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:
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.
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:
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.
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 albumMore 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.