Monday, June 27, 2016

New PARMA Artist: Mark John McEncroe

Mark John McEncroe
It is with great pleasure that we welcome Australian composer Mark John McEncroe to the PARMA family!

McEncroe's first release with PARMA will be entitled DARK CLOUDS IN LIFE, a conceptual release focused on overcoming addiction and challenges. The album will be released early 2017 and features the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra along with pianist Helen Kennedy.


Born in Sydney, McEncroe played several instruments including trumpet, flute and clarinet. After playing those instruments and exploring different paths, he landed in music and composition, studying piano with Will Scarlett, Valeria Fawcett, and DARK CLOUDS IN LIFE pianist Helen Kennedy. Mark also spent many years studying composition and music theory with PARMA Artist Margaret Brandman. Another key figure in Mark's composition journey has been orchestrator Mark Saliba, with whom McEncroe has shared a close musical partnership with. 

In 2013, McEncroe traveled to Ostrava, CZ to record two symphonic poems, "The Passing" and "A Celebration of the Natural World" with the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra. He traveled to Ostrava again in July 2014 to record his "Fanfare Suite" and "Natalie's Suite," which will be included on DARK CLOUDS IN LIFE. 

"The Passing," saw its world premiere in Ostrava, CZ January 21st and 22nd of this year with the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra.  The Janacek Philharmonic will also perform McEncroe's Symphonic Suite No.1 - "Just Another Medieval Tale" on October 20th of this year. 

Helen Kennedy and Mark John McEncroe

Stylistically, many of McEncroe’s compositions, particularly his piano works, carry a very strong French Impressionist influence. His two volumes of piano pieces Reflections & Recollections volumes 1 & 2 are inspired by Japanese gardens, bonsai and koi ponds, in a similar way that painter Claude Monet was inspired by his magnificent garden which features in so many of his paintings. There is also a strong J.S. Bach / Baroque influence, along with the use of jazz harmonies throughout McEncroe's works.

McEncroe's’s aim is to create an emotional response to his compositions, as is echoed in the titles of his works.  Keep an eye out for updates on his release and below, listen to the first movement of his "Fanfare Suite," performed by the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra.



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sneak Peek of PARMA's July 2016 Album Releases

PARMA is pleased to announce six new additions to our collection of Navona and Ravello Records albums to be released Friday July 8th, 2016. Check out the YouTube listening previews below for these upcoming albums.

Be sure to follow PARMA's YouTube page for more video clips and listening previews! 


TE DEUM
NV6021
Nicholas Kaviani
Pre-order on Amazon


The lineage of Western concert music is one which brims with tradition and history, through teachers and pupils, listeners and performers, spanning centuries and continents alike. But one of the common threads which runs through this lineage is the urge by composers, performers, and audiences to all be part of a transcendent emotional experience through music itself. Read More


THREE STRING QUARTETS
NV6048
Jeffrey Stadelman
Pre-order on Amazon 


Composer Jeffrey Stadelman presents three string quartets on Navona Records, each offering distinct perspectives on his career and versatile style of composition. Performed by the New England String Quartet, these works illustrate the composer’s intense, lyrical, and sensuous modes of expression. Read More


THE VOCAL MUSIC OF ALAN BEELER
NV6049
Alan Beeler 


The music of Alan Beeler (1939-2016) is frequently a compact, tightly focused one, presenting sharp contrasts of color and mood in the context of clear, direct compositional structures.  Although noticeably influenced by artistic movements in Europe and America during the first half of the 20th century, Beeler’s musical voice is an identifiable one – crisp, bold, and pointedly quirky. Read More


SPARKS
NV6050
Jay Anthony Gach | Rain Worthington | Marga Richter | Phillip RhodesGeorge Gershwin | Steven Winteregg | Douglas Anderson | Bruce Babcock | Stephen Lias |


SPARKS, a compilation of orchestral miniature works by several composers, offers a sampling of much of what post-modern, contemporary orchestral music has to offer, and is most interesting to consider in contrast to nineteenth century orchestral transitions. Read More


SEPARATE SELF 
RR7936


Pittsburgh-based composer Philip Thompson presents SEPARATE SELF, his debut release on Ravello Records. Thompson writes that the release is “a reflection of the creative energy that comes from being deeply rooted in a vibrant artistic community.” True to this communal spirit, several of the pieces were composed in collaboration with artists from different disciplines. Read More


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

April & May Highlights From PARMA

April and May have brought exciting worldwide airplay and reviews to some of PARMA's artists! Below is a highlight reel of the noteworthy recognition our albums have been receiving during these months. 

