Into the Mist, Solo Piano Album from Fiona Joy Nominated for Best New Age Album in IMAs!
The Independent Music Awards (IMA) announced their nominees this week for Best New Age Album. Included in the nominations was Into The Mist by Fiona Joy (Hawkins), on the Blue Coast Records label.
Known to her fans as Fiona Joy, the Australian pianist has been working with producer Cookie Marenco for Blue Coast Records recording solo piano albums in high resolution audio. Into The Mist is Fiona Joy's second album on Blue Coast Records following the success of Signature -Solo, which received awards and critical acclaim.
Into The Mist was launched June 2017 at the Los Angeles Audio Show in an unusual fashion. In collaboration with Sony's Magic Bus and Jon Whitledge, Fiona Joy premiered the recording through the high fidelity music system in the van that Whitfield designed for Sony. The debut to more than 4000 audiophiles at the show was the first of its kind and also a critical success.
Since the release of Into The Mist, Fiona Joy has performed at Carnegie Hall with an ensemble called FLOW who have also been nominated for an IMA in the Best New Age category. She has recently previewed her latest solo piano recording in high fidelity audio on Blue Coast Records called Story of Ghosts.
Fiona Joy Hawkins has released more than a dozen albums as the highlighted artist. She actively tours the USA, China and Australia with additional performances in Europe. Her high resolution audio albums can be found at Blue Coast Music.
Blue Coast Records was founded by Cookie Marenco, a veteran audio engineer and producer dedicated to high fidelity audio. Marenco developed a recording technique called Extended Sound Environment (E.S.E.) that is used on all Blue Coast Records recordings. Music can be found at Blue Coast Music / Blue Coast Records.
Independent Music Awards will be held in New York City at Lincoln Center on February 22, 2018. The Independent Music Awards is a global community of innovative Artists and engaged Fans. For more information contact IMA.
For those interested in high resolution audio downloads you can find DSD256 and other formats here.
For months my current setup has been dead ... variety of reasons, primary was a loss of interest in "doing this stuff". Anyway, finally bit the bullet, fixed the actual fault that ceased operations - connection to a tweeter broke - and fired it up. As mentioned on the Music forum here, wasn't too bad on first listen; did a few rounds on albums until a key recording showed where I was at - this was https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/melos_quartett/the_string_quartets__melos_quartet_/.
I've used this quite a bit over recent years - comments by other are "a harsh sound", and "let down by recording quality that is less than distinguished" ... this can sound very flat, the musicians just grinding away playing the notes; the sort of thing that puts people off classical music ... which is what I was getting right now ...
A very clear reason for this situation was that I had just plugged everything in, with no thoughts for minimising external interference effects - the careful configuration I had earlier for running it was now in disarray, and the loss in quality for not restoring such was obvious.
This means that work needs to be done to make the rig more robust in itself, rather than relying upon tweaking how the environment is organised to get the good results - this is the longer term process that is required, that I haven't tackled as yet for this combo ... as a short term workaround, get the two audio components, CD player and amp, running off one house circuit - ah, much better! The strings now have some lively tone, and the acoustic is beginning to come through ... BTW, I was reminded that the engineers didn't do their job so well on one day - on the outside of the hall, one can clearly hear a tram on a track crossing at one point - the clack as each set of wheels jumps the gaps.
OK, this is just to give an initial idea of how I go about doing things - everything's always a work in progress, and step by step I look at what is easy to do, that will likely have the greates effect, and then build from that.
Just now, getting a nice big acoustic from a DGG Verdi Opera Choruses CD - brass tone is very nice ....
We have a cheap, Aldi TV PVR here ... a 1TB drive being used inside. Unfortunately, the programming done to make it all work is dreadful, and it's extremely clumsy, and slow in operation. Over time more and more clips added, and it's been switched off at "the wrong time" so often that the poor thing is completely confused - the files are a mess, and the box finally became unusable to record, and play.
So, fixit time! Nothing inside just about; small power supply, drive, and circuit board the size of a smart phone - removed the HDD, plugged it into a general mounting kit with USB - and had a look. Files all still there, but huge amount of stuff that was supposedly deleted, but also still there - no wonder it was so slow ...
Now, the idea is to backup all the wanted clips, and clean up the drive - there's definitely disk errors, Windows and CHKDSK say so. Started copying the most important files, and problem one: the operation slows to a impossibly slow crawl depending on whether it's full moon or not, completely erratic in the speed. Googling, and this is Yet Another Windows Nightmare - this copying speed issue is driving people batty, and there are a 100 reasons, and possibly another 100 answers on how to "fix it". Part of it could be due to fragmenting - it uses the exFAT file system, which is not as robust as NTFS. Anyway, recovering all the important files will take weeks, with this speed issue.
Changing tack, will try to sort the file system errors - at first I wasn't sure whether CHKDSK was actually doing anything, there's zero progress indicators, and many operations freeze when trying to talk to the drive; I'm discovering all the recent disk utilities as I investigate things - and there's some good stuff out there. Finally convinced myself that CHKDSK was working, and now seeing if that program has enough grunt to work it out.
Completely unrelated to audio, was out and visited a local boutique chocolate emporium, in passing - "everything made in store" - and discovered Dark Chocolate Sorbet ... I'm hooked!! Amazing taste sensation, the ultimate chocolate hit for fanatics - it doesn't get better, I'd reckon: the intensity of the best chocolate, with the mouth feel of ice cream.
Now, to see if I can find a good recipe and do it myself ...