Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 2013 Releases on Navona and Ravello Records

This month we have two exceptional PARMA produced releases on our Navona and Ravello Records labels.  In addition to these albums already receiving reviews and radio airplay, both of these composers' works were performed at the PARMA Music Festival this past August.  Streams by Martin Schlumpf was premiered with David Taylor, Matthias Müller, and the PARMA Orchestra, and Gregory Hall performed a few improvisational piano pieces.  Both performances were excellent and a great teaser for their albums! Take a listen on Amazon, where the albums are available in CD and Mp3 formats.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

PARMA Music Festival Recap


The inaugural PARMA Music Festival kicked off Thursday August 15th in accordance with the Society of Composers, Inc. and Classical Music by the Sea at North Church in Portsmouth NH and set a wonderful tone for the rest of the weekend.

The North Church concerts had strong attendance and featured breathtaking works by PARMA and SCI composers. Festival goers witnessed works for solo piano, electronics, cello and a variety of small ensembles. Right down the street, members of the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra (John Page, conductor) performed Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" in front of a packed crowd.

Stephen Marotto performing "Two Minutes Walking" by Garrett Hecker
Peter and the Wolf - Great Bay Academy of Dance

The day concluded with a concert at the Thirsty Moose Taproom in downtown Portsmouth to a full house.  Performers included Mac Ritchey, fiveighthirteen, cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, and Tan Vampires.

Ovidiu Marinescu at the Thirsty Moose Taproom


The second day featured two concerts up the street at St. John's Church. Pieces were performed by Karolina Rojahn, the Boston New Music Initiative with Yhasmin Valenzuela, players from the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, the Larksong Trio and many more.

Friday concluded with a soiree at the Martingale Wharf on the docks in Portsmouth with performances from Gregory Hall, Paul Dykstra, Qwill, and Wheel of Awesome.

The Larksong Trio
Qwill at Martingale Wharf


The final day of the festival took place at the Music Hall Historic Theater and the Music Hall Loft.  Festival goers were treated to a PARMA Licensing artist showcase, a panel presentation as well as scholarly papers and electro-acoustic works.

Saturday's Main Event at the Music Hall Historic Theater saw premieres from PARMA Student Composer Competition winner Tina Tallon's "selective defrosting" by the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra String Quartet, Lukas Foss' "Elegy for Clarinet and Orchestra" by the Portmouth Symphony Orchestra with Richard Stoltzman, and PARMA Artist Martin Schlumpf's STREAMS by the PSO with soloists Matthias Müller (clarinet) and David Taylor (bass trombone).  Stream a segment of Schlumpf's STREAMS below:

Keep your eyes peeled for next year's dates in the coming weeks.  We will see you soon!

Matthias Müller, Martin Schlumpf, and David Taylor
SCI Paper Sessions

John Page (Conductor) and the PSO Brass and Percussion Ensemble

 All photographs copyright David Murray ClearEyePhoto.com

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Press for the PARMA Music Festival

Today marks the official start of the PARMA Music Festival (www.parmarecordings.com/festival) and we've been lucky enough to receive some nice coverage and support by the regional press.  Here is a sampling of some recent articles and interviews:

PARMA has also had some nice coverage about our releases, composers, and companies over the summer.  Here are a few of them:

Off to the Festival in a few minutes, and for all those folks who are talking about the death of classical music, all those commentators fussing over the decline of the music industry, all those critics who spend their ink and fingers kvetching over orchestra closures and strikes while brilliant, beautiful, challenging music is being made in their midst... hope to see you there.

Bob Lord
CEO, PARMA Recordings

Monday, August 12, 2013

NUGGETS! Music from the PARMA Music Festival

This coming week on August 15, 16, and 17 we are pleased to present the very first PARMA Music Festival (www.parmarecordings.com/festival).  We’ve had an intensely full summer of preparations, and as I sat down to look through the program one final time before it was sent off to the printer I began to think of all the composers on the bill(s) whose work we have featured over the years on our releases – outstanding, inspired, inspiring artists like Martin Schlumpf, Sergio Cervetti, Alan Beeler, Scott Pender, Arthur Gottschalk, Richard Brooks, Greg Hall, Mark Dal Porto, Michael Murray, William Vollinger, Rachel Lee Guthrie, Ron Nagorcka, and many more.

As creators, we all need to keep creating, keep the process going, and also keep finishing, and keep moving on.  But it’s always fun from time to time to look back and appreciate what we’ve done in the past.  As the saying goes, you’ve got to know where you’ve been in order to know where you’re going.

So with that in mind I’d like to highlight a few releases from our back catalog featuring PARMA composers as well as music from our partner the Society of Composers Inc. (SCI), whose Region 1 conference is a part of our Festival. 