John Rojak's newest album ROJAK ROCKS, released in January 2016 on Navona Records, was been featured in the May issue of Gramophone to high acclaim. "Consciously using Beethoven as a symphonic model while flaunting the fluency of a Hindersmith and the lyrical punch of a Copland, it's like a parallel universe in which trombones are the coolest solo instruments," says reviewer Laurence Vittes. This is just one of the seven Gramophone album reviews PARMA garnered in the last year. 

ROJAK ROCKS is now available for purchase on Amazon!


Another review came from music critic Norman Cahn of I CARE IF YOU LISTEN for Francesca Arnone and Mikylah McTeer's Ravello Records album REACT. Cahn exclaimed, "Listening to Luminosity immediately sparked my nostalgia for the opening scenes from Indian Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark," and that the "Flanging and percussive reverberation effects, like festering buzzards, take the listener to dense tropical forests." 
You can purchase REACT on Amazon today.


In other news, renowned international cello soloist, Carmine Miranda's Navona release SCHUMANN | DVOŘÁK is one of the June 2016 Naxos Featured Titles! Miranda's interpretations of the works of Dvořák and Schumann's work come from several years of historic research and performance experience that in turn have lead him to discover new secrets within the scores. Miranda has made connections to embedded codes and underlying meanings within Schumann's work that point to a different vision than the norm. 
Carmine Miranda's newest album can be purchased on Amazon.

We'd also like to share with you some of the notable airplay PARMA received during May and April. We are proud to say that all of PARMA's April and May releases have received airplay since their release, spanning over the airways of several continents, including Canada, France, Indonesia, South Africa and New Zealand!

There has been an impressive amount of airplay of BLURRED BOUNDARIES by the Apollo Chamber Players, which can be purchased here on Amazon. The Navona Records artist's previous 2014 Navona release, EUROPEAN FOLKSCAPES, continues to gain repeated plays, inlcuding on WQXR.

Contemporary composer Rain Worthington's DREAM VAPORS has also seen a large amount of airplay across an incredible 11 different stations spanning the US, Canada Indonesia, the UK and South Africa! The album is available for purchase on Amazon now. 

As you can see we have had a great couple of months here at PARMA and we are looking forward to sharing all the new and exciting things June has in store! 






Monday, June 20, 2016

Altius Quartet Enters the Studio This Summer!


Boulder, Colorado based Altius Quartet recently joined the PARMA family earlier this year to work on two upcoming releases.  The first is a crossover album featuring the group's take on pop music through the ages. While the second album will be music written by Shostakovich, to express their passion about his music in the difficult time in which he lived. 

The quartet will begin recording their first album this summer and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help cover studio and recording fees.  Below is a video they have created to express their situation, and why any donation is greatly appreciated:





The Altius Quartet consists of Andrew Giordano, Joshua Ulrich (violins), Andrew Krimm (viola), and Zachary Reaves (cello).  They have a 
very active performance schedule and have won awards such as the University of Colorado-Boulder's Ekstrand Prize, a CMA Classical Commissioning Grant, and have performed at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in Australia.

The quartet has been hailed as "rich" and "captivating" by "I Care If You Listen," and they are quickly garnering an international reputation and capturing the hearts of audiences everywhere.

They have touched enough hearts to have raised half of their goal of $12,000, please take a moment to view their Kickstarter here and help spread the word of this important project.



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Introducing PARMA's Two New Marketing Interns

We are thrilled to introduce Courtney White from Roger Williams University and Ciara Brady from Fitchburg State University to our Marketing family for this summer!

Below we have asked our two new marketing interns to tell us a little about themselves, specifically about why they chose PARMA Recordings for their new internship. 


Be sure to follow PARMA's Twitter and Facebook accounts for more fun feature articles! 


COURTNEY WHITE

19 years old
Chester, New Hampshire



My name is Courtney White, and I am proud to be apart of the PARMA Marketing/Public Relations team for this summer. I am a junior at Roger Williams University where I am concentrating on Public Relations, Advertising, Marketing and Photography. 

As my Spring 2016 semester has come to a successful end, I am happy to join PARMA Recordings for a summer internship credit. I can’t complain about being surrounded by funny and creative people within the music scene, brilliant skilled composers, and most importantly a 5 minute drive to the beach of my choice within my home-state of New Hampshire.

