Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Jodi Essex Interview

I just edited a video for my friends at The Vinyl Revivers. It's an interview with Christian Rock artist Jodi Essex. I was happy to help put this video together. Take a look and "smash the subscribe button" as they say. There should be more exciting music interviews to come.


Saturday, March 07, 2020

Bruce Hornsby & yMusic @ Strathmore 3/6/2020


Bruce Hornsby and yMusic played a fantastic concert of modern chamber music and Hornsby original compositions on Friday March 6, 2020 at the Strathmore Music Center.

yMusic played a 45 minute opening set of modern extended string quartet (i.e flue, clarinet, trumpet) music featuring music by several composers as well as yMusic's own self penned compositions. Other pieces played were from recent Grammy award winning composer Caroline Shaw featured on fellow New Amsterdam Records stablemates the Attacca Quartet.

Mr. Hornsby then took the stage and proceeded to play both new and crowd favorites on solo piano with subtle MIDI controlled synthesizer provided by an Apple MacBook. Hornsby is an incredibly versatile player easily mixing Rock, Folk. Classical and Jazz idioms in one composition. He also has an instantly recognizable sound that reminds me of James Taylor's comments he once called "Genetic Chords". Bruce played these recognizable "Genetic Chords" on the song The Way It Is to great effect.

After his solo set, he was joined by yMusic to help flesh out compositions from his latest album Absolute Zero which features yMusic's accompaniment. Despite the challenge of integrating Hornsby's freewheeling style and the need to provide charts to the quartet, yMusic proved more than capable of playing off script and improvising with the pianist. Clearly both Bruce and yMusic were in their element and having a very good time.

yMusic's accompaniment on such favorites as Mandolin Rain was particularly poignant.

Hornsby also referenced his recent surprise walk-on at a Bon Iver concert at DC's Anthem music club. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver is also featured on the album Absolute Zero.

The show ended with a fun song composed by yMusic which featured Hornsby singing along with Alex (from yMusic) without piano.

A truly musical and fun night for fans of Bruce Hornsby and adventurous music.




Sunday, March 01, 2020

Radar Development

I recently watched a very nice film about the development of Radar in England just before WWII. Free to watch with Amazon Prime. Castles In The Sky

Sunday, January 19, 2020

More posts in 2020

I hope to post more to this blog in the coming year. My posting has been dominated by my work on The DC Hi-Fi Group website.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Cheap RAAT usb device - Roon Endpoint Raspberry Pi

This is my recipe for creating an inexpensive Roon endpoint.

Cheap RAAT usb device.

1. Buy Raspberry Pi 3 B+ ($35)
2. Download Allo Dietpi RAAT ready image (dietpi.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2317)
3. Use something like Rufus for Windows to burn Allo image to a micro sd (rufus.ie/)
4. Follow instructions to further customize Allo running (dietpi.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2317)
5. Plug Raspberry Pi into USB Dac of choice (I use the excellent Khadas Tone Board).
6. Use Roon Settings - Audio to configure your new Endpoint
7. Enjoy musical bliss


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Fist bumps all around - Chick Corea & Béla Fleck @ Strathmore 05/10/2019

It was an extraordinary evening at Strathmore Music Center where certified virtuosos Chick Corea and Béla Fleck enthralled the audience with their music.

The concert started with the perennial favorite Children's Song No. 6. This song has been played in many incarnations. Most famously in Chick's most famous Band - Return to Forever. Béla and Chick took advantage of each of their instruments strengths to make this a rousing kick off to a concert of nearly two and half hours.

The concert continued from strength to awesome highs as the two musicians egged each other on to new musical plateaus. A wide variety of songs composed by both Chick and Béla were featured including many that appear on their excellent live recording Two.
During a short intermission, I had an opportunity to chat with the designated piano tuner who was touching up the piano between sets. He pointed out two interesting modifications that Chick requires for his Yamaha grand piano. One is a somewhat Rube Goldberg looking device that reroutes the piano's normal right side sustain pedal to the far left side. The other tidbit is the addition of small cylindrical metal weights precisely positioned at either end of the keyboard. The piano tuner was puzzled about their function but commented that he was instructed not to disturb them!

Several brand new compositions were played including a beautiful song by Chick called Reminiscence.

Béla introduced a song he composed for his newborn son, Juno, while waylaid in what he described as the "hell" of  the Dallas Ft. Worth airport. He spoke to the challenges of travelling musicians that caused him to miss his son's birth.

The concert ended how it began on a musical high note with two songs for the encore. The audience left fully satiated but always wanting more.





Monday, March 18, 2019

The new Khadas Tone Board USB DAC with the Sabre ES9038Q2M DAC chip is the new leader in low cost extreme high quality DACs. This device sounds fantastic. The sound quality is backed up by truly exceptional measurements that are only a whisker away from professional DACs selling for thousands of dollars.

Selling for only $99, it features both analog and S/PIDF outputs. The only oddity is you have to supply your own case. Currently you can have a 3D printed case made for about $20.