iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert

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Pez

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iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert
« on: 15 Apr 2017, 05:25 pm »
iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert


I'm really excited to bring you all something fun: The Spring Concert Series. This is a collaborative effort between MA Recordings and iFi that combines MA Recordings music with a tour of the iDac 2. So lets listen to some great music and gear.

iDac2 Tour
We are going to have a tour of the iDac2 and folks who have signed up for the tour are going to give their impressions of it throughout the tour. They will also be given full access to the track list right from the get go. We will be releasing new sets throughout the weeks. But first, I want to tell you a bit about Todd.

a bit about Todd Garfinkle
For 29 years, Todd Garfinkle has traveled the world in the pursuit of his passion:  recording talented artists in amazing venues. He has recorded everywhere from Spain to Argentina to Hong Kong. Todd is what I would refer to as a ‘purist’ when it comes to his recording techniques. He uses concert halls and churches/cathedrals for his recordings rather than studio venues. In his recordings he uses a pair of stereo microphones. Todd manages to capture the ambience of the venue in a way that sounds bigger than one would think possible without the use of a multiple microphone setup.

I asked Todd to tell us a little bit about his recording process, here is what he had to say:

Quote from: Todd
Basically, my intention is to record (and therefore offer to the music enthusiast) highly creative, purely acoustic musical performances that on numerous levels, take the listener to a different space -sorry about the cliche. My way of doing this is to record musicians performing in elegantly sounding, live acoustic spaces such as old churches or concert halls designed for classical music.  When a musician experiences hearing the sound of his/her instrument naturally reverberating in such a space, he/she is inspired to "play" that space, which therefore becomes another integral element to the sound of that recorded performance. I believe this is not possible in a dead sounding studio environment, simply because there is no sound from the studio room itself. The performance done in a live, elegant space is unique and therefore inspirational to the listener as well. The  recording then permanently documents that creative performance so that the listener can always go back to that moment and be inspired.
As for my gear, I use two omnidirectional microphones which are modified to sound their absolute best......  The recorder is also a  modified KORG MR2000s.  I use exotic audio cables that are made exclusively for me.

The essence of what Todd is referring to could not be more evident in the first two pieces we are going to share with you. So, without further adieu, here are the tracks. To download the tracks for free, simply click on the title. If you don't have a Dropbox account I highly suggest setting one up, really excellent file sharing free service. www.dropbox.com

First piece:
Martin Zeller from MA Recording album "JS Bach: 6 Suites a Violoncello Solo Senza Basso Vol. 1"
JS Bach Suite 1 in G (BWV 1007)

There are a few things that set this recording apart. First, it's the incredible performance by Zeller in my favorite interpretation of this piece. Second is the absolutely sumptuous fullness of the Cello. You can hear the history of the instrument in the richness of its sound. Put into the incredibly talented hands of Martin Zeller and you have a performance to remember. I asked Todd to tell me a little about the performance and the amazing story behind the musician and this marvelous Cello.

Quote from: Todd
I met Martin thru lutenist Eduardo Eguez's various ensemble projects that Eduardo did for MA Recordings.  Martin is a consummate baroque cellist and Professor of Baroque cello performance at the Music Conservatory in Zurich, Switzerland. Mutual discussions between us resulted in Martin recording the complete J.S. Bach cello suites for MA.  The first three were performed on a unique instrument made by Jacobus Steiner in 1673! That's 340 years ago! Martin is one of the few players granted permission to borrow it from the Swiss Foundation that owns it; so we could do the recording.  It is hard to describe the honor I felt listening in person to (and recording) an instrument with such a long history, and of course from a very distance past. For your information, Jacobus Steiner was known for his excellently constructed violins, which he made more of because of the demand at the time. So, having a cello from this illustrious instrument maker was a very special treat!


Click on the photo to read more on this album.

