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Date

December 7, 2018

spencer@jazzwise.com (Spencer Grady)

 Greg Fox

The second phase of Poland’s Jazz Jantar festival involved five nights of mostly twinned bills. The northern port city of Gdańsk was washed over with some of the most vital young acts from the UK and the US, its three programmers having a particular feel for what’s rising to the surface in this bubbling pot of modernity.

The Thing With Five Eyes might sound like some heavy-ass doomcore combo, but instead, they are a trio dedicated to spacious ambiance, adopting a ritual presence, complete with massive gong, laptop and prominent oud soloing. A fourth member, Mohammed Antar, was booked to play flute, but ultimately wasn’t able to make it to Gdańsk. Emanating from the Netherlands, TTWFE are a pan-European grouping, from Dutch, French and Russian quarters. Jean Christophe Bournine’s bowed bass imparted an immediate Arabic aura, rapping the body of his instrument, as if it’s a darbouka. Leader Jason Kohnen initially stroked his gong, then deployed mallets to intensify its rumble, turning to electro-pads while a growing symphonic swell emerged from his laptop. The Russian Dmitry Globa-Mikhailenko’s oud was played comparatively straight, as bass sounds quaked out of the computer. The following stretch retired the electronics, allowing a sensitive relationship between oud and bass, with Kohnen turning back to his gong subtleties. Soft electronic womb pulses eventually returned, so low that they represented internal ribcage business. The oud became coated in harmonic effects, to the extent that it no longer sounded like an oud. The overall sonic experience was Arabic-styled meditation, but heavily filtered into the abstract zone via electronic processing.

Pulverize The Sound have changed. This NYC trio have now decided to operate in a wildly improvised mode, even if they are allowed to drop in sudden modules from already existing compositions. No set-list guarantees high flying. Peter Evans often picked pocket trumpet, Tim Dahl favoured fuzz bass and Mike Pride brought along a side-display of thunder-bass drum, two heavy gongs, and tiny chimes. Evans rammed his tiny bell onto the microphone, hooded for amplified internal tubular distress. Pride clacked blocks like a 1930s dance-band percussionist. Dahl’s bass sound became an oscillating slipstream tone, shorn of audible fingering sounds. Then he wrenched out jetstream extensions, Pride switching to brittle bongo rattles. Dahl vocalised, melding inseparably with the bass storm, and Evans gruffly groaned through his horn too, each phase of the fairly concise set imploding or exploding in turn, crushed tightly with manic hyper-speed rifflets. This was one of the peak festival sets, taking jazz improvisation to its almost ridiculous limits. We were exhausted, but still just about sane, when a suitably brief encore featured Pride on bongos and Evans on pocket trumpet again, taking it down a touch for the finish.

Drummer Greg Fox (pictured above) is still arguably best known for his initial work with the controversial black metal outfit Liturgy, but he has since gone on to operate in multiple prolific settings, including Zs and Ex Eye. Quadrinity finds him joined by Justin Frye (bass), Michael Beharie (guitar) and Maria Grand (tenor saxophone). Fox pummelled beside Beharie’s 12 acoustic strings, with extra electronic cycles controlled by the leader, who remained the most powerful presence throughout, absolutely at the centre of his own music. Quadrinity possessed a magnetic co-existence between slow eruption and a strangely introverted power, sustained at length, solos passing thoughtfully between each member, in the midst of a rolling process.

There was just one set on the final night, with James Holden & The Animal Spirits being much jazzier than expected. The leader sat on a high platform, in the manner of an Indian classical musician, his modular synthesiser wires knotted around an ecstasy of spiritual electro-pulsation. The stage was profusely decorated with plastic plant life (or possibly even the real greenery). Holden was always central, but crucially aided by percussion and horns, the latter section featuring Polish guest reedsman Wacław Zimpel, who provided several outstanding solos. There were bells, intoned vocals, then free bursts of alto saxophone over the sequenced pulsing, a multiple tone plateau planting a Terry Riley sense memory deep within our bowels. The final run was staggering, with older works ‘Renata’ and ‘The Caterpillar’s Intervention’, stomping and shaking over a big tom boom, coated with a pseudo-sitar shimmer. This was a typical example of Jantar viewing a jazz core, prone to spreading out into further universes. Holden beamed with sheer joy.

