Friday, December 20, 2013

Enhanced Content: A Step Into the World of Digital Media

As 2013 comes to a close the design department is reflecting on our goals and accomplishments for the year. One of our initiatives was to revamp our web-based Enhanced Content in reaction to the ever growing world of digital media. Just as our on-disc Enhanced Content pioneered new ways to deliver multimedia such as digital booklets and scores along with audio, our online version now delivers even more features such as integration with social media, increased functionality for portable devices, and inclusion of content from sites like SoundCloud and YouTube. Online Enhanced Content also increases artist visibility and augments promotional efforts for the album.

We are very excited to see what advancements 2014 will bring!

To see examples of web-based Enhanced Content please click the links below.
Stephen Scott's

Joseph Summer's

Robert DeGaetano's

Thursday, December 19, 2013

C-SPAN & PARMA Recordings Partnership Continues to Expand

PARMA Recordings and public affairs cable network C-SPAN have announced plans to release "In The Key Of C-SPAN," a series of digital music collections featuring music from PARMA's catalog used in C-SPAN's programming.

"In the Key of C-SPAN: Volume 1," the first release in the series, is currently in production, with a digital release slated for early 2014 on PARMA's Navona Records label. The series will be available from online vendors such as iTunes, Amazon, and many more.

"The concept of a release series felt like a natural next step in our partnership with C-SPAN," says PARMA's CEO Bob Lord. "We share a real passion for music as well as a desire to present and introduce it to as wide an audience as possible. I believe this will be an excellent platform to expand the reach of our artists while providing C-SPAN viewers with access to engaging and interesting music."

C-SPAN co-CEO Rob Kennedy says the project is the first of its kind for C-SPAN. "Music plays an important role in effective television production," says Kennedy, who helms the network's@cspanmusic twitter feed. "We frequently receive inquiries from viewers asking for information about music they heard on the network. In working with PARMA, I'm very pleased that we'll soon have a tangible product to direct them to."

The two companies first teamed up in January 2013 on the C-SPAN series First Ladies: Influence & Image, for which PARMA produced a customized theme song. In May 2013, PARMA signed on as C-SPAN's music provider, placing content from its audio catalog across the network's original programming, promotions, and Senate quorum calls.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Chris Wild ABHANDEN Release Concert: January 5th 2014

This November we announced Chicago based cellist Chris Wild's debut album ABHANDEN on Navona Records. The album features six compositions for solo cello and small ensemble that stretch across multiple decades and concepts of style.

ABHANDEN will be released physically and digitally on January 28th, but Chris will be performing a special and intimate release concert at Constellation Chicago on Sunday January 5th.  If you are in Chicago, be sure to pick up your tickets in advance as Chris will be giving out complementary advance copies of the album at the event and space is limited.

Chris is an active member of Chicago's Ensemble Dal Niente and select members of the ensemble will share the stage during the concert.  The event will also feature an auction of oil paintings by Chris depicting Dal Niente's history; all proceeds will benefit the ensemble.

Listen to excerpts from ABHANDEN below and learn more information at the Facebook event here:

"Vintage Christmas" at The Music Hall

The holidays are soon to be upon us again, but no fear!  Come visit Portsmouth NH, one of the most beautiful New England seaside towns, and experience the season the way it should be: so cold your saliva solidifies and stuffed full to the point you need to wear sweatpants to work.  Well, I suppose there are other worthy experiences in our fine city this month, and The Music Hall's "Vintage Christmas" is chief among them. 

4 dates still remain in the Hall's signature holiday series, and they will all be superb. On 12/18 and 19, the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra (a featured ensemble in the 2013 PARMA Music Festival) perform their annual Family Pops program under the baton of Associate Conductor Benjamin Vickers while Artistic Director and Conductor John Page is on tour with Celtic Woman (

We promise you won't look like this
Later this week is the multi-chorus extravanganza "Messiah Sing!" on 12/20 and the effervescent Preservation Hall Jazz Band bringing their "Creole Christmas" show on 12/21; these guys put on a killer show, with Clint Maedgen ( taking it over the top. You'll be dancing in the aisles (no egg nog allowed, unfortunately).

To check out the full details of the schedule visit

Friday, December 13, 2013

Color In Design

In art and design certain colors are often used to help manipulate the way one feels, evoking a certain mood or creating a message or sharp response in the viewer. Whether its to create a calming effect, express happiness, or hint at violence, color is a powerful and effective tool to subliminally convey these messages or feelings. 

Color choice is often an extremely important attribute we have to consider when creating the design of an album.  Not only will the colors we use directly influence the way a viewer interprets the artwork, but ultimately, the music too. 

