Already more than a year ago, Ukranian composer Maxim Shalygin began writing a piece for cellist Maya Fridman, titled “Canti d’inizio e fine” (“Songs of the beginning and the end”). The theme of the piece was the Holocaust and the cycle of life and death. The movements were named after the ancient Jewish angels of death and their characters. So how does one record a piece like that, so heavy, deep and dark?
Choosing a location was not such a difficult task. We were kindly offered what in my opinion would be one of the best places in the country to record this at, the Willem Twee Toonzaal. This concert venue resides in an old synagogue in the heart of the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands. The place had a magical feel to it and it served the album just right – aside from it being a synagogue, the acoustics were just absolutely phenomenal for the type of music we recorded. Dense and dark, but with lightness in it as well. The acoustics didn’t distract from the direct and sometimes very harsh sound of the cello.
For this recording, we decided on using our standard array of three Sonodore RCM-402 microphones, patched with Furutech custom microphone cables to the microphone power supply and preamplifiers. These are connected with Grimm Audio TPR8 cabling to the Merging Technologies HAPI AD/DA converter. A very simple setup, but incredibly detailed and extremely transparent. Just what the piece requires of us. To top it off, we got to use the extremely high-end JCAT M12 Switch Gold paired with their NET Card FEMTO gigabit ethernet card, and an SBooster linear power supply.