Category Archives: Audio

R.I.P. Lawrence “Butch” Morris, 1947-2013, known for his “Conductions”

Musician and composer Lawrence “Butch” Morris passed away on Jan. 29, 2013. Among his achievements, he was noted for his technique of “conduction”, a combination of conducting and improvisation. The image to the left shows the technique, using gestures to elicit musical responses from an ensemble of musicians, here in the piece “Possible Universe”.

A full obituary in the New York Times is available at this link.

You can sample Butch Morris’ conductions in the 10-CD box set “Testament” (CD3224, available for check-out in the Music & Arts Library. ) Many conductions are also available, in streaming audio, from the Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM), to which the Libraries subscribe. Here’s a link to “The Long Goodbye“, from Morris’ 1990 album “Dust to Dust” (Note: you must be a full-time Columbia affiliate to access this link).

Free download! Selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker”, op.71

Kick off your holiday season with a free download of selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, op.71,  available courtesy of Alexander Street Press. You can grab the recording at this link: http://alexanderstreet.com/support-center/classical-music-library-free-download-week. Enjoy, and then impress, astound, and mystify your friends by name-dropping the Russian title, “Shchelkunchik”! The performance is by the Orchestre d’Etat du Palatinat Rhénan, and their recording of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 5 is also available at that link.

Check out our streaming audio resources!

There are several databases offering streaming audio which are available through the Libraries. You can access these from any computer in campus libraries, as well as from your dorm room or off-campus (with your UNI and password).

Audio titles include: Classical Music Library, Naxos Music Library,  Naxos Music Library Jazz, Smithsonian Global Sound, Contemporary World Music, the Database of Recorded American Music, and more. For a full list of audio titles, click on the “E-Resources” tab on the main Library Web page, then click on “E-Music“.

You’ll find records for most of the Naxos and Classical Music Library audio content in CLIO, as well – you’ll see “[electronic resource]” next to the title in your search results. Click on the “Online Link” in the CLIO record to launch playback. Note that these databases add new content on a regular basis, so, for the most up-to-date search, search the databases directly.

A note on audio quality: some of these databases offer different options for streaming rates – make sure to choose the highest rate you can! All of the databases, while convenient, are less-than-CD quality. We have over 20,000 CDs in the Music & Arts Library, which can be checked out, if you’re looking for the best sound quality! All CDs can be searched in CLIO (you can limit your search results to sound recordings, if you wish).

Take advantage of these great resources for listening from anywhere, anytime! And, let us know what you think, at musiclibrary@columbia.edu.

Water Leak in Music & Arts Library

The Music & Arts Library experienced a significant water leak on Sunday, 6/27. The area affected is mostly music scores, call numbers 00 – 51. Due to ongoing clean-up work in the area, we’ve restricted access to the affected shelves for now, but Music staff will check on the condition of any item you need, and retrieve it for you if condition permits. We will post updates as access restrictions are lifted, but remember, you can still get any undamaged score.

Also affected are the Viewing and Seminar Rooms, both of which received damage to the floor and carpet. These rooms are currently not accessible, including the digital pianos.

We’re fortunate that Facilities staff caught this happening in the early morning on Sunday, and put up plastic to prevent further damage. While unfortunate, this could have been much worse if not caught early. Damaged items will be going out for preservation treatment; we expect all items to be salvageable.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns, at musiclibrary@columbia.edu. Thanks for your patience while we treat these materials and restore the space back to normal.

Free Download: Scriabin’s 8 Etudes for Piano, Op. 42

A free download of Scriabin’s “8 Etudes for Piano”, op.42, is being offered this week by Alexander Street Press/Classical Music Library. It’s available at http://alexanderstreet.typepad.com/music/, in a recording by pianist Nicole Afriat.

And, don’t be alarmed by the different spellings of Scriabin… I’m just using our standard spelling in CLIO here! It will sound just as good, and, did I mention, it’s free? Watch this space for periodic free downloads available from Classical Music Library and other sources.

Naxos Music Library adds film music audio content

Naxos Music Library , available through the Columbia University Libraries, has added new content from the label Varese Sarabande to its collection. Varese Sarabande specializes in film and television soundtracks; content offered includes film music by noted composers such as Bernard Hermann, Duke Ellington, Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, and James Horner. Titles include “North by Northwest”, “Jaws”,  “Star Wars”, and “Music from the Classic Godzilla Films, 1954-1995”. Check it out!

Naxos Music Library and Naxos Jazz audio now in CLIO

Streaming audio content available on Naxos Music Library and Naxos Jazz is now indexed in CLIO! Over 4,500 records from Naxos Music Library and 1,500 records from Naxos Jazz have been added. This means that when you are searching CLIO, any available Naxos streaming audio content which matches your search will come up, along with the usual results for CDs and LPs held by the Libraries.

The CLIO records include contents, performers, track information, etc. To access the audio, click on the link in the CLIO record which says “Online Link: Naxos Music Library streaming audio”. This will take you to the Naxos record, where you can select the particular track(s) you wish to hear.

If you’re curious about browsing the collection, here’s one way:

  • In CLIO, choose search type = “Keyword”
  • To browse Naxos Music Library content, enter keyword “965naxos”
  • To browse Naxos Jazz content, enter keyword “965naxosjazz”

If you don’t want to have to remember these keywords, you can also just do a keyword search using “naxos” and then add “jazz” or whatever other search terms you like (artists, performers, labels, etc).

For example: keyword = naxos jazz charlie parker

Note that this will also pull up any physical Naxos CDs the library holds that match your search. Streaming audio content is easily distinguishable from CDs by the “ERESOURCES” call number.

Lastly, please note the variety of audio player options available on the Naxos site. If you are experiencing playback problems with one player, try one of the other options. If problems persist, please let us know at music@libraries.cul.columbia.edu.

Please have a listen, and let us know if you have any questions, comments, or problems.

Tip: audio interviews on Rock’s Back Pages

Rock’s Back Pages, an online database provided through the Columbia University Libraries, provides electronic access to an “… archive of reviews, interviews and features on artists from Aaliyah to ZZ Top, by the world’s best rock writers and from the most influential music publications.

One interesting area of content that may not be immediately noticed is an archive of audio interiews, available by clicking on the “Audio” link on the left-hand navigation menu. Spanning from 1970 through 2006, these audio interviews feature artists such as Bo Diddley, David Bowie, Tom Waits, Ronnie Spector, Van Dyke Parks, Randy Newman, Leonard Cohen, and many others. Also included, at the end of the listings under “others”, are interviews with record producers, sound engineers, and producers, including such noted figures as Ahmet Ertegun, and Gamble and Huff.

The interviews are encoded as downloadable 128kpbs MP3 files, which is adequate for spoken word content. The context and location of the interviews is not always clear, and it would be nice to have more information provided. There are links provided to additional articles by the interviewers.

Tips on audio playback for Naxos Music Library

Naxos Music Library, one of the Libraries’ online audio databases, seems to have recently changed their web site, in a way that may impact some users.

When you select your audio and start playback, a window launches, running a Flash audio player. Unfortunately, this player will not work on standard library workstations!

If you look at the playback window, you’ll see that you’re also offered two other options:

Windows Media Player, and the Silverlight player.

For standard library workstations, choose Windows Media Player. For Macs, try Silverlight (including off-campus access). Silverlight requires download and installation. Please let us know if you experience any problems in connecting to this, or any other, audio resource!