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: http://bit.ly/1ehbfPM 

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

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GKK86s 
iTunes: http://apple.co/1Kr4mtd
Classics Online HD: http://bit.ly/1Kr4yII

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

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: www.sidneybailin.com/musicSamples.html

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

Friday, June 12, 2015

New PARMA Artist: Stephen Lias

We at PARMA are pleased to announce the addition of Texas-based composer Stephen Lias to the PARMA family.  We will be recording Stephen's orchestral work, "Crown of the Continent" later this year.

Stephen Lias
Stephen is one of the few composers that can accurately be described as an adventurer-composer.  He has secured residencies and traveled to the Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Denali, Glacier Bay, and Gates of the Arctic National Parks in the effort of expanding his passion for the wilderness and outdoors, and document a series of works inspired by the national parks of the US.

"Crown of the Continent" is the result of a 2014 Artist-in-Residence position at Glacier National Park in Montana.  Stephen spent four weeks living in a cabin on Lake MacDonald, exploring the park, and giving presentations to park visitors. He has written over a dozen park-related works to date. 
In addition to Stephen's work with national parks, his music is regularly performed throughout the US and abroad by ensembles such as the Louisiana Sinfonietta, the NYU New Music Ensemble, and the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin at venues and festivals such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. the International Trumpet Guild, and the ISCM World Music Days.

He is currently based in Nacogdoches, Texas and is a Professor of Composition at Stephen F. Austin State University.  Keep an eye out for updates on Stephen's recording, and listen to his piece, "Hall of the White Giant" below. www.stephenlias.com

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

New Releases Out on Navona, Ravello, and Big Round Records

Pierre Schroeder

On his debut Navona Records release VOYAGE, composer Pierre Schroeder presents a captivating sonic journey that takes listeners on winding highways, through arid and spacious deserts, along the shores of crashing waves, into desolate and snow-covered lands, through episodes of adventures, mishaps, discoveries, and losses. 

Using a variety of musical styles, including jazz, blues, and folk idioms, while still grounded in classical form, the 11-piece adventure begins with an intense and busy departure in Highway I, like rush hour traffic, driven by a relentless triplet melody. Fluid and nocturnal images are encountered in the jazzy Bleu Nuit, followed by lyrical images of the wandering strides of the nomadic Romani people in Gypsy. The expedition continues with the serene and longing duet of Shores, the fugue-like whirl of Vertigo, the delicate and moody guitar passages of Lowland, and the sensuous dreaminess of Morning Veil. The suite concludes with Snow, an austere and moving piece evoking the inevitability of individual snowflakes disappearing into the "grand harmony." Almost every journey we commit to undertaking is an opportunity for discovery, and Schroeder's VOYAGE is no exception, offering listeners a fresh, intimate, and exciting excursion through a world real and imagined. Read More

La Mandragore

Tireless seafarers, the Vikings roamed and traded across the known world from Iceland to the Mediterranean Sea, flourishing as a culture, creating mythical stories, and influencing a number of European traditions.

La Mandragore, a historical five-member ensemble from Québec, Canada, imagines the music of the Vikings had they had the time and leisure to notate it. Playing folk instruments from the Mediterranean and Scandinavian regions, and singing songs and tales in Swedish, Norwegian, Old Norse, and French, the ensemble presents an authentic and eclectic collection of Viking-inspired music on their debut Big Round Records release, MIDGARD. Read More

Michael Calvert | Matthew Marshall

On their debut Ravello Records release, RHAPSODY ON A RIFF, New Zealand composer Michael Calvert and guitarist Matthew Marshall present original works for solo guitar that display the versatility, dynamic range, and earthy timbre of the instrument, while developing a unique musical language influenced by serialism, New Zealand culture, and the guitar's tradition in several genres, from classical and folk to rock, jazz, and pop music.

The title track treats a well-known passage from the rock group Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water, while Lascivious Pleasing elaborates on phrases from John Dowland's Flow My Tears and the Beatles' Norwegian Wood. Written for the 2008 film Flesh in Ecstacy, Gaston Amoureux is based on the inversion of segments of the opening of Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune. Calvert applies Japanese musical structures in Suma, which is inspired by episodes from The Tale of Genji. Read More

James M. Stephenson | Western Illinois University Faculty Chamber Players, Mike Fansler (conductor)

Using Igor Stravinsky's final percussion solo from L'histoire du soldat (The Soldier's Tale) as inspiration, James M. Stephenson's theatrical narrative, THE DEVIL'S TALE, picks up right where Stravinsky leaves off. But on this Ravello Records release, the protagonist, Joseph, wakes up at the final drum-stroke and realizes that the Stravinsky was all a dream. He is relieved to still be in Las Vegas with Hannah, his showgirl girlfriend, at his side, where the story begins to unfold. The dramatic and astute plot about Joseph, a pit musician, and Hannah centers around their attempt to escape the city by tricking Sam, a devilish blackjack dealer and Hannah's manager. Teeming with deceit, temptation, and revenge, the narrative is a confrontation between the natures of good and evil, in which the Devil is played at his own game of guile. Infused throughout with clever palindromes, the story comes full circle by ending just where the Stravinsky begins: on a "hot and dusty road." Stephenson's work is captivatingly performed by the Western Illinois University Faculty Chamber Players, conducted by Mike Fansler. Read More

Various Artists

14 concerts, 12 venues, 4 days. The 2014 PARMA Music Festival featured a diverse range of events, from concert performances of orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo instruments, and jazz groups, to an outdoor presentation of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and panel discussions about music licensing and multimedia composition, as well as improvised collaborations between indie rockers and classical instrumentalists.

This release collects some of the finest performances from the Festival, as recorded by PARMA Mobile. Ensembles include the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, the LUNAR Ensemble, cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, bass clarinetist Matthias Mueller, Qwill, OURBIGBAND, and many more in works by Juan Álamo, Joseph Summer, Sergio Cervetti, Paul Osterfield, Ingrid Stölzel, Michael Mikulka, Rain Worthington, José Elizondo, and Sophie Dunér. Read More