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One – Sonoma Master Series

Recording Revolution

“Music matters. Fine recordings matter. We at PS Audio, ASI, and the Super Audio Center, are committed to preserving the quality of music and its reproduction, and furthering new talent in this most noble of experiments.”
Paul McGowan, November 2015

Paul McGowan, PS Audio

Paul McGowan, PS Audio

PS Audio was born out of the love of music, way back in 1973 when few homes were without it. This was a time when a pair of speakers, a turntable, an amplifier and a collection of vinyl records were considered essential – and great recordings were everywhere.

PS Audio began by building a phono preamp to bring better sound to these stereo systems. In the decades since then, we’ve been at the forefront of both vinyl and digital audio, making colossal technological strides in home musical performance. But what good is great audio equipment without great music?

The art of capturing music has struggled in the forty-plus years PS Audio has been building home audio products (products now so advanced we could only dream of them in 1973). The livelihoods of musicians composing and playing music has declined. Where once recording engineers treated sound reproduction with reverence, today it’s more acceptable to just cram sound through poor equipment: Slice it, dice it, compress the life out of it, and call it music. Where once musicians earned a livable wage (occasionally even striking it rich), today it’s common for musicians to supplement their meager living serving coffee or waiting tables.

The arts have suffered. So have audiophiles and music lovers looking for good source materials – yet, there is hope.

The ONE Music project found its roots in the idea of giving more back to those that created quality music and recordings, than to those that marketed and distributed them. The project was founded by a consortium of concerned music lovers that include mastering engineer Gus Skinas, PS Audio CEO Paul McGowan, Steven Vidaic and Mike Yach of Immersive Records, ASI President Sean McGowan, and the entire staff of PS Audio with the kind support of many others as committed as we are to the goal of preserving the recording arts and building a financially sound platform where musicians come first.

After all, without quality music and recordings, those among us that love listening to music in our homes would have little to enjoy. Help us support quality recordings and heartfelt music.

By purchasing these discs, you are helping musicians, high-end recording studios and mastering facilities survive. Based on the success of this first release, PS Audio will continue to invest in future musical collaborations that we trust will delight your senses and become a treasured addition to your beloved music collection.

Elephant Revival

Elephant Revival

elephant-revival-2“Where words fail… music speaks.”

This simple quote contains only five words, but reveals volumes about Elephant Revival’s reason for being. Music unites us in ways that no other medium can.

Even when we don’t understand one another’s languages, we can be moved by a rhythm, soothed by a song, brought together by a unified sense of purpose – the spirit of five souls working as one, in harmony, creating sounds they could never produce alone.

The five souls in Elephant Revival are Bonnie Paine (washboard, djembe, musical saw, stompbox); Bridget Law (fiddle, octave fiddle); Charlie Rose (banjo, pedal steel, guitar, horns, cello, double bass); Dango Rose (double bass, mandolin, banjo); and Daniel Rodriguez (guitar, banjo, double bass).

This Nederland, CO quintet are, needless to say, quite a sound to be experienced – especially when they fall into the pocket of a groove containing elements of gypsy, Celtic, Americana, and folk.

Janet Feder

janet-federA native of Boulder, Colorado Janet Feder is most widely known for pioneering composition for prepared guitar. She has been featured on numerous recordings, radio programs, and film scores.

Deeply layered, textured and intimate, her recordings feature Janet’s unique sonic universe and signature playing, occasionally even accompanied by her voice.

“I had the time of my life making this recording with Mike Yach (engineer) and Joe Shepard (producer). Together we made the music we love to hear, and the experience of getting to do this with such remarkable people, on Gus Skinas’ Sonoma DSD system, is rewarding beyond words – the proof is in the listening.”

Janet teaches, tours and collaborates in the United States and internationally.  She has performed solo, in a variety of ensembles, and with her duo cowhause (with Colin Bricker, live electronics) from both coasts of the U.S. to Israel, the United Kingdom and across the European continent. She has shared stages, recorded and collaborated with a thoroughly diverse landscape of renowned musicians including Paolo Angeli, Bryan Beller, Nels Cline, Wu Fei, Fred Frith, Bill Frisell, Henry Kaiser, Mike Keneally, Erin McKeown, Ron Miles, Tatsuya Nakatani, Pauline Oliveros, Jane Rigler and Elliott Sharp.

David Elias

The original work and contributions of David Elias as a pioneer in the unsigned artist’s world of self-produced CDs put him in front of the folk community nationally and worldwide at an early Internet age (1995).

Not restricting his exposure to online outlets (breaking ground with CD Baby in 1998 and eventually Amazon, iTunes and 50+ others) David also attracted the discriminate audiophile community as an innovator in hi-def 5.1 surround sound recordings (SACDs “The Window”, 2003, and “Crossing”, 2005). This met with industry recognition for excellence, including the Brutus award from Positive Feedback Online for both SACDs.