I remember applying to PARMA, and how nervous I was because it is my first professional internship. When I was reading about the Marketing/Public Relations spot available online in March, I instantly fell in love with the internship because it provided the perfect combination of music and professional experience that I had been searching for. I look forward to growing my marketing skills through executing a wide variety of expected promotional tasks and responsibilities- all within an extremely fast-paced environment!

Music has and continues to play a significant role in my life, whether I'm going to shows with my friends, taking promotional photos for bands, playing music, or keeping my opinions open about new types of music, music remains a consistent part of my life. I use music as a form of self expression in a variety of different ways, I find myself expressing myself using photography - always searching for the special moments to press click during a live set. Depending on how I’m feeling - will determine what music I listen to for that given day. No matter what, I turn to music for just about everything. 

Given my passion for music, I thought "why not combine my work ethic for Public Relations and Marketing towards the music industry." When I heard back that I had received this internship at PARMA, I was ecstatic! Finally a chance to apply my drive for music in the professional world. I'm eager to help PARMA properly promote and market their clients across the world. 

I'm excited to see what's in store for me this summer at PARMA Recordings!

22 years old
Topsfield, Massachusetts 

I’m Ciara, one of the newest Marketing Interns at PARMA! I recently graduated from Fitchburg State University with a Bachelors of Science in Professional Communications and a minor in Professional Writing. Since moving back to Topsfield MA, where I grew up, I have been enjoying my time away from the stress of finals and celebrating my graduation.

I fell in love with the Advertising/Marketing world when I competed in the National Student Advertising Competition my junior year of college. The nationwide competition showcases one company that each school has to develop a successful marketing and advertising campaign to present to a board of judges and all the colleges in the division. Preparing for the competition was the hardest, but most rewarding project I completed at school and the skills and portfolio work that I've acquired still help me today! 

I was able to help the with the 2016 competition team by creating a Marketing Plan with everything my team and I had learned in the previous year that applied to their new company assignment. The plan really felt like the perfect closure to my favorite project in that I got to help the next batch of students working towards winning the competition.


I was so excited to find and receive this internship at PARMA in that it rolls two important aspects of my life into one, music and marketing. PARMA has introduced me to a completely new catalog of music and will allow me to help to promote their artists and their work using the strategies I’ve learned over the past four years at Fitchburg State. This internship will also enable me to learn about the ins and outs of the PARMA Marketing department while also allowing me to fulfill my final credits needed to receive my diploma! 

I'm can't wait to spend my summer working alongside people who are passionate and experienced in the world of Marketing in the music industry and to help them in any way I can! 

Rain Worthington's Contribution to Alzheimer's Awareness

June marks Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month, allowing PARMA Recordings to bring attention to a disease that has had a deep personal and creative effect on composer, Rain Worthington.

Worthington recently released her full length solo debut album DREAM VAPORS on Navona Records. Through the record, Worthington is able to not only share her music but also give back to the Alzheimer's community, by donating all proceeds from the sale of the album to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.

The fund whose mission it is "to fund research with the highest probability of preventing, slowing, or reversing Alzheimer's Disease," is an extension of the public charity, Alzheimer's Disease Research Foundation.

Worthington's experiences with Alzheimer's have greatly shaped her perspectives on life and directly influenced her music. Worthington witnessed her grandmother suffer from Alzheimer's until her passing, and now Worthington's connection with this illness continues as she watches her mother's similar decline with Vascular Dementia disease.

Through this journey Worthington has noted that she has become "acutely aware of the tenuousness of 'reality' and how fragile the fine lines are drawn between real, imagined, or dreamed perceptions" and this understanding is present theme throughout her album, DREAM VAPORS.

When describing the concepts of emotional realities and sur-reality and their connection to impressionistic emotional logic, Worthington believes them to be the most lasting and significant impression in one's life. Tracing a Dream was the first of her orchestral works that was written in response to these themes and she feels it was a significant step in the stylistic direction of her orchestra. She then went on to compose works like Of Time Remembered, Reversing Mirrors in the Quiet, and Fast Through the Dark Winds.

Worthington hopes "that music which plays to a deep, non-simplistic, emotional response will have the capacity to engage the listener in compassion, understanding and acceptance." Those exact themes can be related back to the way we can think about Alzheimer's patients and the struggle they endure every day.

Worthington and PARMA Recordings encourages you to enjoy her Navona release DREAM VAPORS while also donating to this amazing cause. The album can be purchased here on Amazon and can be played through the Spotify playlist below. In honor Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month!



Friday, June 10, 2016

June Releases Out Now on Navona, Ravello, Big Round and Ansonica Records!

