Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sonorous Chromatics

Guest Post by PARMA Intern Alycia B.

What do Franz Liszt, Geoffrey Rush, Pythagoras and Jimi Hendrix all have in common?

Click “Read More” to find out!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

February 2013 Releases on Navona and Ravello

Today Navona and Ravello Records release six PARMA-produced projects: PACIFIC RIDGE, AL COMBATE, POETIC IMAGES BEYOND POETRY, TRACER, JAMES ADLER & FRIENDS, and LEANING TOWARD THE FIDDLER. Click "Read more" for info on each release and links to the catalog pages on the label websites.

Society of Composers, Inc. 2013 National Conference

Guest Post by PARMA Intern Alycia B.

Every year a university somewhere in the US gets to host one of the largest
gatherings of composers for the annual Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI)
National Conference. This year, Ohio State University held the privilege.
Over this past weekend, PARMA CEO, Bob Lord, and A&R Director, Sam Renshaw,
attended this notable conference.

Click "Read more" to find out more about this year's SCI National Conference.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Art in Series

It is always great when we understand up front if a composer or performer has a body of work that might span multiple releases on one of our labels. We often approach the art differently when we know there will be a series of releases. We create a unique look and feel that can carry across all the albums through consistent use of imagery and type. We are essentially creating identities for them, much like an advertising agency does for its clients. It is proven that repetition of certain elements creates a lasting picture in the viewer's mind that can increase awareness of the music and the series.

Here are a few examples of our releases that use this philosophy in their album art:

300 Seconds With John Page

PARMA's Lead Producer Andy Happel spends 300 seconds with John Page, conductor of Celtic Woman, the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, the PARMA Orchestra, and more.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Interview with Bunny Beck

Composer/pianist Bunny Beck sits down for an interview with PARMA after her pre-production creative session with Bob Lord.

Musical Influences: Responses

Responses from last week's musical influences poll are in - thank you all for participating. Below is a summary of the poll's results:

A visibly excited J.S Bach, winner of this week's PARMA poll
1. Bach
2. Beethoven
3. Debussy

Congratulations to J.S Bach, who carried home the top spot in a landslide victory, receiving twice as many votes as any other response. Some other interesting answers included Steely Dan, guitarist and bassist Kip Winger, and composer John Bavicchi.

Thanks again to everyone who sent in a response - please keep your eye out for more polls in the coming weeks.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Audio Dept. Sneak Peek: AL COMBATE (Chicago Arts Orchestra)

AL COMBATE, the debut release from the Chicago Arts Orchestra (Javier José Mendoza, Artistic Director), highlights New Spain as a mecca of baroque and galant music through a handpicked selection of works from two of eighteenth-century colonial Mexico's most prolific and influential composers, whose music explores the period's transatlantic cultural flow from Europe to New Spain: Ignacio Jerusalem, a master of the galant style who brought modern European styles and techniques across the Atlantic; and Santiago Billoni, whose harmonic experimentation and erudite voice helped shape late baroque repertoire.

The album's title piece, Al Combate, is the premiere recording of one of the most significant works written in the eighteenth-century Americas. A piece rich in history, it represents a celebratory ode in honor of King Charles III, the single largest piece of secular music known to survive from eighteenth-century New Spain, and a paradigm of the galant style that proliferated in eighteenth-century New Spain.

AL COMBATE will be released by Navona Records February 26th.  We hope you enjoy the audio sneak peek below.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

300 Seconds With Duncan Watt

PARMA's Lead Producer Andy Happel interviews video game music composer Duncan Watt, discussing game scoring and how it has evolved as games have grown as an art form.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Guest Post by PARMA Intern Alycia B.

With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, it’s only fitting that we explore some of classical's romantic favorites.

Click “Read more” to find out what they are!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Musical Influences: a Poll

Speaking with composers, I hear a lot about other artists (writers, composers, musicians, painters etc.) who have significantly influenced their careers and their individual approaches to music.

In case you are drawing a blank, a few potential musical influences

Below is a short, informal (and anonymous) poll that will allow you to share your own biggest musical influences; just type a name (or names) in the grey text box. I will be posting a percentage breakdown of the most popular answers - along with some of our favorites - on the blog next week.

Audio Department Sneak Peek: Beth Levin A SINGLE BREATH (Beethoven's Last Three Piano Sonatas)

This week, the Audio Department features Beth Levin's upcoming release on Navona Records.

Praised for her “boldly inflected readings” (Jeremy Eichler, New York Times), “powerful technique” (Allan Kozinn, New York Times), and “purely pianistic panache” (Richard Dyer, Boston Globe), New York-based pianist Beth Levin has honed her interpretive and expressive skills since her days as a child prodigy in Philadelphia. Beethoven’s Sonatas 30-32 (Op. 109, 110, and 111), famously composed “in a single breath,” serve as fitting source material for Levin to express her skill, exploring the emotionally complex works with originality, grace, and respectful interpretation of Beethoven’s innovative and prescient brilliance.

A SINGLE BREATH was mastered by PARMA and will be released April 2013.  We hope you enjoy the sneak peek below.

Art and Music, A Natural Pair

Art and music, a natural pair. Both are interpretive and expressive so it is natural for the two to come together in our package designs. Album art is an important part of any release as it is often the first contact the listener will have with the album. Much like increased curb appeal draws people into your home, the cover art must both compel the viewer to engage it, as well as accurately depict the music inside.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

2013 SCI National Conference

Beginning next week, the Society of Composers, Inc. will  hold its 2013 National Conference at the Ohio State University School of Music (Columbus, Ohio). The event, February 13-16, is hosted by Dr. Thomas Wells and will feature a large cross section of works from today's contemporary composers.

If you are in traveling distance to Columbus we encourage you to go! This year's conference will feature many compositions and performances by PARMA composers.
More information about the conference can be found at the event's website.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Is Classical Music Really Dying Out?

Guest Post by PARMA Intern Alycia B.

Browsing the internet recently, I found an article about how technology, specifically the internet, is helping classical music gain popularity again. The tagline of the article read “Net a lifeline for a dying art?” Is classical music really a dying art? The way I see it, classical music has and will always have an air of omnipresence.

Click "Read More" to learn about how classical music has created its place in society forever.

Monday, February 4, 2013


This week, the Audio Department features the upcoming release CROSS CONNECTION.

CROSS CONNECTION features the works of Henry Wolking and James Scott Balentine, with featured soloists Robert Walzel (clarinet) and Eric Wolf Stomberg (bassoon).  This quartet of great musical minds, coupled with PARMA's production team, collaborated closely to create an inspired, top-notch representation of the composers' music.

Wolking and Balentine's works perfectly complement each other through musical studies of crossed paths and human togetherness. Both composers’s works consider the meaning of life, love, and music, and the relationship between each: Gone Playin’, a spirited musical riff on epitaphs and their connection of life and death; The Old Gypsy, a Hungarian-influenced piece for string quartet that reflects on the perpetuity of musical themes and influences; and Dùn Èideann Blogh, a recollection of times past with friends and family.

CROSS CONNECTION also features performances by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra and Moravian Philharmonic String Players (Petr Vronskÿ, conductor).  The album will be released in March 2013 by Navona Records.  We hope you enjoy the sneak peek below:

Friday, February 1, 2013

What Is Mastering?

Andy Happel returns with another video, telling us exactly what it means to "master" an album and what the producers and audio engineers do before an album is finalized.