New recordings

I told you I had been busy doing things! And this time I have evidence!

The first few tracks that were recorded in my solo recitals in New Brunswick in mid-March. These concerts mostly went very well, except that attendance in St. Andrews and Saint John was lacklustre, to put it mildly. The final concert, in Fredericton, more than tripled the audience of the first two put together! In hindsight, the concert date was probably not ideal: Spring Break meant that many people were away, especially in St. Andrews. When the available concert-going population is so small (St. Andrews is a tiny town) an event like this can make a huge impact. In Saint John, it turned out there was a Gilbert and Sullivan show the same night, so again, any potential audience members already had plans. I think that concerts like this may work better in the afternoon rather than the evening, as well.

In any case, musically they were a success, and we are better prepared for next time. I probably won’t be doing another series of solo recitals in New Brunswick until next Fall, but hopefully we’ll be able to bring in more people.

The other recordings I’ve uploaded are from the La Fiorenza concert from the end of March. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to record the whole thing (let’s just call it a technical error…), but I was very pleased with how the Froberger turned out. La Fiorenza will be performing again in May (date TBA) and then the band is travelling to Boston in June for the Early Music Festival. As well, if you’re really quick, you might be able to hear the ensemble on CBC Radio 2 tonight – between 8:00 and 10:00 PM. The concert they performed as part of the prize package for Montreal Baroque‘s competition is being broadcast on Canada Live.

You may have noticed that these recordings sound a lot better than most of the previous ones. I finally caved and shelled out for some decent microphones, and it makes a HUGE difference. With the advice of several people on the harpsichord mailing list, I got a pair of Oktava MK-012’s from Oktava Canada. I’m still experimenting with how best to use them – the best results so far have been with quite close miking, though it still sounds decent even from about 15 feet away from the harpsichord, though you lose some detail from the sound.

Finally, I’m looking for a better way to organize the recordings page on this site. I’m finding that it’s surprisingly difficult to organize the recordings in an intuitive, useful way. Currently, I’m using a variant of my photo gallery script, but I think I’ll try to find something else. I toyed with the idea of just using wordpress to rig something together, but it’s not really ideal. Sometimes I want to have the recordings sorted chronologically, sometimes arranged in categories, sometimes in lists, sometimes in ‘albums’, like the photos. It’s hard to decide on any one thing. Any suggestions are welcome! In the meantime, I think I’ll keep using basically the same scheme as before, but I intend to get rid of most of the old sound files that used to be there. A 5+ year old recording to minidisc just isn’t representative of how I can play now, or the kind of technical quality I can manage.

2 Comments to “New recordings”

  1. Gareth says:

    Nice recordings. Excellent for sure in both playing and sound quality (as far as I can tell with iMac buit-in speakers).

    What made you use that type of Mic and what media do you record to?

  2. Jon-o says:

    Hi Gareth!

    Some people on the harpsichord mailing list suggested these as being really good microphones for their price, and particularly good for harpsichords and stuff. I can’t complain!

    I just record directly to my laptop, through a tascam US-122 usb thingie. It has 2 XLR inputs with phantom power, which is good, since it means I don’t need preamps or anything like that. The audio quality is nice and clean, too.