Coorg Covid Listening

Music for Covid Reflection

Having been incredibly fortunate in the hi fi industry over the last 20 years, my travels have exposed me to a wealth of magnificent music discovered visiting different countries and cultures.

Covid restrictions during 2020 have allowed me to spend more time rediscovering both new and known material. I listen on just about all the streaming platforms but still harbour an inherent mis-trust. After all – what if they change their terms and subscription rates? So I download to buy, and own forever most of the music which really grabs me.

Early on in the pandemic I created a little ‘rule’ for myself; to try to listen to a whole album or work. Trying to adhere to that is worthwhile, revealing and rewarding.

A huge number of recordings are now released to be available to stream or buy in high resolution (4 X CD quality or higher) to the endpoint reproduction equipment. But many audiophiles, I feel, are too obsessed with the high-resolution numbers game. There is, for me, a danger in that. It perhaps detracts from the appreciation of the music?

I kick off with recommendations for October. This blog page will be refreshed monthly until Covid 19 is beaten!


October 2020 recommendations

Birds Requiem by Dhafer Youssef- 2013

  • Dhafer Youssef first came to my attention way back in 2000, with his 1999 album Malak, which is not available on any streaming services!  
  • The Tunisian maestro always surrounds himself with excellent musicians to create amazing atmospheric albums.
  • Birds Requiem heavily features the superb Norwegian artists, Eivind Aarset and Nils Petter Molvaer.
  • The work weaves a fabulous tapestry of instrument interplay, topped off by Youseff’s extraordinary vocal range on the first track and more. He began singing at the age of 5!
  • A further release recommendation; Abu Navas Rhapsody (2010) – sadly this seems not available to QoBuz/Tidal/Spotify. However, it is there on Apple Music.

QOBUZ

This album is available to stream in 96/24 Hi Res Audio. https://open.qobuz.com/album/cymxofiq9ej3a

TIDAL

SPOTIFY


Late Night Tales – Floating Points 2019

  • This is an excellent 2 hour long various artists compilation dive into the record collection of Floating Points, aka UK DJ and producer Sam Shepherd.
  • Shepherd never disappoints – if you think listening to the first track, the whole track will be akin to Max Richter’s Sleep, think again. It’s eclectic at its finest, spanning moody, Brazilian, acoustic singer songwriter, old soul, minimalist and more.
  • Also check out his album Elaenia https://open.qobuz.com/album/5053760018179 Unfortunately, the standout track Silhouettes is unavailable to stream on Qobuz. You have to donwload the album.

QOBUZ

This album is available to stream in CD quality https://open.qobuz.com/album/cymxofiq9ej3a

TIDAL

SPOTIFY


Ultime by Christophe – 2020

  • With many foreigners, French singers hold a special fondness in the heart. Perhaps most of the better known internationally are female- Edith Piaf, Francoise Hardy, Vanessa Paradis and more recently Christine and the Queens. Lesser known are the males, apart from Charles Aznavour and Johnny Hallyday.
  • New-to-me: Christophe sadly fell an early victim to Covid in Spring this year. He was a French iconic crooner – I consider his contemporaries Alain Bashung, the ‘French Sinatra’  (Aznavour), and Michel Jonasz. A child of the fifties, Christophe bore all the hallmarks – re-invention, fashion and musical changes and a period of drug addiction.
  • Ultime is the inevitable tribute greatest hits album following his death. A fascinating and a new listener’s surprising journey through this man’s ‘persona’. It ranges from pop to pathos.

QOBUZ

This album is available to stream in 96/24 Hi Res Audio. (Qobuz) https://open.qobuz.com/album/bflrxjhew71nc

TIDAL

SPOTIFY


Dido & Aeneas: Purcell by La Nouvelle Menestrandie  2010

  • Classical music. There is the constant search for the best recording / the best performance and finding a good balance in the end for the most satisfying.
  • Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas has been recorded 50 times or more since 1935.
  • Often, to this listener at least, Deutsche Gramophone releases disappoint, with strange or “iffy” recording quality. However, this one is lovely.
  • The performance by La Nouvelle Menestrandie surprises and delights by its ‘quirky-at- times’ rendition and passes the famous aria test – When I am Laid to Earth – with flying colours. This most famous part of the work is delivered with truly beautiful emotion by the main singer.

QOBUZ

This album is available to stream in 96/24 Hi Res Audio. (Qobuz) https://open.qobuz.com/album/bflrxjhew71nc

SPOTIFY

TIDAL

Published by Johan Coorg

Sales marketing training PR consultant - Consumer electronics industry

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