LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 21, 2016 1 comments
My taste in music is fairly omnivorous. If there’s a thread running through these selections it’s the sense of place and emotional content conveyed by the performances. By place I don’t mean the acoustics of the recording space or the soundstage. It’s more a sense of the locative and/or temporal space in which the music was performed and the ethos it reflects. Emotional or spiritual content is just that, although what’s inspiring in a spiritual sense to one listener might leave another cold. Compassion is one dimension of this larger quality; I hear it, for example, in the lullaby sung by Carmen McRae. Listening to these albums, however, will be a lot more enlightening than what I have to say about them, so plunge right in.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 18, 2016 5 comments
Regular Download of the Week (DotW) reader's may have noticed I have a penchant for difficult music. Difficult music, however, does fit my every mood or situation. Sometimes I want to be soothed, calmed, tickled and delighted, ideally carried away. As I lay in room 352A, 352B was mercifully empty due to my contagion, wondering what to listen to from Tidal's pharmacy, I went back to an old friend.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 16, 2016 18 comments
Sorta. I was admitted to Hunterdon Medical Center on Sunday, after being released from the ER on Saturday (oops), with what turned out to be the flu and pneumonia (ouch). Things are looking up and I should be outta here sometime tomorrow. Unfortunately this has put a dent in my schedule, so there will be no review posted tomorrow and apologies for not getting back to emails.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 15, 2016 3 comments
Comparing live music to recorded music is a fool's errand for any number of reasons. Anyone who attends concerts of any kind can attest to this simple fact. I'll lead in with one big fat fact that differentiates live vs. recording—people.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 14, 2016 2 comments
I would have to say that my listening habits are different from most people because I spend so much time in different locations out in a bush camp or some remote third world country. I do the majority of my listening while on the job with a set of headphones either hooked into a laptop or personal audio device. Therefore I like music that takes my mind off of where I am (I’ve worked in locations ranging from north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska and northern Canada to the deserts of the Great Basin, Mexico and Sudan to the tropical forests of Mexico, Central America and Indonesia) and bears repeated listening because portability is very important as I have to live out of a backpack or suitcase for up to a month at a time.

In minerals exploration, one has to go to where the minerals are, not downtown to the office. Digital files for music was a Godsend for me because I could carry the music I like in something the size of a pair of headphones and a paperback book. These ten albums meet that criteria and I can become absorbed in them time and time again, so it isn’t necessary to carry a bunch of files. The performances are outstanding and either have a good story behind them or tell a good story. These performances also come through on inexpensive equipment, a consideration for me because if I drop a rock on the player or drop it in a swamp I don’t want to feel that bad about losing it.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 11, 2016 1 comments
Plainsound Glissando Modulation: Raga in just intonation for violin and double bass, Helge Slaato, violin, Frank Reinecke, double bass (NEOS, 2008).
"Like a sleepwalker, he [von Schweinitz] prods around in (sonic) space with delight, finding what he needs in these contorted sound worlds of computer-supported genesis of audible material. And with his latest compositions he now stands before the open portal of a realm in which encounters with the infinite are certain. The door is no longer ajar but agape." —Helmut Rohm
Back in 1988, while riffling through the contemporary classical racks on the 2nd floor of Tower Records, I happened upon Wolfgang von Schweinitz's Mass, which I knew nothing about. When I got back to my loft, I sat and listened and was immediately struck by this oh-so-striking work. "Holy crap!" I remember thinking.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 10, 2016 17 comments
2TB + NAS
The Aurender N100H houses 2TBs of internal storage while also offering the ability to play music from network attached storage (NAS) and USB storage. In addition to developing their own iOS Condutor app for remote control, Aurender also offers their free AMM (Aurender Media Manager) software for Mac and PC which essentially reads the contents of attached storage making it available in the Aurender app as if it was stored internally, metadata and all. This is a huge improvement over older versions where external storage was only available via Folder view. Since the N100H caches both locally-stored and NAS-based music in its 120GB solid-state drive (SSD) prior to playback, you can outgrow those 2TBs without performance concerns.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 10, 2016 3 comments
Sonos CEO and cofounder John MacFarlane announced in a blog post that the company is shedding some employees and focusing on paid streaming services, what they consider to be the future of music delivery, coupled with Amazon Echo-like voice recognition/control.

From the blog post:

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 10, 2016 3 comments
The short story: the original Montreal show organizers, Michel Plante and Sarah Tremblay, along with industry members have created a non-profit organization and have taken over the renamed Montréal Salon Audio / Audio Fest which is back on schedule, opening as planned on March 18th. Here's the press release:
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 09, 2016 5 comments
From today's press release:
It is with considerable sadness that we have to inform you that it has been decided to defer this year’s Salon Son & Image Show/Montreal Audio Show due to take place at the Bonaventure Hotel on the 18 – 20 March 2016.

The deciding factor has been market support, with a substantial drop in companies wanting to support this long established event.

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