CURVA RAS w/ Jessica Thompson
The story of how we got in touch with Jessica Thompson is the story of how Obaa Simaa by Ata Kak ended up being released in two different speeds. For those who might not know the story, no spoilers. We will begin with this very beautiful anecdote to start unfolding the work and world of Jessica, a mastering and restoration engineer, audio preservationist and educator. With her we will look into, or listen into, ideas around fidelity, distortion, noise, context, spatiality, being situated, the act of listening, reproduction, technology, tools, and her running playlist. "RAS" is a short version of "risk." It means pushing to the maximum. To take a "RAS" curve is to take it all the way inside, risking as much as possible when approaching the inside vertex of the curve. “CURVA RAS” is a collection of copilot notes to walk the edges between music and architecture, at full speed and without brakes. Jessica Thompson has remastered, restored, and revived historic recordings from the Bottom Line, Caffè Lena, Woody Guthrie, Erroll Garner, and Barbara Dane Archives, and the Ash Grove and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festival archives, including performances by Lou Reed, Pete Seeger, Roger McGuinn, Lightnin' Hopkins, Doc Watson, Miles Davis, Jean Ritchie and Dave Von Ronk. She has cleaned, digitized and restored rare vinyl and cassette recordings for Awesome Tapes from Africa (Ata Kak, Hailu Mergia, Nahawa Doumbia), Smithsonian Folkways (Barbara Dane), RVNG Intl (Michele Mercure), and Numero Group (Gary Davenport, Pot Valiant). And she has mastered new records for Ron Pope, Michael Daves, The Grassy Knoll, Chris Riffle, Flipsyde, Heavy Diamond Ring, and more. Jessica's work on Erroll Garner's iconic live performance The Complete Concert By the Sea (Sony/Legacy) was nominated for Best Historical Album GRAMMY, 2015. She has been working with the Erroll Garner Jazz Project for several years and recently remastered Garner's Dreamstreet, A New Kind of Love and several other classic Garner albums for the Octave Remastered Series. Her restoration of Ata Kak's Obaa Sima was FACT Magazine's Reissue of the Year, 2015, and remaster of Mickey Newbury's seminal albums for the box set An American Trilogy (Drag City/Cargo UK) was Mojo Magazine's Reissue of the Year, 2011.