David’s songwriting achieved early recognition from the likes of Billboard magazine (honorable mention folk award in 1998) and hundreds of reviews and comments online from fans, musicians and industry professionals. He has been compared to many great songwriters ranging from Jim Croce to Nick Drake, Tom Petty, Dan Hicks, Arlo Guthrie, Bruce Cockburn, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and numerous others.

His productions continue to be recognized for their outstanding articulation and impact, both lyrically, musically and sonically. He has indeed been referred to as both a musician’s musician and a songwriter’s songwriter.

Ron Miles

ron-milesA resident of Denver since he was 11, Ron Miles began playing the trumpet seriously in junior high school and studied music at the University of Denver (1981-1985) and the Manhattan School of Music (1986).

In addition to local gigs, Ron Miles visited Italy in the summer of 1992 with the play Sophisticated Ladies and was a member of the Mercer Ellington Orchestra for a couple years.

He played frequently with Bill Frisell during 1994-1995, also recording with the guitarist, and worked as assistant professor of music at Denver’s Metropolitan State College. Ron Miles has recorded for Prolific (1986) and Capri (1990), as well as several advanced sets for Gramavision.

While he has made a strong impression with all his albums, “Darken My Door” showcased Ron Miles’s adventurous trumpeting style on the album Heaven in 2002.

David Darling

david-darling

“Maverick cellist” is the phrase most often assigned to Grammy winning artist, David Darling, but it hardly captures the richness, diversity, breadth and sense of humor of a person who literally redefines the way the cello is played and the way music is taught. His prolific collection of recordings and innovative performance style represent an eclectic variety of musical genres.

His playful and unconventional teaching methods have helped open the world of music and improvisation to thousands of individuals.

After leaving a career of teaching in K-12 and then college, for over 30 years Darling performed at major festivals and in concert venues such as: Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Grace Cathedral, Queen Victoria Hall, The Kennedy Center, Festival de Musica Visual de Lanzarote and Jazz festivals in Montreal, Berlin, and Frankfort…..He co-founded Music for People in 1986 for the teaching of the art of improvisation and is now their Emeritus Artistic Director.

Jacqueline Tschabold Bhuyan

jacqueline-tschabold-bhuyan

Bhuyan formerly taught music theory and composition using an innovative, successful style, along with music history, both Western and the music of other world cultures. Bhuyan also gave private piano instruction.

Bhuyan has been composing, improvising and performing at a variety of events for decades. She has produced both solo piano and cello/piano collaborative recordings with David Darling. Further Bhuyan, along with her son Dave Bhuyan, contributed various tracks for CD compilations of background music for the Native American flutes.

Bhuyan is the owner/manager of foreverrubato LLC for publishing company. She has also authored various articles on music, including the value of studying music on the development of the brain, leading to better performance in other studies and careers.

Lara Ruggles

Lara Ruggles grew up listening to Patsy Cline, Emmylou Harris, Cat Stevens, Joan Baez, and the Judds. She sang her first concert in three-part harmony and won her first poetry slam.

With the attention to lyricism of Conor Oberst, the intensity of Florence and the Machine and the ear for infectious melodies of Ingrid Michaelson, Lara’s piano and guitar-driven melodies invite the listener on a journey through soaring hooks, battle scenes and postcards written from well-loved and desolate desert landscapes.

Her music is unafraid to acknowledge the dark places within the range of the human emotional experience, and she engages with her audiences in an unabashedly genuine way, telling raw stories and allowing her own vulnerability to be a point of connection and empowerment.

Otis Taylor

OTISTAYLOR_EDITS_126Otis Taylor has received an impressive 16 Blues Music Award nominations and won twice.

His music has appeared in the Hollywood blockbuster Public Enemy, starring Johnny Depp, and in the Mark Wahlberg vehicle Shooter.

He was also a fellow in the Sundance Institute’s Film Music Program. His previous 13 albums have earned five DownBeat readers’ poll awards plus two of the magazine’s Critics Choice honors, and Taylor was awarded France’s prestigious Académie Charles Cros after two earlier nominations, winning the Grand Prix du Disc for Blues.

Adam Agee & Jon Sousa

Adam Agee and Jon Sousa are two of Colorado’s most sought-after traditional Irish musicians.

Since 2004, they have been journeying together through the Irish idiom on fiddle, guitar, and tenor banjo, enchanting listeners on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Adam and Jon have put down musical roots in County Clare, where they lived together, and now make frequent visits. Their connection to their instruments and the transcendent energy in their music is guaranteed to captivate and uplift audiences of all ages.

