Free Music

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 14, 2012
A big thank you to my friend and colleague Stephen Mejias for the heads up on this O-so-fascinating collection of field recordings from Lawrence English.
Field recordings hold a special place in my heart - part active listening, part hunting, part happy accident, part polaroid, part archive - though wholly personal. No two recordings made in the same place at the same time will be identical and therein lies the beauty of the work. Similar to photography or portraiture, the artist selects the frame and what to prioritize, within that frame (either in pre or post production). These choices ultimately help shape the ways in which the listener can come to and understand the sounds.
Songs of the Living and And the Lived In are two records-worth of found sounds from around Lawrence English's and our (disappearing) world and he's made them available for free. Yes, for free.
Steven Plaskin  |  Sep 07, 2012
Blue Coast Records is offering a free group of performances recorded at the 2012 California Audio Show. To access the downloads you must register with Blue Coast Records. The recordings were made live direct to 2 channel using the Sonoma System at 2.8 MHz.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 31, 2012
Jean Dubuffet Expériences Musicales

Thanks to reader and frequent commenter 'deckeda' for turning us on to The Avant Garde Project:

The Avant Garde Project is a series of recordings of 20th-century classical, experimental, and electroacoustic music digitized from LPs whose music has in most cases never been released on CD, and so is effectively inaccessible to the vast majority of music listeners today.
There are lots of great (great) recordings available for free! and most appear to be at least CD-quality FLAC files. Here are a few I'd recommend (and these were the first three I downloaded):
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 27, 2012
Thanks to my friend and colleague Stephen Mejias (again) for sending me this link this very morning. Lawless is a new film from John Hillcoat coming to theaters 31 August 2012. Adapted from the Matt Bondurant novel "The Wettest County In The World", featuring a screenplay written by Nick Cave, the more relevant news for us is Lawless also sports a soundtrack by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis and these bad seeds, ex-Grindermen are joined by a host of heavies including Emmylou Harris, Ralph Stanley, Mark Lanegan, and Willie Nelson. I always knew Nick was a cowboy.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 01, 2012
It’s an app, its music, and its art. Animal Collective (the band) and artist Danny Perez collaborated on an installation titled Transverse Temporal Gyrus to help celebrate the Guggenheim Museum's 50th anniversary that combined visuals from Danny Perez and sounds and music from Animal Collective diced, spliced and repackaged by a computer program written by Stephan Moore and played over a 36 channel surround sound system set up on the museum's famous Frank Lloyd Wright-designed spiral ramp.

Now you can download the Transverse Temporal Gyrus app that will play three hours of Animal Collective’s music “in a new and unique way each time you run it.”

Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 26, 2012

Thanks to reader Guilherme R. for turning me/us onto this free 24/96 FLAC download from all-around bad boys in a good way BADBADNOTGOOD's latest BBNG2. Mainly a three-piece consisting of piano/keyboards, acoustic and electric bass, and drums/sampler, if you like your music all modern and jazzy with an attitude, you may very well like BADBADNOTGOOD. I know I do. Then again, you may hate them. Did I mention BBNG2's free?

Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 05, 2012
Charles Bukowski, Underwater Poetry Festival a Rev. Willis recording

I received this rather minimal email with a subject line reading,

Anything from the Mermen (usually very high quality equipment used in the recording, especially those done by Steve Brown)

My Surf Coasters recordings...the performances are stunning."

That was pretty much it with the exception of a link to this...
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 14, 2012
It's mysterious. It's music. It's a music player. It's a headphone amp, for two.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 10, 2012
As a follow-up to The Emperor's Old Clothes: In Theory Is Where I Do My Best Practice, I thought it worthwhile to point you to Soundkeeper Recordings who offer various versions of the same music for download in different bit/sample rates. For free. Here's why...
One thing that comes up repeatedly in discussions with other music lovers and audiophiles regarding CD vs. high resolution digital formats, is the fact that most folks have no means of making a valid comparison. Often, the high resolution version of a record is mastered at a different session, sometimes by a different engineer. At many so-called "format shootouts", one hears level differences, EQ differences, etc., making a true comparison of the formats impossible. Astute listeners realize these are comparisons of different masterings and not of the formats themselves.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 07, 2012
A big thank you to reader Brian R. for pointing us to three lovely and free downloads from Gimell:
Josquin - Missa De beata virgine and Missa Ave maris stella, The Tallis Scholars
Josquin - Missa Malheur me bat & Missa Fortuna desperata, The Tallis Scholars
Victoria - Lamentations of Jeremiah Victoria, The Tallis Scholars
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 02, 2012
Warren Zevon

[reader and frequent commenter deckeda shares an intimate recording]

My "Pick 1" is a 1976 Warren Zevon performance in a live radio studio broadcast. So it's basically a bootleg, but a sanctioned one available at (His son Jordan gave the approval.)

Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 21, 2011
From the amazing Internet Archive's 78 RPMs & Cylinder Recordings here are 23 classic songs and stories available as free FLAC downloads collected in Voices of Christmas Past 1898 to 1922. My favorite is "Santa Claus Hides in the Phonograph" (Ernest Hare, recorded 1922) but there's plenty here for everyone including a lovely version of "Noel (Holy Night)" from 1916 by the Venetian Trio and a stirring rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" from 1921 by Navada Van der Veer.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 09, 2011
Another great collection of free high definition downloads this time from Norwegian label 2L. Here we have a selection of Beethoven, Haydn, Britten, Vivaldi, Krambupolka and more in Stereo FLAC 24 bit/192kHz, 24 bit/96kHz, and Surround 5.1 FLAC 24 bit/96kHz. There are even a number of free DSD 64 2.8224Mbit/s tracks! Yowza!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 07, 2011
Through their Only The Music website, dCS is giving away three high resolution downloads. Grab yours before they run out!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 05, 2011
Iceland's Ólafur Arnalds is a multi-instrumentalist and composer and in October 2011 he sat down for his second series of 'a-song-a-day' for a week. His first foray in this format was Found Songs from 2009. This time around Arnalds and a group of musicians (piano, strings and electronics) performed a new song-a-day live via streaming video from the living room of his Reykjavík apartment. Arnalds also made each song available as a free MP3 download immediately after each performance.