The inimitable ‘warmth and presence’ of vinyl
As you’ll see in our latest newsletter, we’re about to release our concert recording Live At The Royal Albert Hall on vinyl. Thinking back to this performance there are so many things I remember, including the glorious musicians who travelled from different parts of the world to perform with us and commemorate our arrival at this storied venue.
I recall wandering the halls backstage, looking at a wide array of photos taken of the hall in so many of its various permutations over the years, and not just as a concert venue. I was reminded of my first appearance there as a warm-up act for Mike Oldfield’s tour, Tubular Bells ll, in March of 1993 and how I placed promotional materials on the seats with help from my mother and my aunt. Oh, the glamorous life of an evolving artist.
But most importantly, I remember the pure joy of our live performance that night of March 13, 2019. I relished the comradery of the band and our guest musicians, while feeding off their incredible musicianship, whether it was through the nyckelharpa, flamenco guitar, the pipes and hurdy gurdy, or the Middle Eastern drums. We are rarely able to perform like this together, usually only seeing each other in the studio. It’s about the energy and the thrill of seeing and playing with old friends.
It’s that electricity in live performances which I personally feel is picked up so well on vinyl. Some years ago, before digital became even more ‘precise,’ I asked Bob Ludwig, of Gateway Mastering Studios, one of the world’s most revered masters of music, if it was true that there was something special about the sound of vinyl. He concurred that there seemed to be almost another set of frequencies detectable to the human ear which weren’t at the time available on other formats. And it was that particular “warmth and presence” in the sound that people picked up on. Based on this belief, we are most pleased to continue offering our live performances on vinyl. (To learn more about the resurgence of vinyl, you might be interested in watching the documentary Vinyl Nation.)
In addition to purchasing directly from artists, we also support the option of buying from independent record stores, although for this vinyl release at this particular time, only stores in Europe will carry it, and only the 180g black edition. The overall message being that we join others around the world in celebrating the unique culture that is the record store. This year, Record Store Day is Saturday, April 23, and there are participating stores on every continent except Antarctica.
How ever you may end up procuring this recording, above all I truly hope you enjoy it.