Martin Longley
– Photo by Paweł Wyszomirski        

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Camille Saint-Saëns

Donald Macleod delves into the character and music of Camille Saint-Saëns

This week’s episode begins with a look at Saint-Saëns the innovator, who introduced new-fangled ideas to an opera-loving Parisian public. Donald investigates the driving force behind the composer’s unstoppable ambition and his dogged determination to find an audience for his music. Next, the playful side of Saint-Saëns’ character – one which he kept under wraps in public, yet amongst friends and in private correspondence he sparkled with wit, and it reveals itself in some of his most popular and enduring music. We hear about the many obstacles Saint-Saëns encountered in his attempts to be recognised as a serious operatic composer, and finally, the composer’s critical views on emerging musical trends in the final decades of his life, when he was condemned as a reactionary for his outmoded attitudes.

Music featured:
Guitares et mandolines
Havanaise
Piano Trio No 1 in F, Op 18 (1st mvt)
Piano Concerto No 2
Danse Macabre
Tarantelle
Piano Quintet in A minor Op 14 (final mvt)
Cello Concerto No 1
Septet
La Cigale et la Fourmi
Wedding Cake Waltz
La Coccinelle
Suzette et Suzon
Tournoiement ‘Songe d’opium’
Six Studies for the Left Hand, Op 135 (Nos 4, 5 & 6)
Le Carnaval des Animaux
La Princesse Jaune: Overture
O Cruel Souvenir (Henry VIII)
Samson et Dalila: Act II (excerpt)
Bacchanale (Samson et Dalila)
Proserpine: Act II (excerpt)
L’Assassinat du Duc de Guise (5th tableau)
Fantaisie for violin and harp
Piano Concerto No 5 (1st mvt)
Romance for flute and piano
Organ Symphony (2nd mvt)

Presenter: Donald Macleod
Producer: Deborah Preston for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Camille Saint-Saëns: https://ift.tt/2SzhXFb

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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NeahkahnieGold Side-by-Side Test: Vinyl Record Cleaning Solutions

Vinyl record cleaning solutions are one of the most highly-debated topics amongst vinyl record collectors. The importance of maintaining clean records is undeniable. The benefits are numerous: extending vinyl life, improving playback, preventing needle wear. You can even increase the value of some records with a good clean.

However, there is no clear consensus on which method is best to clean records. There’s certainly something to be said about dry cleaning with a brush or microfiber cloth and no solution for records that are only lightly dusted. But there comes a time in almost every record’s life when a more involved approach is necessary.

Even the most careful among us are prone to touching the vinyl surface, which leaves deposits of oil which can wear away at the material over time. Mildew can form in humid rooms and unless you store vinyl records properly, your records can become afflicted. Not to mention those filthy records you dig through at thrift stores or garage sales. Who knows where those have been. Vinyl record cleaning solutions help to combat these, and other, vinyl record ailments.

We’ve given some guidelines on an efficient process to clean vinyl records in an earlier post, but we stopped short of prescribing a specific cleaning solution. We simply didn’t feel confident in recommending one over the rest. With so many fervent defenders in different cleaning solution camps, how could we without a proper test? Which brings us here, lab coats on, to test popular cleaning solutions on some of the dirtiest records we could find.

Homemade Vinyl Record Cleaning Solutions

Full disclosure here, we will be covering only a few of the many homespun cleaning solutions you can find across the web. We provided a basic control group using tap water. We iterated on this using the commonly suggested solution of distilled water, dishwashing soap, and isopropyl alcohol. And we also wanted to try one of the most anxiety-inducing but passionately defended methods, wood glue. Yeah, we know, sounds crazy.

Control – Tap Water

As far as solutions go, there is nothing simpler or cheaper than turning on the faucet and giving your records a rinse.