Second piece:
MA Recording
Artist: Jiang Ting
album: Voice of the Pipa
Track: A Bride Beyond the Great Wall


This is among my personal favorite albums of all time. Voice of the Pipa is an extravagant study on the Chinese instrument called the ‘Pipa'. Known for it's distinct 'twang' (or as has been traditionally described by the Chinese as a 'pi pa pi pa' sound, hence the name) the Pipa is a difficult instrument to play, let alone master. Jiang Ting's virtuoso performance in 'Voice' is simply transcendent.

Quote from: Todd
I met Jiang Ting thru a very unique set of circumstances.  While living in Japan, doing my label and consequently self distributing it to domestic Japanese shops, I also got involved in the importation of other labels, some classical, some jazz, world, etc.  One of these small labels was from Italy and they had a young Chinese pianist artist who happened to come to Japan to perform.  Being the representative of her label, I of course, went to the concert and there I also met a young, female friend of the pianist who just happened to be living in Tokyo and just happened to be an amazing Pipa player: Jiang Ting!

To be honest, I had never heard of the Pipa, but was seriously interested because I thought it would be great to do something Chinese for MA.  Jiang Ting invited me to a concert of hers and I was hooked.  I promised to fly her to Italy and record her solo in a church there. She had problems turning my offer down so I made the reservations....  My Italian distributor in Lucca, Italia found a church on top of a mountain and "Voice of the Pipa" was recorded there in two nights.  It was just another beautiful church in the Italian countryside, but it sounded amazing, as almost all churches in Italia sound.  You cannot go wrong.  Besides the occasional barking dog in the distance, there were no serious difficulties and I was able to create, to the best of my knowledge, the world's first recording of Chinese music in an Italian mountain top church. I think we did a pretty good job and hope you all like it!


Traditional Chinese Pipa, note the raised strings and fret board that extends onto the body.
click photo to read more on this album

More to come...
Keep track of this thread, we’ll be releasing more music throughout the tour. And watch for the reviews of iDac 2. Please feel free to share your impressions and stay tuned.
« Last Edit: 23 Apr 2017, 09:51 pm by Pez »

Wayne1

Re: AC Exclusive: iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert Series
« Reply #1 on: 15 Apr 2017, 07:21 pm »
Thanks to you and Todd for the music.

The download went fine and both tracks sound very, very good.

I can't wait to try them out on the iFi iDac 2.

Pez

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Re: AC Exclusive: iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert Series
« Reply #2 on: 21 Apr 2017, 03:47 pm »
Hey guys, we had a couple spots open up. Get it while it's hot!

Sign up sheet

Pez

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Re: AC Exclusive: iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert Series
« Reply #3 on: 21 Apr 2017, 06:24 pm »
One more spot and it's closed folks! Whether we fill it tonight or not, today will be the last chance to sign up. :thumb:

Charles Xavier

Re: AC Exclusive: iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert Series
« Reply #4 on: 21 Apr 2017, 08:01 pm »
Just signed up

Pez

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Re: AC Exclusive: iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert Series
« Reply #5 on: 21 Apr 2017, 11:13 pm »
Ok it's closed. Thanks guys. Will post the next set of songs in the next few days.  :thumb:

Charles Xavier

Re: AC Exclusive: iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert Series
« Reply #6 on: 22 Apr 2017, 03:28 pm »
So how do I get the music ?

dburna

Re: AC Exclusive: iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert Series
« Reply #7 on: 22 Apr 2017, 10:32 pm »
So how do I get the music ?

I think you just click on the links in the post above.  For me, it gave me the option of either downloading the track or loading it into my Dropbox (account) folder - I chose the latter option.  If you don't have a Dropbox account, I recommend one highly.  It is really convenient for quick/easy file sharing with friends (and enemies).  They are located at Dropbox.com.

Regards,  -dB

Pez

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Re: AC Exclusive: iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert Series
« Reply #8 on: 23 Apr 2017, 09:18 pm »
Third piece:
Track: Quien te amamba ya se va
Artist: Ensemble La Chimera
Album: Tonos y Tonadas


Simply put, this one is a sublime trip into Spanish and Latin American baroque/folk music. This album celebrates the diversity of influences from many different cultures and regions in Latin American, African, and the folk music of those who emigrated from Spain to Latin America. Utilizing talents such as Eduardo Eguez and Martin Zeller (the very same featured last week) the musicianship is a marvel.

