The Avant Garde Project is a series of 20th-century classical-experimental-electroacoustic torrents digitized from LPs whose music has in most cases never been released on CD, and so is effectively inaccessible to the vast majority of music listeners today. This is wild stuff, so check it out if you've never heard this sort of music before. The analog rig used to extract the sound from the grooves is near state-of-the-art, producing almost none of the tracking distortion or surface noise normally associated with LPs.
AGP1-23 are now available for direct download in the archive at www.avantgardeproject.org
AGP24-25 are available at http://thepiratebay.org/user/loudav
Ignore the seeders/leechers statistics, as they often show no seeders when in fact there are some. For the time being, a new AGP torrent is being seeded around midnight each Friday night (GMT), and is advertised on the I Hate Music Forum.
SPECIAL NEWS: If you enjoyed the Jean-Claude Eloy tracks in AGP19, you may be interested to know that the remaining two sides of the original 2LP release of Gaku-no-Michi have been transcribed and added to the AGP19 page in the archive at www.avantgardeproject.org.
AGP26 is a particularly happy outcome of a request by an AGP patron. Luciano Berio has long been one of my favorite composers, but I had jumped to the conclusion that so many of his works were available on CD that I could not assemble a torrent from out-of-print works. Only when a Berio AGP installment was specifically requested did I look closely enough to realize that I actually had two torrents of unavailable Berio in my stacks--one devoted to vocal music and another (for next week) devoted to instrumental music.
We're starting with Berio's vocal music because he had a special gift for writing for voices. Even if vocal music from the late 20th century is not normally your thing, I strongly encourage you to check out this torrent. The works included come from two LP releases from the 1970's, one on RCA and one on Decca. The earliest work was written in 1952 and the latest in 1974. Tracks 01, 02, 05, and 06 are the original versions of works that were later modified for incorporation into Berio's "Opera", while track 03 is the original chamber version of what became the second movement of his "Sinfonia". The torrent includes a text file containing liner notes from the LPs from which these recordings were transcribed.
There was more tracking distortion than I would have liked during the transcription of the last movement of "Cries of London", most of which I was able to eliminate by increasing the stylus tracking force from 1.6 to 1.8g. However, the upshot of doing this is a somewhat heavier and less airy sound. My feeling is that the slight loss of detail is a fair trade for less distortion, so the first version of that last movement (track 08) is the 1.8g transcription. To enable listeners to make the final choice for themselves, I have also included the 1.6g transcription as track 09 of the torrent. You may be interested in comparing these two tracks by way of experiencing the imperfections sometimes associated with the inner grooves of LPs, when the stylus covers less groove area per second, and so tracking can be compromised during loud and/or complex passages.
Equipment used for A/D conversion: Lyra Helikon phono cartridge, Linn LP12/Lingo turntable, Linn Ittok tonearm, Audioquest LeoPard tonearm cable, PS Audio PS2 preamplifier, Kimber PBJ interconnect, M-Audio Audiophile USB A/D converter.
01 - Agnus [6:08]
02 - Air [5:47]
03 - O King [4:40]
04 - El mar la mar [5:35]
05 - Melodrama [15:36]
06 - E vo [4:44]
07 - Cries of London 1-6 [11:05]
08 - Cries of London 7 [3:50]
09 - Cries of London 7, 1.8g [3:50]
NOTE: To the best of my knowledge, these recordings are currently out of print. If you know otherwise, please let me know ASAP, as I do not wish any artists to be deprived of the royalties that they so richly deserve.