Here is a great article that expresses how the hidden meaning of color can be used as a powerful tool in art:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2014 PARMA Music Festival

Save the Date!
2014 PARMA Music Festival

Wednesday, August 13 – Saturday, August 16, 2014
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Contemporary music.
Local and international acts.
Breaking barriers. Bridging genres. Again. 

“What was most striking about the PARMA Festival was its diversity; diversity within musical styles and event types, its combination of local, national, and international artists, and also its audience.” (New Music Box)

“The sound of the Parma Music Festival is hard to pin down. There were orchestral and chamber concerts, but there was also jazz, electronic music, and indie-rock. Each genre blended into the next; there were no lines, just music.” (The Wire NH)

PARMA Recordings is pleased to announce the second annual PARMA Music Festival on Wednesday, August 13 through Saturday, August 16, 2014 in Portsmouth NH. The four-day festival will include day- and night-time events and performances, and will conclude with a concert at The Music Hall on August 16.

The PARMA Music Festival is a celebration of the best in contemporary music, from classical and jazz to electronic and rock and much more. With everything from live music to panel discussions to visual art and educational events, the Festival brings together a wonderfully diverse crowd to perform, collaborate, and listen.

The non-profit Festival’s mission is to present compelling and eclectic music to new and existing audiences, all while showcasing the beauty and culture that seacoast New Hampshire has to offer. The Festival partners with local and international arts organizations to program these unique concerts, in which multiple genres of music are presented side-by-side in venues ranging from the concert hall to the local bar, with unconventional experiments and enlightening educational opportunities along the way.

The citywide musical showcase is the brainchild of PARMA Recordings, a New England-based music company specializing in orchestral, chamber, choral, and commercial recordings as well as distribution, product design, strategic marketing, and licensing and publishing. The Festival is part of PARMA Recordings’ continuing mission to bring new music to new audiences the world over.

The inaugural PARMA Music Festival was held August 15-17, 2013 in historic downtown Portsmouth NH and featured performances by Grammy® Award-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, singer/songwriter Will Dailey, cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, and many more.  For more information about the PARMA Music Festival, including pictures, a program, and press from the 2013 Festival, please visit:
For more information about PARMA Recordings:

For general inquiries:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New PARMA Artist: Matthew Malsky

We at PARMA are proud to announce that we will be working with Worcester based composer Matthew Malsky on his debut release with PARMA Recordings.  We are pleased to include Matthew to our growing family of artists.

The album will feature five compositions performed by members of the Worcester Chamber Music Society and the Radius Ensemble, among others.

Matthew is an active composer and has been part of music faculty at Clark University for over 15 years. He focuses his studies on " intersections of American music, technology and culture in the post-World War II period."  Keep an eye out for more news on his release next year.

Friday, December 6, 2013

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, December 5, 2013

Bach on a Möbius Strip

What does Bach have to do with Möbius Strips? Check out the video above by mathematician Jos Leys, which visualizes JS's "Crab Cannon" and reveals, quite elegantly, the how deceptively complex and ingenious this work really is.

And for more crab-related inspiration, check out this work by another noted mathematically savvy artist.

(via Open Culture)

New PARMA Artist: Harrington/Loewen Duo

PARMA is excited to welcome the Winnipeg-based Harrington/Loewen Duo to our growing family of artists. PARMA will be releasing the duo’s CD “METROPOLIS,” an album of new music by Canadian composers, in 2014.

“[Their performance] was like a living, breathing thing, blossoming in the hands of these exceptionally capable musicians.” - The Winnipeg Free Press

Saxophonist Allen Harrington and pianist Laura Loewen, professors at the University of Manitoba Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music, have been performing together internationally for over 10 years. On METROPOLIS, you’ll hear commissioned works by Gordon Fitzell and PARMA composer Michael Matthews. This project will also feature compositions by Srul Irving Glick, Robert Lemay, and Diana McIntosh. Make sure to be on the lookout for more updates on Allen and Laura’s PARMA debut!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Da Vinci's String Organ

The classical and new music community was surprised a few weeks ago with the grand unveiling of Leonardo Da Vinci's conceptual string organ at the 2013 International Royal Cracow Piano Festival in Poland.

Though Da Vinci never created technical blueprints or an actual instrument, his idea for this string organ (coined viola organista by Da Vinci himself) was developed 500 years ago and it is said that he never created the instrument himself. Only recently was it brought to life by enthusiasts.

Polish pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki premiered his version of the instrument on October 18th of this year to huge critical acclaim and viral recognition.  Though it seems like this is the premiere of the viola organista, records show that a version was crafted in 1575, and more recently versions of this instrument were created in the early 1990's and 2000's.  

The instrument works similar to a hurdy gurdy in that there is a constantly rotating wheel that acts as a bow. Each key corresponds to a string that is lowered to the wheel, producing the string-like tone audible in the video. The video below shows this carefully assembled instrument in concert - and it sounds fantastic.