ABRAZO THE HAVANA SESSIONS





PARMA is pleased to present Ansonica Records' debut June 2016 release ABRAZO: THE HAVANA SESSIONS. The ground-breaking album was recorded in Havana Cuba in November 2015 and showcases works for big band, small jazz combo, choir, and chamber ensembles, performed by current or former members of the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba, the Buena Vista Social Club, Irakere, and many more. Rafaelmusicnotes.com praises the album as "a delicious undertaking." Read More



SCHUMANN | DVOŘÁK
NV6034
Carmine Miranda





Composed almost 50 years apart, Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B Minor (1895) and Schumann’s Cello Concerto (1850) are closely linked in the pantheon of Romantic concerto literature. Cellists of many generations have long looked at both of these pieces as essential components in their artistic development, and each has been recorded many times over by the titans of the instrument to showcase their technical mastery. Read More


FRED BROER 
NV6042
Fred Broer





Composer, author, and educator Fred Broer presents his String Quartet No. 8, as well as four colorful piano works, on his Navona release FRED BROER: MUSIC FOR STRING QUARTET AND PIANO SOLO. Read More


SEPARATION
Paula Diehl 






The clichéd trope of the isolated artist toiling over their work in a virtual vacuum, alone and against the trends of the day, is not a new one.  But in the case of Paula Diehl, it is as true as it comes. It isn’t an easy task to be a composer, a job which (to paraphrase Aaron Copland) holds few material rewards, and often even fewer good notices in the paper the next morningRead More



A HOPEFUL PLACE







Composer Dan Redfeld presents A HOPEFUL PLACE: A SONG CYCLE FOR SOPRANO & CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, his debut release on Navona records showcasing his nine-movement song cycle of the same name. A Hopeful Place follows a woman’s journey through life from birth to death—a life-cycle-song-cycle, as librettist John Gabriel Koladziej describes the piece. Read More




TWENTIETH CENTURY DUOS


 


Yuriy Bekker, violinist on Navona Records release TWENTIETH CENTURY DUOS, is joined by renowned pianist Andrew Armstrong in some of the most beautiful and rarely-performed works of the twentieth century by Jewish composers Erich Korngold and Aaron Copland. Read More



SCENE RUSTIQUE
Leslie Odom


 


Leslie Odom’s debut solo Ravello Records album, SCENE RUSTIQUE, introduces previously unrecorded solo works for oboe by five female composers of the twentieth century. The pieces range from light, vernacular-inspired dance pieces to neoclassical and neo-romantic works. Read More


GOIN' HOME... A RETROSPECTIVE







GOIN’ HOME… A RETROSPECTIVE is pianist and composer Gay Pearson’s second release on Big Round Records. The album is a live recording of her most recent annual chamber-jazz concert, featuring an eclectic ensemble with Gay Pearson on piano, John Lockwood on bass, Phil McGowan on drums, Tracy McMullen on saxophone, Lea Pearson on flute, and Shannon Allen on cello. Read More


Thursday, June 9, 2016

New PARMA Artist: Meredith Blecha-Wells

Meredith Blecha-Wells
Oklahoma-based cellist Meredith Blecha-Wells has signed on to release an album of works for cello and piano by Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů on Navona Records.

Dr. Blecha-Wells has enjoyed a healthy career as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player, touring worldwide and performing at venues such as the Kennedy Center and the Sydney Opera House.

She received her Bachelors’ and Masters’ Degrees in Cello Performance from Indiana University, where she studied with Janos Starker and Helga Winold. She then went on to earn her Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she was a teaching assistant to Alan Harris.

Meredith is also a member of the Pangea Chamber Players, featuring oboist Celeste Johnson Frehner, violinist Laura Talbott, and pianist Jeffrey Brown. While this group tours nationwide, they are also dedicated to promoting chamber music in their local Oklahoma region.

Dr. Blecha-Wells is equally as active in the classroom as she is on stage with her cello. She currently teaches as an Associate Professor of Cello at Oklahoma State University, where she recently received the “College of Arts and Sciences Junior Faculty Award for Scholarly Excellence.”

Accompanying Dr. Blecha-Wells on the album is Dr. Sun Min Kim, a renown pianist who currently serves as assistant processor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kim made his début with the Ulsan Symphony Orchestra at age 13, performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto. As a laureate of various awards, he debuted at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, and other prestigious venues across the United States and abroad.

To hear some of Dr. Blecha-Wells’ work, you can check out her SoundCloud player below. Stay tuned for more updates on her project!