Live Archive & more

Big news first:

Live Archive is done, and it’s working its way to digital download. If you check my Discography page you’ll see cover art, descriptions and track listings. The first place to find the music for sale will be www.musiczeit.com, where lossless FLAC downloads offer true CD quality audio. After that, the files should propagate through the distribution network, including iTunes, Rhapsody and others.

So, what is Live Archive, and why am I releasing it now? Live Archive consists of 7 concerts that I really enjoyed, whose recordings had a good sound quality and where I played something different from the studio. These are mixing board dubs, recorded at CD quality with my approval. Several of the concerts were completely improvised and do not repeat any studio compositions. A few of the recording were available as radio streams, torrents, bootlegs or limited CDRs, so I wanted to give people a chance to get mastered, cleaned-up, full resolution versions of these if they wanted. A few of these concerts represent important pivots in my career, and you can hear ideas in their raw stage of formation.

So why did I wait so long to release some of this music? Well, it’s because of the realities of digital download. Back when a “release” meant a CD, and several thousand dollars invested in manufacturing, marketing, packaging and such, I wanted to keep my releases limited to the latest work. But in retrospect, some of these more improvisational moments of the past have value on their own, as action instead of object, like dance relates to sculpture. The download format also allows for longer durations. Manufactured CDs shouldn’t exceed 74 minutes. Some of these sets were 80-90 minutes long. Even now I faced a challenge to edit them down to an 80 minute CDR-capable format, so people could back-up their lossless downloads.

In general, I prefer to keep my release schedule sparse rather than dense. So, I am releasing these recordings all at once. I’ll treat this as a single release, although it’s 7 releases as far as the outside world may see it. Since the concerts are available as 7 separate downloads, people can decide which ones they want to hear; I will let the listeners vote on the recordings they prefer.

In the future, I might consider releasing some or all of this music in a physical form, and I encourage people to comment on their interests. One possibility is to take pre-orders on a limited boxed set of 10 CDs and art, perhaps including suplementals such as a DVD of the films that Paul Clipson created for the Volume 6 “Lumin” event. I doubt that the physical release will happen, seeing how the world has moved almost completely to download last year; but I am open to requests.

I will write another blog, and send an email newsletter, when these downloads actually become available for purchase.

As an addendum to the big news, here are two tidbits:

I now have a Twitter account: robertrichmusic. If you want to get bits of news from me, feel free to follow on that address. I admit that I don’t yet have a text-friendly cellphone, but I’ll send news from my computer when anything big that’s interesting happens.

Also, for those awaiting new RR solo music: I had a great recording session with my percussionist friend Ricky Carter last Saturday, to help me start some rhythm loops for my next album. I am VERY happy with the results. Now I have to chew on a bunch of cool grooves and maybe eventually come up with a few good ideas to go along with those rhythms. I’m sitting on a deep in-the-pocket vibe these days, wanting to find the voice for the next album. Audio samples may yet be six months or more in the future. I apologize for working so slowly.

Peace to you all – Robert