 4 x LP + 1x CD box set, dedicated to the composer and theorist’s work. 
Alvin Lucier
Alvin Lucier is unlike any other figure within the history, as well as the contemporary landscape, of American experimental music. The change he unleashed is, in all probability, far greater, and will yield more impact and legacy, than those whose fame exceeds his own - a slow burn. Lucier belongs to a generation of composers who emerged during the early 1960’s, inheriting, but not beholden to a landscape in constant creative and conceptual flux, contending with the challenges put forth by predecessors like John Cage, while radical expanding the field. With David Behrman, Gordon Mumma and Robert Ashley, he founded the legendary collective the Sonic Arts Union in 1966, all the while sculpting a singular and unparalleled body of work, focused around acoustic phenomena and auditory perception, which included, among many others, the groundbreaking works Bird And Person Dyning, Music On A Long Thin Wire, and I Am Sitting In A Room, each quietly shifting the understanding of what music could be.
Alvin Lucier
Illuminated by the Moon,  ZHdK Records’ incredible collection, was recorded in October of 2016 at the Alvin Lucier 85th Birthday Festival at the Zurich University of the Arts. It gathers a remarkable range of of performances of works from Lucier’s life in music, from the iconic to the lesser known. It begins with wonderful stagings of I Am In A Sitting Room and Music For Solo Performer by the composer, before presenting the work Charles Curtis performed by the cellist for whom it was composed, and Double Rainbow, a recent work, performed by the incredible Joan La Barbara. Over the course of the set’s many discs, we encounter works ranging from Nothing Is Real (Strawberry Fields Forever), Braid, Two Circles, to Hanover, Step, Slide And Sustain, and One Arm Bandits, performed by Oren Ambarchi, Stephen O'Malley, and Gary Schmalzl, with further contributions by Charles Curtis and many others, including University students and faculty members involved in the celebrations of Lucier’s life and work. The collection, by offering an expanse of material otherwise unavailable in the composer’s discography, opens a rare window into the breadth and range of territory which he has approached, as well as into the unique humour which has quietly bubbled through his entire career. It is a singular recording event, the likes of which are unlikely to be repeated soon.
A worthy tribute to one of the last century’s most important composers, offering insight, recognition, and critical investigation, long overdue. ZHdK Records has done an astounding job, with the entire set lovingly produced. Including an extensive 120 pages lavish book, with numerous unseen images, while arguably aimed at Lucier aficionados, Illuminated by the Moon should be on everyone’s list.Alvin Lucier
Filled with revelation, this limited edition of 500 individually numbered copies, unlikely to ever be repressed, is unquestionably one of the most beautiful and important releases of the year. Grab it fast before it disappears for good.