May 29, 2015

M. Nageswara Rao ‎– The Ten Graces Played On The Vína [Nonesuch H72027] (1970)

Here is another in the Nonesuch Explorer series.

This features M. Nageswara Rao on the veena, complete with what sounds like authentic distortion from speakers being overdriven from underpowered amps.

Tracklist:
A1 Telisi Rama Chintanato
A2 Anuragamuleni
B Emi Jesit Nemi






Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in water, with no additives, followed by VPI 16.5 cleaning machine
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Shure M97x
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.

Recorder: Tascam DR-70D at 24bit/44.1kHz resolution
Software: Audacity to normalize and carefully remove several clicks. No EQ was used. Conversion to 16/44.1 took place in Audacity. xAct was used to convert to FLAC and mp3. So-called "noise removal" was avoided in order to best preserve the dynamic nuances and tone quality of the original sound.




May 19, 2015

Various: Classical Music of India [Nonesuch H72014] (1967)

This is a collection of Indian Classical Music which was first released as part of the legendary Nonesuch Explorer series in 1967. It consists of recordings made by John Levy on one of many tours throughout India and the Himalayas collecting music. 

The pictures (but not the sound files) included in this post are borrowed (with much thanks) from beloved blog, "Anthems from the Nation of Luobaniya."  That blog has been quiet for over a year, but most of the links are still working. There are many treasures on that blog and I highly recommend it. I did, however, feel that I could do slightly better with the sound quality of the vinyl LP rip.

One factor which has made a tremendous difference in my LP listening lately has been the use of an ultrasonic cleaner to clean the LPs. Surface noise on new-appearing disks is reduced tremendously, and it also greatly improves the sound on those older LPs which may have been exposed to mold, fungus, tobacco smoke, etc. There are self-contained ultrasonic record cleaning machines which can cost between US$1,500-4,000 but my set up cost a fraction of that. Look out for a separate post in the future concerning my cleaning regimen.


Side 1

A1 Bansuri: Yaman 8:10 Devindra Murdeshwar
A2 Sarangi: Puriyadhanashri 6:12 Fateh Khan
A3 Jaltarang (cup-harmonicon) Bhupali 4:35 Chintamani Jain
A4 Thumri (love-song) Bhairavi 6:11 Mohammed Ismail

Side 2

B1 Rudra Vina: Chandrakauns 5:40 Zia Mohiuddin Dagar
B2 Haveli Sangit (devotional song) Gauri 14:25 Amarlal
B3 Naubat Shahna'i (Royal Gateway Music) Todi 7:40 Suleiman Jumma & Sumar Jumani, Abdullah Ramatulla









Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in water, with no additives, followed by VPI 16.5 cleaning machine
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Shure M97x
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.

Recorder: Tascam DR-70D at 24bit/44.1kHz resolution
Software: Audacity to normalize and carefully remove one click. Two brief (less than a second) vocal peaks were heavily distorted and I used EQ on those peaks only.  Conversion to 16/44.1 took place in Audacity. xAct was used to convert to FLAC and mp3. So-called "noise removal" was avoided in order to best preserve the dynamic nuances and tone quality of the original sound.

May 6, 2015

BBC radio concert featuring Amjad Ali Khan and sons; Hariprasad Chaurasia, Rupak Kulkarni, and John McLaughlin:

This is a radio broadcast featuring two pieces which were part of a concert to benefit survivors of an earthquake in early 2001 in the Gujarat region. 

Here is the original text file which accompanied the audio files (slightly edited by me):

Two tracks from the live broadcast of an evening charity concert, held to raise funds for relief after an earthquake in the Indian province of Gujarat on Jan 26th 2001. Presented under the patronage of HRH the Prince of Wales, all proceeds were donated to the DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) India Earthquake Appeal, the Prime Minister of India's National Relief Fund and Sewa International.

The performances herein are by Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan (with his sons Amaan & Ayaan Ali Bangash) and by Bansuri flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia accompanied by guitarist John McLaughlin and [the truly delightful] Rupak Kulkarni.

Venue: London Royal Festival Hall, UK
Date: 18th February 2001

Source: Live FM radio broadcast, BBC Radio 3
Recording: Analogue to minidisc from FM tuner.
Lineage: Minidisc --> CDR via digital optical link. 
         CDR --> WAV via EAC on Windows XP)
         WAV --> FLAC via Flac Frontend on WinXP

The audio quality is very good. I looked around for some photos from this concert but couldn't find any. Please let me know what you think of the performances after you've had time to digest them.

May 5, 2015

Kartick Kumar - Music from India [DG 2726 017] (1968-9)

Here is a 2 LP set from the "DG Privilege" label. It certainly is a privilege to be able to listen to these two LPs of music by sitarist Kartick Kumar. The first LP was originally issued by the Heliodor label [89843] and I am not sure about the original issue of the second LP.

The contents are as follows:

Side 1: Raga Basant Mukhari
Side 2: Raga Marwa and Raga Kafi Dhun
Side 3: Raga Malkauns
Side 4: Dhun Jhinjhoti and Raga Bhairawi

The tabla accompaniment is by SV Patwardhan.







Preparation: VPI 16.5 cleaning machine
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Shure M97x
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.

Recorder: Tascam DR-70D at 24bit/44.1kHz resolution
Software: Audacity to normalize and carefully remove a few clicks as well as convert to 16/44.1. xAct was used to convert to FLAC and mp3. "Noise removal" was avoided in order to best preserve the dynamic nuances, instrumental harmonics, and tone quality of the original sound.