Friday, March 29, 2013

Album Cover Spotlight: Big Round Records


When singer, songwriter, and composer Sophie Dunér came to Big Round Records she had visions of an album cover that was unique, eye catching, and spoke to her love for the city of Paris. We developed the design below with bright orange colors and an Art Deco style to really capture the essence of Dunér's personality and the spirit of her music.

THE CITY OF MY SOUL was released March 26th on PARMA's own Big Round Records
Click here to view more information about the album

Call For Scores - 2013 PARMA Student Composer Competition

PARMA Recordings is pleased to announce the second annual PARMA Student Composer Competition. 10 winners will be selected by an independent panel of judges, and the winners' pieces will be published in the digitally-distributed 2013 PARMA Anthology Of Music. One Grand Prize Winner will be selected to have their piece performed as part of the 2013 PARMA Music Festival, alongside performances by Richard Stoltzman, the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, and the PARMA Orchestra. All performer, production, and publicity costs will be completely subsidized by PARMA, and the piece will be incorporated into the official Festival program and promotional materials.

There is no fee required for entry into the competition.

  • Composer must be enrolled in a composition program or studying privately with a professional composer
  • Composer must be 30 years old or younger as of 4/30/2013
  • Piece must be written for 1-4 string instruments, using violin, viola, and/or cello
  • Piece must be 10 minutes or less in duration
  • Piece must be unpublished

Competition Timeline
March 29, 2013 - Call for scores distributed
April 1, 2013 - Submission period opens
April 30, 2013 - Submission period closes
May 1 - June 15, 2013 - Judging period
June 28, 2013 - Winners announced

To Enter
Fill out the submission form to submit your information and a PDF of your score, along with an MP3 or MIDI audio file. Submission limit is one work per composer.

To submit your piece to the competition, please fill out the submission form:

To view a list of frequently asked questions, visit the Competition FAQ page

To learn more about the judges and the judging process, visit the Judging Process page: 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sophie Dunér Performs Live on WJFF

This past Monday, vocalist Sophie Dunér was featured on WJFF's "Afternoon Classics with Gandalf."

Sophie performs live with legendary bassist Dominic Duval and presents music from her new Big Round release, "City of My Soul." Also on the show - new music from her recent collaboration with pianist Guy Livingston.

Click the link below to download and listen to the program.

A sample from Sophie's new release can be heard here:

Visit Sophie's website for more information about her music, visual art, and performance schedule: 

You can also access the WJFF show on her website, along with other interviews.

In Bb 2.0

Thank you Thomas Deneuville for sharing a link to in Bb 2.0 in a previous post. Here is a repost of the website which allows users to create a unique collage of sound using an array of videos/instruments.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

2013 PARMA Student Composer Competition

PARMA Recordings is pleased to announce the 2013 PARMA Student Composer Competition, the second in a series of annual competitions for student composers.

Ten winners will be selected to have their work published in the 2013 PARMA Anthology Of Music, and one Grand Prize Winner will be selected to have their piece performed at the PARMA Music Festival (August 15-17, 2013 in Portsmouth NH). All ensemble, rehearsal, and publicity costs will be completely subsidized by PARMA, and the performance will be included in all promotional materials for the Festival.

Visit the Competition landing page for more information.

March 2013 releases on Navona and Big Round

Today Navona and Big Round Records release six PARMA-produced projects: MOTO PERPETUO, CROSS CONNECTION, IMAGINARY SYMPHONY AND OTHER TALES, THE CITY OF MY SOUL, and SHARE!. Click "Read more" for info on each release and links to the catalog pages on the label websites.

Friday, March 22, 2013

2013 PARMA Music Festival

PARMA Recordings is pleased to announce the 2013 PARMA Music Festival on August 15-17, 2013 in Portsmouth NH featuring Grammy-winning clarinet virtuoso Richard Stoltzman, marimba soloist Mika Stoltzman, the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and the PARMA Orchestra with conductor John Page, and many more.  The Festival will also serve as the official host for the 2013 Region 1 Conference of the Society of Composers Incorporated (SCI), one of the largest composer-service organizations in the country.

Visit the Festival landing page for more information.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

In a galaxy far, far away....

250 million light years away, English astronomers have discovered the lowest sound waves ever detected by humans from an object. The sound waves, in the form of a single B flat drone, aren't from an alien planet. They are, in fact, from a "singing" black hole, located in the center of a galaxy cluster known as the Perseus Cluster.