Quote from: Todd
This recording is actually the 2nd project I did with "Eduardo Eguez and friends"  The first one, called "Buenos Aires Madrigal," focused on the juxtaposition of the  music and culture of Baroque Italy (the Madrigal) and Contemporary Argentina (the Tango)   Eduardo is from Argentina, while his wife, Sabina Colon is Italiana.  SO, following the basic concept of the mixing of two cultures, for this 2nd project, "Tonos y Tonadas," Eduardo and his cohorts, decided to present a project that looked at the music, both folk and early music, of Spain and South America.  Of course in South America, there is a heavy influence of the indigenous peoples that the Spanish conquistadors found there, as well as the black slaves that were brought over the African continent.  The track we have in our selection has two sopranos, one from Spain, the other from Argentina.  Their singing presence also emphasizes the two cultures. Although I do not personally understand Spanish, I can say with conviction that this music touches my heart, and hopefully yours........  "Tonos y Tonadas" is a  two-omni-directional-microphone recording, done in a beautiful church in the small village of Franc Waret in the Namur area of Belgium. It was originally recorded at 96 kHz.

click photo to read more on this album

Fourth piece:
Track: Gitana
Artist: Silvia Perez Cruz, Ravid Goldschmidt
Album: Llama (pronounced "Yama")


This is the album that started it all for me when it comes to MA Recordings. The gorgeous powerful and emotive voice of Silvia Perez-Cruz is stunning. Goldschmidt on the Hang really sets this album apart creatively. The dynamic range of the recording is absolutely incredible.

Quote from: Todd
This project was something I "put together" while in Barcelona, Spain to record a young, local Baroque Trio by the name of "Rubato Appassionato"
I had traveled to Spain to record the above mentioned trio one spring in a beautiful (but rather dusty) little chapel in the Barri Gotic (Gothic Area) of Barcelona.  If you have ever been there, you will know how magical it is. If not, google it!  You will want to go!!

So, I began recording the trio, but on the first day, one of my hand-made, line level microphones stopped working.....  I was in a bind.  Either I rent other mikes or we postpone.  I tried to find mikes, but they were not really at the level of what I was used to.  Nothing is really, when mine are working...  At the same time, the bassoon player had to leave the country, to attend his sister's funeral....  two deaths (one electrical and one familial) were more than enough to postpone the project, until the fall...

So, suddenly I had lots of time to roam the streets of Barcelona.  It was at that time that I met Ravid Goldschmidt (from Israel) playing in the street and man, was he playing (and making lots of money too)!  We met and talked, and I asked if he wanted to record a solo project the next time I came to Barcelona.  He expressed interest and we agreed to continue discussions while I was back in Japan.  We eventually determined that it would possible to record him during the evenings, after the sessions with the Baroque trio, Rubato Appassionato... 

I went back to Barcelona in the fall of that year, but by then, the recorder player was pregnant (she was married to the bassoonist) and she did not want to record too much every day; which worked out perfectly.....    So, in three days, I made 2 records, one Baroque, one "Otherworldly" and while I did not sleep that much during my trip, the results of both projects were pretty phenomenal.   

During my discussions with Ravid, he asked if he could bring a singer for some tunes.  I was a bit skeptical because in my past experience, if the singer sings out of tune, a rather difficult situation quickly arises.  How to get rid of her... (in this case)?
 
Well, that first evening, Ravid brought Silvia to the church. I very briefly set up the mikes and started to record.  Silvia's singing was so spot on and  dynamic, that I very suddenly had to practically throw the Stax headphones off of my head!  She was (and is) scary-amazing!  Fortunately, I set the levels low enough that there was no distortion and well, because of that, we are all able to experience some pretty astounding music, recorded in a few evenings in a small chapel in the Barri Gotic of Barcelona.

click photo to read more on this album

Fifth piece:
Track: Preludio in E-flat Major BWV998
Artist: Eduard Egüez
Album: The Lute Music of Johann Sebastian Bach volume 1


I first heard this recording at RMAF and instantly fell in love with it. Egüez manages to create a smooth yet commanding performance. A soothing,  refined interpretation of some of J.S. Bach's masterworks.


