Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Session Recap: Mathew Fuerst's "Broken Cycles"

It's always inspiring to witness the growth and evolution of an artist over time.  We've been lucky enough to work with the very talented Mathew Fuerst for the past few years and his innovative writing continues to amaze everyone here at PARMA.

Early last month we entered the beautiful Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA to record Mathew's new composition for percussion and piano, "Broken Cycles."  Unlike Mathew's last recording with PARMA ("Symphony" for full orchestra), "Broken Cycles" showcases Mathew's talents in writing for small ensemble.  The piece is written as a gradual separation between the two performers and we think its one of Mathew's best works to date.

PARMA Lead Producer Andy Happel, Mathew Fuerst
Brad Blackham, Stacey Jones
The morning of the session, we met Mathew, Stacey Jones (percussion) and Brad Blackham (piano) who all traveled from Hillsdale, Michigan for the session.  Situated over the water on Rockport Harbor, the Shalin Liu's picture-perfect setting is only rivaled by the acoustics of the room.  "Broken Cycles" is one of the most percussion-heavy pieces we've seen recently and each instrument sounded superb in the hall.

"Broken Cycles" is an intricate piece of music that's success relies on the interaction and harmony between the percussionist and pianist. There are sections of delicate syncopation and Reich-influenced minimalism along with highly rhythmic and technical passages for both players (think the opening of "Music for 18 Musicians").

We're currently working on audio post-production for the recording and we are looking forward to featuring "Broken Cycles" on an upcoming release.  Keep an eye out for updates in the next few months!

Mathew holds a Bachelor's Degree in composition from the Eastman School of Music where he studied under fellow PARMA composers David Liptak and Sydney Hodkinson.  He also holds Master's and Doctorate degrees in Composition from The Julliard School, where he worked with Robert Beaser and John Corigliano.  Mathew is currently on the music faculty at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kimiko Ishizaka WELL-TEMPERED CLAVIER: 1 Million Streams

We're delighted to announce that as of this afternoon, Kimiko Ishizaka's WELL-TEMPERED CLAVIER has hit 1 million streams on Spotify in only 3 months since its release on March 14, 2015.  This is a landmark achievement for PARMA Recordings, Kimiko Ishizaka, and new classical recordings alike.

You can listen to the album via Spotify at the following link: 

The album is also available for physical and digital purchase at the following locations:

Classics Online HD:

For more information on the project, Kimiko, and to learn about it's open source mission, visit:

New PARMA Artist: Yuriy Bekker

Please join us in welcoming Charleston, SC based violinist and conductor, Yuriy Bekker, to the growing and talented PARMA family!

Bekker will be working with PARMA to produce his debut release, recordings of American works for violin and piano, alongside renowned pianist Andrew Armstrong.

Born in Minsk, Belarus, Bekker has been hard at work leading the Charleston Symphony Orchestra as concertmaster since 2007, additionally serving as the orchestra's Acting Artistic Director from 2010-2014.

Bekker rose to prominence with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in the 2011-2012 season, after working with South Carolina composer, Edward Hart, on a new concerto written specifically for Bekker.  The concerto gained attention from Philadelphia couple, Winifred and John Constable, who happen to own the 1686 Ex-Nachez Stradivarius violin.  The Constables offered this rare instrument to Bekker for the concerto’s South Carolina premiere performance with the CSO and Bekker accepted. The concert, which featured the Hart concerto alongside Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, became the highest grossing concert in the history of the organization and helped to put the Charleston Symphony back on the map as a rising and established orchestra.

Built by Antonio Stradivarius in 1686 in Cremona, Italy, the Ex-Nachez was named after a previous owner, like most other Stradivarius instruments; in this case, the Hungarian violinist and composer, Tivadar Nachez. Bekker's relationship with the Constables and this violin has flourished since their initial contact in 2011, and he will be recording the entire release program on this precious instrument.

In addition to his work in Charleston, Yuriy has held the position of concertmaster with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the AIMS Festival in Graz, Austria.  He has also appeared alongside the Vancouver Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Houston Symphony and Chicago Chamber Music Society. Bekker’s playing has brought him to the Spoleto Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and the Kennedy Center, among other venues.

Bekker will be recording this release over the summer in South Carolina.  In the meantime, keep an eye out for updates regarding this release and check out a video of Bekker working with Edward Hart below:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New PARMA Artist: Sidney Bailin

Composer, skydiver, martial artist, computer scientist, filmmaker, teacher, and philosopher Sidney
Bailin has signed on to release a full album of his works, including two electronic pieces and three piano works (one for prepared piano) which PARMA will be recording. Also included on this album will be “Speak, Child,” an acoustic/electronic piece based on snippets of recordings made of Sidney’s then-infant son.

Sidney's composing began at 6 years old when he wrote his first piece in 3-part counterpoint (although he could only play recorder at the time). He entered Juilliard when he was 15 to study piano and composition with Ania Dorfmann and Hall Overton. He then enrolled there as a college student at 18, studying with Roger Sessions and Otto Luening, before moving to Columbia University in pursuit of his interest in mathematics.

Prior samples of Sidney's musical work can be found through the following link:

This will be Sidney's first commercial release and will represent a wide range of style in both electronic and acoustic media. Stay tuned for more info on this exciting album (and be sure to pack your parachute)!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

PARMA Design Department Collaborates with Local Fine Artist

The PARMA Design Department celebrates the natural pairing of art and music when developing our unique album designs. PARMA is constantly cultivating new relationships with talented fine artists with the hope of collaborating on creative and fresh new album covers. These projects help to create original album schemes for PARMA’s musical artists while also providing an expanded audience for the fine artists’ work.

PARMA is proud to reveal the outcome of one such partnership, presenting Maine-based composer Gay Pearson’s upcoming Big Round Records album, A SINISTER ENDEAVOR, drafted with the help of local New Hampshire-based illustrator Sam Paolini. Paolini and the PARMA design team created this fun illustration of a skeleton quintet, after gaining inspiration from the skeleton featured on the program cover of the concert from which the album was recorded. The live performances on the album capture the technical and passionate presence of Pearson and her quintet, showing their abilities in settings of improvisation, classical structures, and jazz gestures. 

Paolini’s work is diverse. She is a visual artist, clothing designer, community organizer, teacher, and publisher. The Sound adequately describes her as “a force putting eyes on unconventional art.” Paolini is the founder of Wrong Brain, an artist collective based out of seacoast New Hampshire that aims to provide an outlet for the emerging, underground, and unconventional local creatives.

Check out Paolini’s upcoming summer exhibitions at the Northern Sun Music Festival on June 20 in Hinesburg VT and the Seacoast Congress of Sound in Berwick ME on August 22.

A SINISTER ENDEAVOR will be available July 10 on AmazoniTunesSpotify, and other major retailers. For more information on Pearson’s upcoming album click here