Tuesday 4th October

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OK so still no CD Review, for which I apologise. I ended up at Julie’s tonight, and we talked for so long about our differing perceptions of last Saturday’s concert that I didn’t leave there until gone midnight, and although I have a CD playing right now I also have to be up for work tomorrow so had better not spend half the night listening just so as to be able to write here. This post is far from a waste of space however, as I have the great pleasure to announce the third piece of music in The Watchful Ear’s somewhat occasional Listen Series of free lossless downloads. The music in question is not just a short sample track, but in fact two whole CDs of fully realised music by the American duo of Tim Feeney (amplified percussion) and Vic Rawlings (amplified cello). The music, titled Ithaca Recordings consists of two pieces, each a little over an hour long, one titled Day and the other Night. It will soon be possible to order some handmade, wooden packaging to go with the music from the musicians directly, or from one or two select distributors, including the Cathnor website in the UK. These will not be actual physical editions of the music, but handmade packaging to combine with the download, produced by the musicians. The purchase of these limited edition objects will provide an option to give some money back to the musicians. They are not quite available yet, but I will let you know as soon as they are. In the meantime, you can download the music as lossless FLAC files from this page. If you need advice on how to turn a FLAC file into listenable music go to this site. As always, I thoroughly recommend burning the music to CDs and playing it through your normal hi-fi system if at all possible. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tim and Vic wholeheartedly for sharing this music through TWE in this way, and I hope it will be enjoyed. Feedback here would be welcomed by all.

4 Comments

  • poldo October 5, 2011 - 2:54 pm

    I don’t understand why one should burn FLACs to CDs in order to use the hi-fi? And what if the FLACs are either 24-bit or 96 KHz, in other terms *higher* quality than CDs?!? I would normally recommend *not* burning anything and instead buy a decent D/A converter to be connected between computer and hi-fi. Actually, quite common setup today.

  • Richard Pinnell October 5, 2011 - 8:35 pm

    Well the vast majority of FLACs are not higher quality than CD poldo. The potential is there but it doesn’t really happen except on rare occasions. Buying a DAC and playing music directly to a hi-fi in that manner is of course just as good. It wouldn’t be my choice but all that matters is that the music is heard how the musicians intended it to be heard, rather than compressed or obliterated through cheap computer speakers.

  • poldo October 7, 2011 - 12:44 am

    Wast majority, maybe, still, things are changing very quickly, currently it depends a lot on the kid of music, eg:
    https://www.hdtracks.com/
    http://www.linnrecords.com/
    http://www.naimlabel.com/
    but in just a few years most likely everything will be simply studio master quality (24 / 96), because we’ll all have available bandwidth and storage for that. At the moment, with just a very modest investment, like ~300-400 € one can easily avoid the silliness (sorry ;) of mastering flacs, save space, time, etc. Accidental readers requiring specific suggestions just browse a few issues of The Absolute Sound or Stereophile for excellent reviews, of affordable appliances too.

  • Richard Pinnell October 7, 2011 - 6:08 am

    Yeah I have been keeping myself up to date with the technological advances and the commercial applications of them poldo. In the area of music I listen to personally I haven’t seen any 24bit or higher releases available, so for now it remains a little less than a minority. If at some point I begin to miss a significant amount of music because I don’t have the right equipment then I might shell out that kind of money, but for now I am more likely to be going the other way and buying a tape deck next- the pile of tapes on the end of my desk I have never heard is a more pressing matter.

    As for the space issue- I personally very much enjoy having physical copies of music around me. If a physical medium capable of playing 24bit+ was made available I’d be a lot happier. Last night I listened to a CD sent wrapped in a hand-crotcheted bag. That connection to music through something you can hold, read and put on a shelf will always be important to me, as right or wrong as that may be.

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