This method was very quick. However, as you might expect, water by itself was not effective at removing the tougher stains on this record. Though I will say that I was surprised – it did remove some of the lighter marks after some pressure was applied with a microfiber cloth, ultimately leaving the record looking somewhat better than it had before. That being said, I would never recommend this method. If you are going to take the time to clean the records, you might as well do it better than this.

Tap Water – 2 / 5
Summary – Quick, but lazy. Step up your cleaning with a better solution.


Isopropyl Alcohol (1 part), Distilled Water (1 part), and Dishawashing Soap (1-2 drops)

This combination of fluids is widely recommended as an efficient mixture to clean records using what are household, or at least easy-to-find, materials.

The three ingredients were easy to measure and easy to mix. To apply, we ordered a cheap spray bottle online. This made for an easy application, but might not be necessary if you’re looking to save money. Once we sprayed the solution onto the vinyl, we applied light pressure, in a circular motion, to a microfiber cloth to work on the stains.

The record needed a good rinse after application, as there was a shiny film left on the vinyl surface. We found that the solution did remove quite a lot of grime, as evidenced by the before and after. However, it was not great at removing some of the tougher spots of the exceptionally dirty Live Neil Diamond record we used. Not shown in the pictures are the copious amounts of time and elbow grease required. We re-cleaned this record with professional solutions later and easily removed more grime.

Distilled Water, Alcohol, Soap – 3 / 5
Summary – An affordable surface clean, but it’s not going to remove the tougher spots.


Wood Glue

Coming out of left-field is the recommendation of wood glue. I thought this was some kind of sick joke that persisted through vinyl forums, but it turns out some people actually swear by wood glue for heavy-duty vinyl record stain removal.

This process is cumbersome. Wood glue is tough to work with – you’re going to want to consider gloves and a surface that you won’t mind tossing out when done. As you can see from the image, wood glue was hard to apply in an even layer on the vinyl surface. You’ll also need a lot of the stuff. We used about one-fifth of a bottle just for a single side of a record. You’d probably end up going through a bottle in less than 10 records, though perhaps we could get more efficient over time.

It also takes longer than any other method tested. For wood glue to be effective, you need to let it dry, then peel it off, then rinse, then dry again. Drying out the wood glue also takes up a good amount of space.

I’ve got to say though, the peel was pretty rewarding.

In what was probably the biggest surprise of the entire experiment – the results were fantastic. We deliberately used one of the dirtiest records for the solution and it removed the vast majority of grime in one application.

The downside is we used around $1 in wood glue for just one side of one record…so if you do the math with more than a few records, this is easily the most expensive solution tested. If you’re looking for a way to clean an exceptionally dirty record, or just want to impress your friends – wood glue might be for you.

Wood Glue – 2.5 / 5
Summary – Remarkable effectiveness, but too expensive and cumbersome to be used outside of rare occurrences.

Professional Vinyl Record Cleaning Solutions

There are numerous companies that offer vinyl record cleaning solutions that are both easy to use and relatively affordable. We put a few of the most common ones to the test to see if their claims of providing superior cleaning ring true.

Near Mint

Near Mint cleaning solution was developed in the UK by DJ’s and Diggers Russ Ryan & Mo Fingaz and came highly recommended by a Discogs coworker. According to their website, Near Mint is the “most effective, chemically balanced & premium record cleaning solution on the market to date boasting a double strength attitude”. They collaborate with record shops, labels, and others in the industry to create limited-edition bottles, which makes them stand out.

They are also active in the London record fair scene, hosting around 12 events each year. We tested out the good-looking X Sister Ray – 360 Vinyl Cleaning Solution, which came with a white microfiber cloth.

The solution was easy to apply. The microfiber white cloth included with the bottle allowed us to clean a record without needing any additional materials. Removed a lot of grime and dirt – even stuff that our homemade concoction did not. The white cloth shows the grime you remove right away, which visually reinforces the work. The solution leaves a nice shine after.

Near Mint – 4.5 / 5
Summary – All around a solid cleaner that looks nice.


GrooveWasher

GrooveWasher was inspired by a former professor of microbiology named Dr. Bruce Meier. His famed Discwasher kit was one of the first in the market in the 1970’s. GrooveWasher is an attempt to honor his Discwasher invention. With a goal of creating a consumer record cleaning tool and method that cleans the microgroove so the honest sound of the record can be heard without doing harm to the record or the stylus.

