This disc was recognized over and over for its songwriting, remarkable musicianship as well as for the clarity and honest, warm analog-like feel to the recording. The original "The Window" hybrid 5.1 SACD was released in 2003 and was the first of its kind to be released anywhere in the world by an unsigned artist. It received a Brutus "Excellence" award from Positive Feedback Online as well as final nominiations in the 2003 Surround Music Awards in Beverly Hills, California. Tracks were played on lots of popular folk radio shows including the syndicated "Midnight Special" from Chicago.
Since going out of print years ago, "The Window" SACD continued to be a favorite of audiophiles and folk/acoustic music lovers. It has often been cited as a "referernce recording" due to the sonic quality of the album. A top notch studio band was assembled for these live sessions at Immersive Studios in Boulder Colorado. The lineup includes Sally Van Meter (Grammy winning dobro player and member of original Bay Area "Good Old Persons" with Laurie Lewis), Matt Flinner (a favorite on Dish network for his compositions, Compass Records artist compared in greatness to Grisman on mando and Bela Fleck on banjo), John Magnie (original member of legendary and recording/touring Subdudes playing keyboards and accordion), Eric Thorin (recorded upright bass on Rounder with Open Road Bluegrass and recently Matt Flinner Trio), Marc Dalio (omnicient, impeccable drummer touring with the lkes of Erin McKeown), and Ross Martin (among many many other accolades one of my all time favorite guitar players, tours with Matt Flinner Trio, Drew Emmitt).
Now in 2011, "The Window" is being reissued as a special CD release. Using the proprietary Sony SBM downsampling algorithm, the high quality of the DSD recording is brought to standard CD format (same as the hybrid layer on the SACD). To further protect the high quality, the CD glass master was created as a single speed 1x master. This is done by Oasis CD manufacturing and no one else in the industry. All this is reissued in a certified Zero Carbon Footprint package using 100% post-consumer recycled plastic and other recycled materials.
What you get is very very good sound. An extra bonus track has been added to this CD reissue version of "The Window". The track "Vision of Her" was also recorded to hi-def DSD and features Chris Kee (original Waybacks, Houston/Jones) on upright bass and Charlie Natzke from Slipperworld Studios on acoustic accompaniment.
Mostly you just need to sit back and relax while listening to "The Window". Your ears will be in the good hands of some exceptional musicians backing David in the studio working magic into the lyric and poetic songs presented ranging from ballads to country to bluegrass to straight folk style as well as some intricate fingerstyle work.
***** DSD Disc -- The Ultimate HD -- at www/davidelias.com
In late 2009, the award-winning SACD "The Window" became one of the world's first DSD Disc downloads. With the ability to be played on various equipment including the Sony Playstation3, the ultra high fidelity (HD) quality of the original Sonoma recorded and mastered "Window" tracks can be downloaded and played in their native format. Audiophiles in particular can finally hear the ambient quality of these recording (stereo only) sessions. DSD Disc downloads are available only at www.davidelias.com.
From SSLABS Epinion Review of "The Window"
The music pouring through The Window...
"After taking in about 20 seconds of The Window I realized just how mainstream my tastes have become in the past few years. Like someone walking into a theater after the flick has already started, I allowed my ears time to adjust. Now that I’ve had all this time to get acquainted, there are tracks that speak to me more than others. The Window is difficult to categorize, slapping it in the folk category is easy only because that is the nearest description, but it isn’t always completely fitting.
The first half of The Window is definitely a mix of the upbeat, quiet, and sometimes somber side of little guitar strumming stories. Freedom on the Freeway a straight up and down guitar pluckin’, harmonica playin’ tune kicks things off. Freedom, a little ditty about traveling, and life on the road has Elias showing his rascal side with bits like ‘I’m just the kind of guy that that drives away, I’m only here to disappear. Yet Elias shares his low maintenance side with lines like “I love my Chevron coffee..... suits me fine. The following tracks, like Summer Wind and Go Down Easy are easy to overlook. A little conventional in sound, and in presentation, these folk-y numbers tend to reward anyone with the liner notes in hand. There are great little observations about life in America to be appreciated here, nothing heavy, more reminiscing and bits of Americana than anything else.
The Old King sounding somber and reflective, leans more toward the songs (lyrically) on Jewel’s Spirit that never gained any airplay, but grabbed ahold of some fans really tight (like me) and never let go. The intro to Half An Hour Away has what I personally wanted to hear more of on The Window. With just a hint of something sinister (in sound) around the edges that say, Natalie Merchant would churn out; like St. Judas, Half an Hour Away is where my ears really started to dig in. Following the intro, Half an Hour Away is where Elias plays a bit, a little Alice in Wonderland with musings like ‘I wish I had a field of corn... Or half a rag to keep me warm...... A bag of bones to blow my horn.......... Time to fade away.”
Her name is A. is the only true love song here. And after getting rather close to this tune, Elias has me wondering just who this mystery woman is. Would a full name cause controversy? Or is it more like controversy in his own mind that is being avoided? A defense mechanism perhaps? Maybe I have to stop thinking about every little thing so much and simply accept this sad song that I’ve befriended.
The Window (intro) is a free style of sorts. Various stringed instruments sigh and wince in pain. And later, post intro, a guitar drips with the sounds of a showdown between two men in the old west. It's like a warm up session on drugs that finds the mind clearing up once the intro track fades away. The Window finds Elias showing a little bit of doom and gloom. There seems to be a “what has the world come to” vibe here when Elias sings “I own nothing that’s holy........ Except ideas yet to come.” At times even though the feeling is extremely vague, Loreena McKennitt's The Book of Secrets seems to haunt this brace of tracks, and maybe even the intro to Half an Hour Away to some degree was well.
It's possible that I'm audibly witnessing the next step in mixing music in surround. I've had this idea in my mind concerning “phantoms" and I was wondering just how long it would take for my theory to actually materialize. Like engineers mixing music in stereo, creating “phantom" vocals in the center for example, so that a singer seems to come from the middle rather than from two separate speakers is old news.
People hear this all the time in stereo music, and are totally oblivious to it. Now it seems that this technique has finally jumped into multi-channel music. It sounds like (to these ears anyway) Skinas used a front, center and rear channel to create a “phantom" source for instruments on The Window/intro. But rather than create a center phantom, it seems to be pulled back, more between the listener and the front sound stage. It's a bit strange, but wonderfully spacious. Either Skinas figured out how to mix music in 3-D taking into account the vast number of “phantoms" that could be created (like between the center, and left rear for example) or these guys set up a bunch of microphones and let everyone jam and I'm burning brain cells contemplating something that never even happened.
It could be a little bit of both, but regardless, the result is one of the most musical, detailed, and spacious recordings I've ever come across. I'm sure David Elias had a personal reason for using The Window as a title. For me however, the title is very fitting when referring to square hole in a wall with a band jamming on the other side. It sounds that good, and if you're a SACD fanatic, The Window deserves a slot in your collection."