Search this Blog


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Tyran Grillo's "Between Sound and Space: An ECM Records Primer" available soon!

"I'm humbled and pleased to announce that my book on ECM is finally coming out this week. "Between Sound and Space: An ECM Records Primer" is to be published by Rey+Naranjo in a first edition available only to the South American market, then as a global edition early next year (preorders will be available soon). 

I have been graciously invited to present two talks at the Bogotá International Book Fair. My first talk will be "ECM Records: Listen, Watch and Remain Silent," to be given this Sunday, April 28. The second will be "The Collector as Historian," to be given on April 30th. Please attend and introduce yourself if you're in the Bogotá area! More to follow."

The above are the words of author himself: Tyran Grillo, an accomplished music writer and photographer deserves a Guinness Book mention for his incredible, complete, huge oeuvre on ECM Records essays and reviews... witty, deep, communicative and extremely entertaining and well-informed, I consider his site - with cohorts of musics lovers worldwide - a goldmine.

I'll enjoy my copy when available in the very next weeks as I enjoyed over the years Tyran's superb site.

Cheers, Tyran... a good stroke indeed!


Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Wall

... you'll never be alone...

... better: maybe you'll be alone, but never lonely.


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Thorofon, Pasquini, Swanton or digital, analog and music

Strange post title, isn't it?

Getting older my arguments get older, too... admit you didn't read about (sort-of) analog vs. digital... BUT, NO!

I won't annoy you with bitter/dry analog nostalgia.

I recently found during my usual vinyl chasing a disc made in Germany by a quite obscure label, Thorofon: a recording of an historic organ in an ancient church in Treviso, Northern Italy, barely 50 km from my hometown.

An organ built in early 1700 of music composed by Bernardo Pasquini (who?), a contemporary and loyal follower and scholar of Palestrina, also from 1700... the organist was Philip Swanton (who?)... born in 1952 in Sydney.

Jokes apart, Mr. Swanton was and is a superb musician, a son of Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel and his choice of digging Pasquini's seldom heard and played compositions is nothing short of pure genius!

I'm pretty sure most of my readers will be still guessing - after above foreword - "where I'm trying to bring you?"...

Easy done, folks.

I'll quickly add that the above shown disc entered my personal Valhalla at first listen...

I'm very, very fond of organ music, it's an obsession: organs are complex man-made machines which sound heavenly and own their own soul, made of the interaction with churches where they live in, materials, their imperfect (unique) intonation, size and materials.

Now let's talk about ignorance, my very own ignorance: I never heard of both composer and musician, wasn't aware of such a majestic organ in the area I live and... HA!

I listened in awe to both sides in a row greatly appreciating the music, recording, musicianship, also pressing clarity and vinyl silence... but, distracted by large DNM sticker on front cover and distracted, better absorbed by the load of informations contained in liner notes, I noticed a small print saying "Digital - First Edition".

So, here is the cul de sac: may an early digital recording, possibly a DAT, sure not reaching, for example, the highlights of a Nagra Digital recorder or my beloved and trusty Sound Devices 722 24bit/192 Khz, be so satisfying?

Full bodied sound, premium dynamics, lively ambience, all was greatly presented in this recording.

... yet, not for a moment during listening, I felt the need for "more" or "something technically updated"... because I wasn't aware of any technical detail about recording rig!

Was my ignorance masking and biasing the musical/audio experience?

... or viceversa?

When I noticed the a.m. "Digital - First Edition" I wasn't re-considering my first-hand impressions... I simply took note of this detail... a detail, indeed.

Music was so well captured and preserved for posterity that analog vs. digital was pointless, almost amusing.

I swear I'm not loosing my discriminating ears;-)

I'm just intrigued by the fact I knew about the disc digital nature only after listening to it... something which doesn't happen this often... but most important, the recording was - IS - just perfect and nicely serving music as it is.

Maybe a fortunate evenience... so, please forgive me for a lengthy dissertation if it sounds re-fried to you and... well, just take a glance of beauty chasing for the very disc I'm talking about.

... just have no fear of digital;-)

Music first, always.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Disc of the Month - Jean-Claude Malgoire's Dance Music (CBS Masterworks 76183 -1976)

Found this gem which completes my (quite) impressive Malgoire's collection...

It's as usually a marvelous recording, produced by Georges Kadar and masterfully recorded at Notre Dame du Liban in Paris, in Pantheon area by Georges Kisselhof.

This very combination was used in dozens of Malgoire's discs... my love for this precise, detailed and gorgeous sound brought me to this very church, hidden in a modern building in one of my most beloved areas of Ville Lumiere... just to hear with my own ears "why" these recordings sound so special.

No surprise, I found two recordings chains in situ, ready to capture more music.

Mr. Kisselhof reportedly used back in early '70s an old trusty Telefunken M10 or a Studer B62, but it was the symbiotic knowledge of the church resonance modes which paid most.

Everyone not aware of these humble nuggets cannot avoid jaw-dropping when listening to these recordings and this very one isn't exception... recorders, small and larger percussions, pousannes, and the most raucous crumhorns you can imagine. A beauty.

Cannot aid to strongly and heartfeltly suggest to browse the common sources and find and enjoy this dic and music.

You won't regret.