Functionally, the GrooveWasher kit is complete. With other solutions, you might need to purchase distilled water or a microfiber cloth to start cleaning. It’s convenient to have everything you need in one package. The display kit is aesthetically pleasing and is a nice touch. Definitely helpful for keeping everything in one place.

We were very impressed by the microfiber cloth w/ handle. It distributed pressure well and kept our grimy hands far away from the clean surface. GrooveWasher wiped away stains that looked tough nearly instantly. It would also last pretty long given how little is needed to clean a record.


In short, Discogs knew what they were doing when they decided to partner with GrooveWasher on a branded vinyl record cleaning solution package. It’s good enough for tough stains and easy to use. It is well organized and looks great next to any setup. You can find an affordable version without the stand in our merch shop here.

GrooveWasher – 5 / 5
Summary – Everything you need to keep your records clean, with an added bonus of the best microfiber system we tested.


TergiKleen™ Tergitol-based Fluid Concentrate

I initially wanted to test The Library of Congress mixture of deionized water and .5% Tergitol 15-S-7. I quickly learned that Tergitol 15-S-7 is not available from any local shops and must be ordered online…in amounts that are both expensive and too large for this experiment. Since this method requires diluting the Tergitol, the amounts I came across were enough to last most collectors a lifetime. Then a coworker mentioned his solution of choice, TergiKleen. Derived from Tergitol, the concentrate can be diluted with distilled water to create a near-match to the LOC solution.

TergiKleen Tergitol Vinyl Record Cleaning Solution

With the warnings on the box, we decided to use precaution in handling this solution. The concentrate didn’t come with distilled water, so that was another item we had to purchase to proceed, which bumps up the cost a bit. They recommend using a cake pan to soak the record. Since we didn’t have this in the office a tin bucket was used.

As a manual solution, it is probably not your best option. You need additional materials (bucket or cake pan, distilled water, potentially gloves, etc.) to use it as described. However, I can see this being the best solution we tested for vinyl record cleaning machines, such as Spin-Cleen. It’s certainly the cheapest per volume after diluting it in distilled water.

TergiKleen is undeniably powerful. We cleaned one of the dirtiest records with little elbow grease and the record was left in pristine condition.

It should last most collectors the full two-year shelf life, just a few drops should make enough solution for hundreds of records. For collectors who have hundreds, if not thousands, of dirty records to clean and absolute purists, TergiKleen is a great vinyl record cleaning solution.

4 / 5 – manual, just a few records
4.5 / 5 – if you have a machine or a bunch of records to clean

The post Side-by-Side Test: Vinyl Record Cleaning Solutions appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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Music Freelance Films with live orchestras: Our 2019 performance guide

Rating: 
0

Following on from the successes of 2018’s live orchestral film screenings, we’ve compiled a list of the film, silent film and television performances of 2019, and where to find them. There’s sure to be something to suit everyone!

 

Brave

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/ Dirk Brossé

19th January- Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

 

Get Out

19th February- Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

 

Titanic

2nd April- Liverpool Echo Arena

3rd April- Manchester Arena

4th April- First Direct Arena, Leeds

5th April- The SSE Hydro, Glasgow

 

 

Back to the Future

Czech National Symphony Orchestra/ Ben Palmer

13th April- London’s Royal Festival Hall

16th April- Symphony Hall, Birmingham

17th April- Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham

18th April- Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

19th April- Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

21st April- Sage, Gateshead

25th April- The Anvil, Basingstoke

 

Royal Scottish National Orchestra/ Neil Thompson

24th May- Usher Hall, Edinburgh

25th May- Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

 

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

24th April- Bristol Hippodrome

 

 

