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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 05, 2016 2 comments
Thought I would send another batch of things I consider chestnuts of mine...
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Posted: Sep 02, 2016 4 comments
So...I was putting my new DAC through its paces, OK that's potentially misleading as you could interpret that to mean playing various pieces of music to test my new DACs audiophileness when in fact I was playing some of my most loved music. One of which is Einstürzende Neubauten's Tabula Rasa (Thirsty Ear, 1993).
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 01, 2016 17 comments
A DragonFly Tale
[Parental Advisory Warning] I had an email exchange with my friend Joe about music and movies, as is our wont, and asked—
Me "What are listening through?"
Joe "I have two pairs of Shure 580 in-ear headphones, which are very good headphones and also sit in the ear and cut out 90% of outside noise. About as fidelity as I get."
Me "I like those Shure in-ears too. So you plug them into your computer?"
Joe "Yeah, I just plug them into one Apple product or another."
At the time, I was rich in Dragonflys, having my original and the V.1 version. So I sent Joe the original. Here's the first email I received from Joe after the DragonFly landed at his place:
Subject: Damn!

Fuck Me! Dragonfly!

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 30, 2016 3 comments
" Localization of music related listening versus silence. Significant differences of fMRI BOLD activity during listening to 16 familiar songs are compared to a set of quiet resting conditions (p < 0.001, cluster >10 voxels). Results are projected onto the surface of the participant’s own structural MRI scan for visualization." image credit: Daniel J. Levitin & Scott T. Grafton (altered by me)

One of my favorite writers on music and the brain, Daniel J. Levitin, also counts Sting among his fans. When Sting's recent tour took him to Montreal, home of McGill University where Dr. Levintin works, he reached out to Levintin and they got together for some fun along with Scott T. Grafton of the University of Santa Barbara who co-authored this research paper;

"We used state of the art multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA) and representational dissimilarity analysis (RDA) in a fixed set of brain regions to test three exploratory hypotheses with the musician Sting: (1) Composing would recruit neutral structures that are both unique and distinguishable from other creative acts, such as composing prose or visual art; (2) listening and imagining music would recruit similar neural regions, indicating that musical memory shares anatomical substrates with music listening; (3) the MVPA and RDA results would help us to map the representational space for music, revealing which musical pieces and genres are perceived to be similar in the musician’s mental models for music."
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 29, 2016 21 comments
The selections below have given me years of transcendent enjoyment. For me, music is ultimately a spiritual experience. But sharing music is actually the best part. In fact, most of the works listed here were shared with me by my dear friend (and incredible musician) Dominique Leone. So, thanks Dominique, and you're welcome AudioStream readers ;)
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 26, 2016 6 comments
Imagine Debussy digested by Webern transposed and informed by Coltranes, John & Alice, played by some of the finest jazz players on familiar and unfamiliar instruments and you begin to get a mental grab on Marion Brown's Afternoon of a Georgia Faun released in August of 1970 on ECM.
Steven Plaskin Posted: Aug 25, 2016 62 comments
While USB DACs have been widely embraced by computer audiophiles for their ease of use and excellent sound, there has been a price to pay for the benefits associated with connecting one’s computer to these DACs. Noise, part and parcel of any all-purpose computer, is the enemy of music reproduction. The computer noise transmitted from the USB cable to the DAC steals from the user the ultimate sonic potential he could be enjoying.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 24, 2016 0 comments
Lovely Recordings has grown into one of my favorite features on AudioStream; what's better than people sharing music they love?
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 24, 2016 27 comments
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

A Friend pointed me to this article titled "The Art of Listening: Your Guide to Evaluating Speakers" authored by Daniel Kumin and published on our sister site Sound & Vision, wherein he states:

"Choose an amplifier or receiver that’s as powerful (within reason) and as excellent as you can afford; at rational listening levels, “too much” available power will never compromise a speaker’s sound, but too little power definitely can. Beyond that, qualitative differences, if any, among amplifiers will be utterly swamped by the tiniest of speaker differences, so forget about ’em. Ditto cables, power conditioners, antiresonance juju, and even different CD players or streaming sources."
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 23, 2016 0 comments
We know this, right? If you have your doubts and would like some proof, here's a nice healthy helping; "How Music Can Help Patients Recover From Surgery And Strokes". This link, which reader CG shared, will bring you to a web page that includes an excerpt from Waking The Spirit: A Musician's Journey Healing Body, Mind, and Soul by Andrew Schulman as well a 40+ minute discussion among several authorities on this subject.