Composer, author, lecturer, guitar teacher

Not deaf to Hi-def

As someone once sang, it’s late September and I really should be … writing another post. Regular readers of my blog will know that I have been championing high-resolution formats such as SACD for some time now. The demise of SACD has not quite happened as predicted; it is certainly doing very well in the classical field with labels such as BIS, Pentatone and Chandos all issuing SACDs. But other changes in technology – such as universal disc players, increasing hard drive storage and increasing download speeds – mean it is now possible to find websites selling music at a higher resolution than standard CD. One that is worth investigating is HDtracks – their website is at There is also an interesting blog on the Gramophone magazine website on this topic:

I notice from the current issue of Mojo that Van Morrison’s ‘Moondance’ album is about to be reissued in an extravagant multi-disc version which will include high-resolution versions. As record companies run out of out-takes / alternate mixes / live versions etc with which to garnish archive re-releases it may be that they will have to provide 5.1 mixes and high-resolution versions in order to have something new to sell.

Talking of archive releases, there is going to be a volume 2 of The Beatles at the BBC. The first volume, released about 20 years ago, is being remastered. I was surprised that there could be this many Beatles BBC versions uncollected to make a second volume.

I’m currently at work on the next songwriting book for Backbeat books. My guitar album Atlantic Canticles is selling well – check it out if you haven’t heard it.

Looking a long way ahead, I heard recently that the 2015 Lahti Sibelius Festival is going to be about six days long rather than the usual three and a bit, in honour of 2015 being the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sibelius, Finland’s greatest symphonist. This will make it a must-attend. I’ve been twice and loved it. The music is mostly performed in Sibelius Hall which is right on the shores of a huge lake in Lahti (Lahti is about 100km north of Helsinki). To wander along in the evening and hear the music in such fantastic surroundings is always a treat (and the last time I went all 7 symphonies were performed over three nights). Here’s a link for more information:


2 responses

  1. Enjoyed your blog – bit disappointed to hear that they are bringing out hi-resolution stuff. Still enjoying your Beatles songbook and have nearly mastered WIth A Little Help…

    September 30, 2013 at 4:47 am

    • Hello Dan, glad to hear you are enjoying the Beatles songbook. I’m puzzled by your comment about hi-resolution. Why would you be ‘disappointed’ about music in this format being released? Best wishes, Rikky Rooksby

      October 3, 2013 at 10:16 am

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