Wallace and Gromit’s Musical Marvels- Featuring The Wrong Trousers

The Picture House Orchestra

16th May- Buxton Opera House

17th May- Blackpool Pleasure Beach

18th May- Blackpool Pleasure Beach

19th May- Sheffield City Hall

20th May- Victoria Hall, Stoke

23rd May- De Montfort Hall, Leicester

25th May- Liverpool Echo Arena

26th May- Manchester Lowry

27th May- London Barbican Hall

29th May- Birmingham Symphony Hall

31st May- The Forum, Bath

1st June- St. David’s Hall, Cardiff

2nd June- The Hexagon, Reading

6th June- Sage, Gateshead

8th June- Usher Hall, Edinburgh

9th June- Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

 

 

Silent film with live orchestra

 

Metropolis

Philharmonia Orchestra/ Esa-Pekka Salonen

13th June- Royal Festival Hall, London

 

Television series with live orchestra

 

Blue Planet II

City of Prague Orchestra/ Matthew Freeman

13th March- International Centre, Bournemouth

14th March- Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

15th March- Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham

16th March- Genting Arena, Birmingham

17th March- The O2 Arena, London

19th March- First Direct Arena, Leeds

20th March- Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

21st March- The SSE Hydro, Glasgow

23rd March- SSE Arena, Belfast

24th March- 3Arena, Dublin

26th March- Liverpool Echo Arena

27th March- Manchester Arena

28th March- FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield

Click here to find out more about this concert tour

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Music Freelance Films with live orchestras: Our 2019 performance guide

Rating: 
0

Following on from the successes of 2018’s live orchestral film screenings, we’ve compiled a list of the film, silent film and television performances of 2019, and where to find them. There’s sure to be something to suit everyone!

 

Brave

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/ Dirk Brossé

19th January- Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

 

Get Out

19th February- Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

 

Titanic

2nd April- Liverpool Echo Arena

3rd April- Manchester Arena

4th April- First Direct Arena, Leeds

5th April- The SSE Hydro, Glasgow

 

 

Back to the Future

Czech National Symphony Orchestra/ Ben Palmer

13th April- London’s Royal Festival Hall

16th April- Symphony Hall, Birmingham

17th April- Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham

18th April- Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

19th April- Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

21st April- Sage, Gateshead

25th April- The Anvil, Basingstoke

 

Royal Scottish National Orchestra/ Neil Thompson

24th May- Usher Hall, Edinburgh

25th May- Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

 

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

24th April- Bristol Hippodrome

 

 

Wallace and Gromit’s Musical Marvels- Featuring The Wrong Trousers

The Picture House Orchestra

16th May- Buxton Opera House

17th May- Blackpool Pleasure Beach

18th May- Blackpool Pleasure Beach

19th May- Sheffield City Hall

20th May- Victoria Hall, Stoke

23rd May- De Montfort Hall, Leicester

25th May- Liverpool Echo Arena

26th May- Manchester Lowry

27th May- London Barbican Hall

29th May- Birmingham Symphony Hall

31st May- The Forum, Bath

1st June- St. David’s Hall, Cardiff

2nd June- The Hexagon, Reading

6th June- Sage, Gateshead

8th June- Usher Hall, Edinburgh

9th June- Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

 

 

Silent film with live orchestra

 

Metropolis

Philharmonia Orchestra/ Esa-Pekka Salonen

13th June- Royal Festival Hall, London

 

Television series with live orchestra

 

Blue Planet II

City of Prague Orchestra/ Matthew Freeman

13th March- International Centre, Bournemouth

14th March- Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

15th March- Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham

16th March- Genting Arena, Birmingham

17th March- The O2 Arena, London

19th March- First Direct Arena, Leeds

20th March- Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

21st March- The SSE Hydro, Glasgow

23rd March- SSE Arena, Belfast

24th March- 3Arena, Dublin

26th March- Liverpool Echo Arena

27th March- Manchester Arena

28th March- FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield

Click here to find out more about this concert tour

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Alex Ross EPS -> SF

On the New Yorker website, an interview with Esa-Pekka Salonen, on the occasion of his appointment as the next music director of the San Francisco Symphony.
I first interviewed Salonen in 1994, for the New York Times. I spoke to him at length for my 2007 profile of him and the L.A. Phil, and in 2013 we conversed about his collaborations with Patrice Chéreau. There is no easier or more pleasurable interview in the business; he speaks better English than I do.

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