Adam Agee’s fiddle music is alive, dynamically fluid, and colorful. Raised in the mountains of Santa Cruz, California and Boulder, Colorado, Adam came first to Ireland in 2004, basing himself in Ennis, County Clare, where he discovered a new home. Adam’s fiddle playing is grounded in a personal, aesthetic quest. He has been teaching and performing for 15 years.

Jon Sousa fell in love with music at an early age, listening to the 70′s folk albums in his mother’s record collection. Jon’s passion for music has taken him all over the world, from the beautiful countryside of France to study with master fingerstyle guitar player Pierre Bensusan, to Senegal, West Africa, to study Sabar Drumming, and eventually to reside in Ireland in 2008.

Fiona Joy

fiona-joyAustralian pianist, producer and singer Fiona Joy is known throughout the world for her melodic songs and lush arrangements, as well as her mesmerizingly ballet-like performance style on the concert stage.

A prolific composer, she has always been interested in creating music that evokes images, emotions and stories.

Fiona’s upbringing was filled with music. She recalls that her father embraced Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music, playing Jesus in the Tamworth Musical Society production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Her classical piano training is evident in her thematic and melodic compositions. Ravel’s “Bolero” emerged as an early influence, she says, adding,

“I loved it; I played it over and over and deconstructed every part. George Winston, Prokofiev and Mendelssohn also intrigued me.”

In 2014, she teamed up with Blue Coast Records and producer Cookie Marenco to release her first solo piano recordings with “Signature – Solo”. The composition “Ceremony”, comes from that album, receiving worldwide accolades for Fiona and Blue Coast Records.

Reed Foehl

reed-föehlGrace plants seeds of talent in every generation. But what becomes of it can’t be known until the lucky ones make their choices about how to use it.

Down the road, those choices become their story, for better or for worse.

Reed Foehl began discovering the seeds of his own talent as a young teenager, playing on the streets of Boston, beneath the grasshopper weather vane at Faneuil Hall. Reed recalls:

“I grew up listening to my family playing country music and traditional songs every Thursday night. My dad introduced me to many of the artists that still move me today, folks like John Prine and Steve Goodman.”

Reed was encouraged by his parents and their own love of music.

“Fly” is a DSDPure recording captured at Immersive Studios directly on a Sonoma Multitrack DSD Recorder through Meitner converters, and mixed in DSD.

Each of these high-fidelity recordings was captured with crystal clarity by featured producers, including Steven Vidaic and Mike Yach of Immersive Records in Boulder, CO and Cookie Marenco of Blue Coast Records in San Fransisco, CA.

Immersive Records

immersive-logoImmersive’s mission is to promote the growth and prosperity of the living arts through the production and distribution of high-quality multi-media art and music while supporting and developing the ingenuity of great artists who are in need of our infrastructure.

Blue Coast Records

Bluecoast-logoBlue Coast Records was founded by producer and engineer Cookie Marenco, as well as French engineer Jean Claude Reynaud in 2007. Known for using the Direct Stream Digital hi-resolution format, the recording studio located on the San Francisco Peninsula.

Gus Skinas, Super Audio Center

Gus Skinas, Super Audio Center

Super Audio Mastering in DSD

Deep associations with world-renowned mastering engineer Gus Skinas help us understand the worsening plight of musicians, recording studios and mastering houses dedicated to preserving the quality of musical reproduction. Now, with our new thinking, change becomes opportunity.

Gus reaches out with a question:

“In an effort to preserve and encourage what’s left, would it be possible to change the economic model for musicians?”

It seems like musicians are always at the bottom of the economic pile, with industry professionals at the top. With that model, musicians sometimes can’t get paid a dime until others have first made millions.

Enamored with the idea of flipping this model on its head, Gus envisions a new system, one where as much revenue as possible goes to the owners: the musicians, content-creators, and people who originally brought the music to life.

In addition to mastering every track on the Sonoma Master Series recordings, Gus, through his Super Audio Center, has been instrumental in mastering many of the SACDs in audiophile libraries, as well as some of the finest reproductions in all of music. From its inception, Gus has been intimately involved in the world’s breakthrough recording system, the Sonoma Pure DSD workstation.

Elephant Revival – Quill Pen Feather

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Janet Feder – No Apology

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David Elias – Her Name Is A

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Ron Miles & Bill Frisell – Darken My Door

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David Darling & Jacqueline Tschabold Bhuyan – Mirage for Debussy

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Lara Ruggles – Snowflake

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Otis Taylor – They Wore Blue

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Adam Agee & Jon Sousa – Fead An Iolar (Eagle’s Whistle)

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Fiona Joy – Ceremony

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Reed Foehl – Fly

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