Quote from: Todd
My musical journey with Eduardo Eguez has been a long one.  This recording is where it all started.  I was distributing in Japan, a small Italian label called, "E lucevan le stelle" (http://www.elucevanlestelle.com/) that Eduardo had done a solo recording for.  I asked the director Marco Mencoboni, if he knew of a lute player who would like to record the complete J.S. Bach lute suites.  Without much hesitation, Marco introduced me to Eduardo and things took off from there.  He and I made arrangements for the time and date and he made contact with a beautiful Monastery (with a beautiful church) in the hills above Brescia, about 90 minutes from Milano, Italia. 

I traveled with a Japanese photographer friend of mine to Northern Italia, via Switzerland, and Eduardo met us on a misty morning at a local train station near his house.  At the time, Eduardo lived north of Mlano, not far from the Italian-Swiss border. It was (and am sure still is) a really beautiful, lush area.

We drove to the Monastery where we spent 3 days and nights and recorded three of Bach's suites.  We always ate our meals with the priests who generously gave us the keys to their incredible church, so we were able to record at any time of the day or night.  As I recall, we were of course, not able to record on Sunday, or at least not during Mass, but in any case, we recorded late at night where there was very minimal noise.

The church was really reverberant, but this allowed me a closer proximity to the Lute in order to achieve a big, full bodied sound, while still capturing the sound of Eduardo's gorgeous instrument echoing in the space.  It was a very spiritual experience to hear this sound, but perhaps that is what Bach intended.
 

click photo to read more on this album

dburna

Re: AC Exclusive: iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert Series
« Reply #9 on: 23 Apr 2017, 09:21 pm »
Fantastic stuff, Pez.....keep it coming.   :wink:

-dB

Pez

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Re: AC Exclusive: iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert Series
« Reply #10 on: 23 Apr 2017, 10:00 pm »
Fantastic stuff, Pez.....keep it coming.   :wink:

-dB

I'm glad you are enjoying it! Listening to Gitana right now on my UEs and iDac2.  :thumb:

Pez

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Re: iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert
« Reply #11 on: 7 May 2017, 03:30 am »
Folks, wanted to post this up for your listening enjoyment this weekend. I apologize for the brevity on this one. That said we are going to call this DSD DAY!!!! Both of these tracks were recorded NATIVE DSD by Todd. The tracks we have are sampled to 176.4k wav, but MA Recordings has both of these in DSD.

Track: Hoghussommar
Artist: Mathias Landaeus Trio
Album: Opening

The quintessential Jazz Trio. Mathias Landaeus Trio recording is astonishingly quiet. The musicianship is tight yet laid back AND this one is in 176.4 wav. It is available in 5.6mhz DSD. :o Take a look at MA Recordings. This is one of two albums Todd managed to get 5.6mhz DSD.


Track: Toto
Artist: Puente Celeste
Album: Nama

Yet another one I'm proud to say I own. Basically Puente Celeste is the tightest group of musicians I have ever heard. Yet another great group of musicians I discovered via MA recordings.


Again, I apologize for the brevity! Have a rest of the weekend.   :beer:

jrebman

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Re: iFi/MA Recordings Spring Concert
« Reply #12 on: 7 May 2017, 03:44 pm »
Wow, I just took a quick listen to a few snippets of these tracks and again, wow -- this is just fantastic stuff.

I'm also really glad to see these in 176.4 khz. Those folks who came up with the original 16/44.1 knew what they were doing, and of course, even multiples of that frequency, at least to me, sound "more right" than the ubiquitous 24/192. I don't know exactly why, but maybe it's just because we all grew up on the original 16/44.1. Whatever it is, I really prefer the 88.2 and 176.4 files over the higher resolution ones.

Thanks for bringing all this wonderful music to us. I definitely plan to start collecting these albums once all my systems are all setup and properly networked and interfaced to my DAC.

-- Jim