Bob Lord
CEO, PARMA Recordings


An eclectic, evocative mix of compositions from members of SCI, one of the pre-eminent composer service organizations in the country and our partner on the inaugural PARMA Music Festival.  SCI’s membership spans a huge gamut of styles, and this is a compelling cross-section of their diversity. This is the organizations 27th release in its series, which also includes the Navona releases MOSAIC and AXIOM. 
(Navona Records, 2013)

Festival Performances:

Thursday 8/15 – SCI Concert 1 at 11 AM, SCI Concert 2 at 2 PM at North Church
Friday 8/15 – SCI Concert 3 at 11 AM, SCI Concert 4 at 2 PM at St. John’s Church
Saturday 8/17 – Paper Sessions at 9 AM at Music Hall Loft
Saturday 8/17 – Main Event at 7 PM at Music Hall Historic Theater


Martin’s first Navona album was SUMMER CIRCLE, and boy it is a doozy.  How do you classify this music?  Impossible.  I suppose if you pulled a “Bill & Ted” and got some critic from 1961 ported into the present, he’d probably call it Third Stream, but does that even make sense?  The music of Schlumpf is something unto itself, totally crazy but completely logical, and I love it.  Martin’s new album STREAMS is out at the end of August.
(Navona Records, 2012)

Festival Performances: 
“Puzzle” – Thursday 8/15 with clarinetist Matthias Müller at North Church, 11 AM
“December Rains” – Friday 8/16 with piano Karolina Rojahn at St. John’s Church, 5 PM
“Streams” – Saturday 8/17 with the PARMA Orchestra at the Music Hall, 7 PM (world premiere)


This release features works by the American Composers Alliance, and includes three composers featured at the Festival: Richard Brooks, Greg Hall, and Lukas Foss, whose “Elegy for Clarinet & Orchestra” (1949) will be premiered by Richard Stoltzman and the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra (John Page, conductor) on Saturday, August 17, 2013, also at The Music Hall.  Superb sound and stellar playing on this album. 
(Ravello Records, 2010)

Festival Performances:

“Sweet Betsy” (Richard Brooks) – Friday August 16 at St. John’s Church, 2 PM

Classical Improvisations for Piano (Gregory Hall) – Friday August 16 at Martingale Wharf, 9 PM
“Elegy for Clarinet & Orchestra” – Saturday August 17 at Music Hall Historic Theater, 7 PM (world premiere) 


DESTINATIONS (Various Artists)

Of all the albums in the catalog of PARMA’s family of labels, this is one in particular which I feel didn’t get the attention it deserved.  An amazing collection of music by Cervetti, Lorenz, Tenreiro, Elizondo, Vazquez, and Piazzolla, DESTINATIONS presents everything from minimalism filtered through a Baroque lens to Mahler-esque tone poems right through prog rock-inspired curtain-closers.  Grab this on iTunes, get in the car, and let it rip.
(Navona Records, 2009)

Festival Performances:

“Wind Devil & Co.” (Sergio Cervetti) – Saturday August 17 at Music Hall Loft, 4 PM


Some other Festival composers’ releases to check out: MOTO PERPETUO (cellist Ovidiu Marinescu in works by Gottschalk, Beeler, and more), RASPBERRY MAN (William Vollinger), LOCK & KEY (featuring Scott Pender and more), and WINTER & CONSTRUCTION (Scott Brickman).

Friday, August 9, 2013

Elaine Huckle - Lady in the Hood

PARMA artist Elaine Huckle is one of PARMA's most dedicated and hard-working vocal artists.  Located in the United Kingdom, Elaine has recently taken the opportunity to perform in Jarka Production's production of "Lady in the Hood" later this year.  The program is still in production, but feel free to read more about it here.

Elaine will be also be performing at St. Peter's Church in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire with Ian Clarke and Robin Ward on October 12th.

See a video of Elaine performing Handel, Sampson "With Plaintive Notes" below, and be sure to pick up her release on Ravello Records - TOWARD THE LIGHT

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Matthew Durrant's "Inland/Outland Utah"

Utah Composer Matthew Durrant has composed three pieces for Svavar Jonatansson's new film "Inland/Outland Utah".  Svavar was involved with 2012's breakthough film "Chasing Ice" and this new project will explore the lavish Utah landscape in the form of pictures accompanied by Matthew's compositions.

Matthew has started a USAProjects campaign and is looking to spread the word about his project.  PARMA is pledging our support with the intent to record, edit, design, manufacture, distribute, and promote these works.  Please help us share Matthew's music and support the project if you can.

Visit the campaign below to learn more about the project