The Power of the Keyboard is a new Stereo and 5 Channel Pure DSD 256 Surround Sound release. It features Nathan Ben-Yehuda and Astral Mixtape. The Pure DSD editions of this album were prepared using the new, next generation Signalyst HQ Player Professional mastering software.
Yarlung says “We are so proud to announce the debut release on Yarlung Records of the brilliant young pianist Nathan Ben-Yehuda together with his classical-fusion ensemble Astral Mixtape. Nathan has curated a fascinating program, creating an expansive sound world spanning the centuries.”
Nathan Ben-Yehuda pursues a full-time solo concert career but also plays with Astral Mixtape, an innovative crossover quartet writing new works and reimagining classics from Monteverdi to Rimsky-Korsakov, and playing with ideas and thematic material from Sigur Ros to Radiohead and Four Tet.
Nathan plays piano and synthesizer, Misha Vayman performs on violin and computers, Michael Siess plays violin, and Juan-Salvador Carrasco performs on the cello. Misha and Michael have both studied with Yarlung Special Advisor and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra concertmaster Margaret Batjer.
Juan-Salvador studied with Ralph Kirshbaum at the Thornton School at USC and plays often with LACO where he also serves as an orchestra fellow. So it turned out we had musical connections with all four members of the quartet. After Astral Mixtape came to play for Aaron Egigian and me at Segerstrom Center, we invited the quartet to join us for Nathan’s recording sessions and share their wonderful sound and creativity with the Yarlung community.
We end this album with two tracks by Astral Mixtape. Track 6 offers Goddess Gardens, including intoxicating “mixtape” snippets from Scheherazade and Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending, as well as more recent fare. Seven Hellos closes the album on track 7, an original composition by the four members of the quartet. Astral Mixtape is clearly close to Nathan’s heart: “I am part of this wonderful band of fellow classical musicians who are seeking to reimagine the conventional roles of our instruments, and applying non-classical approaches to arrangement and composition in our works. Astral Mixtape is the collaborative project most personal to me, and I’m so glad to be able to share our music as part of this record.”
Fellow recording engineer and equipment designer Arian Jansen and producer Bob Attiyeh used SonoruS Holographic Imaging technology in the analog domain to refine the stereo image, Merging Technologies Hapi Analog to Digital Converter to record the album in Pure DSD 256 Stereo and Surround Sound. We used our friend Ted Ancona’s AKG C24 microphone previously owned by Frank Sinatra, and vacuum tube microphone amplification by Yarlung executive producer and designer Elliot Midwood.
Featured in blog post Notes on Recent Finds, No. 9 – Endless Bounty from NativeDSD by music reviewer Rushton Paul.
Nathan Ben-Yehuda – Piano & Synthesizer
Misha Vayman – Violin & Electronics
Michael Siess – Violin
Juan-Salvador Carrasco – Cello
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 01:24:18
|Original Recording Format|
|Release Date||May 19, 2023|
Nathan Ben-Yehuda is a compelling young pianist (Julliard graduate) whose performances of Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit and Knussen’s Variations are simply among the best (if not THE best) I’ve heard. Overall, the performance are well done, powerfully performed—Ben-Yehuda is a young artist to watch. I will certainly be paying attention to any new recordings from him.
The recording quality is also top-drawer, just as I’ve come to expect from Bob Attiyeh’s recordings. The Pure DSD256 sonics are open, clear and detailed, with great resolution of the timbre of the Steinway grand piano played here.
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