This intriguing story can be found here at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center website.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Catalog Spotlight: Ravello Records

Through the Reeds: Woodwind Concerti

This week's catalog spotlight features the work of composer Walter Ross. Click the player below to stream the first movement of his "Oboe D'amore Concerto" - released by Ravello Records, performed by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra with soloist Michal Sintal.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Audio Dept. Sneak Peek: Yves Ramette's CASCADING INTO REVERIE

This week, the Audio Department features the upcoming Navona Release CASCADING INTO REVERIE.

French composer Yves Ramette’s (1921–2012) music is marked by its ability to broadcast “messages of the heart,” offering unflinching and distinguished representations of emotion and experience using traditional forms. A student of Honegger and contemporary of Boulez, among others, Ramette’s works draw from the rhythmic and harmonic elements of mid-20th-century France.

CASCADING INTO REVERIE, a two-disc retrospective of Ramette’s works for solo piano and orchestra, presents a series of meticulously constructed works showcasing the composer’s penchant for writing harmonically and rhythmically driven music. Pianist Eric Himy—whose playing has been lauded for its “extraordinary richness” (BBC Music Magazine) and “infallible power and intensity” (Washington Post)—interprets Ramette’s works with creativity and finely honed technique, navigating difficult passages with ease and grace.  

Himy, the Ramette family, and PARMA are currently producing more of Yves' piano works, to be released at a later date.

CASCADING INTO REVERIE releases in May 2013 on Navona Records.  We hope you enjoy the album sneak peek below.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Catalog Spotlight: Ravello Records


As part of our Catalog Spotlight for Ravello Records, this week we would like to highlight the work of pianist and composer James Adler. Mr. Adler's new release on Ravello Records, JAMES ADLER & FRIENDS, features Mr. Adler's compositions, favorite works, and pieces written for him.

Excerpts of Mr. Adler's release can be heard by clicking the YouTube video below:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Interview With PARMA CEO Bob Lord

Andy Happel interviews PARMA CEO Bob Lord, discussing the importance and effect of conservatories, the state of performance careers, technology's effect on music, and more.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Guest Post by PARMA Intern Alycia B.

“One, Four, Five, One” – if there were ever a link that bridged the gaps between musical genres, it would be this chord progression. From classical to rock the same progression can be found in all sorts of music.

To find out more about our favorite chord progression, click “Read More.”

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Catalog Spotlight: Navona Records


This week's catalog spotlight features the work of composer David N. Stewart. Click the player below to stream the first movement of his "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra" - released by Navona Records, produced by PARMA Recordings, and performed by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra with pianist Martin Levicky.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Starting a Classical Music Collection: On a Budget

Forbes recently published an article with advice for newcomers to the genre of classical music - How to Build a Top Quality Classical Library for $100

The article presents a list of 10 essential recordings all for around $10.

The authors explain:

"These are recordings that are exceptional and widely acknowledged as such, but they have also earned their money many times over and can be re-released in various guises at ever decreasing price points."

The full article, with their 10 recommendations, can be found here:

Click "read more" for a summary of their top-ten list.

Andy's Icy Inspiration

Andy Happel braves the mountains of Maine to reflect on winter and its influence on classical music. Featuring special appearances by The Monolith, the Tie Fighter Highway, and 50% Speed Beethoven.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Piano Quest: Response Form

Here is another way you can help Andy with his piano quest - just fill out the form below.

Click "read more" to learn about the piano quest and for more info on how to submit your own piano audio samples.


Typography can really make or break any design.

Fonts in album art are often misunderstood and misused, but when used properly they can be a powerful tool. If a graphic designer has a good sense of type and knows how to appropriately combine it with imagery, they can create an eye-catching and beautiful piece of work. Using fancy fonts won't necessarily help a design, even if the imagery is great; the right font choices, formats, and combinations are far more important to the design. This article below has some great pointers for designers and anyone who works with design alike.

This article I found focuses on a few helpful tips that can really help create stronger design.

UPDATE: Andy's Piano Quest

Andy's received some great responses so far, but the quest continues! Click "Read more" to view the responses we've collected so far, and comment on this post to tell us: Where is the world's greatest piano?

Andy Happel is on a quest to find the greatest sounding piano in the world, and he needs your help. Where are the greatest pianos in the world? Send Andy photos, recordings, and descriptions to help him out.

You can reach Andy through Tweets, Facebook comments, or comments on this post: