The PARMA Album of the Day: BLURRED BOUNDARIES

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BLURRED BOUNDARIES, Apollo Chamber Player‘s second album release on Navona Records, kicks off their 20×2020 project. The project was inspired by the idea of performing 20 new commissioned classical folk works by the end of the decade. The album, which features the first three works of the 20 new commissions, are pieces by Libby Larsen, Marty Regan, and Erberk Eryılmaz. These composers explore culturally-specific musical traditions and present folk material in ways that are engaging, unique, and revelatory. Planet Hugill says the album has “an attractive selection of folk-influences music.”

Find BLURRED BOUNDARIES on Amazon, iTunes, and ArkivMusic.

The Inside Story: Rodrigo Cotelo

Rodrigo Cotelo, composer, musician and Music Director of the debut music collective group #Bloomerangs, is today’s next featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our artists. Read on to discover what fever Cotelo is nursing.

Cotelo 2Who was your first favorite artist(s) growing up?

I was raised listening to the Beatles and Vivaldi daily and my parents would use The Bee Gees as lullaby’s to put me to sleep. Until age three those should be named as my favorite artists. From 3 to 9 there were the Mexican boy band groups that dominated my air time (Parchis and Menudo -where Luis Miguel and Ricky Martin came from).  From 9 to 12 Sting and Queen were right up there as well as numerous 80’s Pop and Rock groups. Past that I became a Hard Rock and Metal teenage riot youngling until I discovered Jazz at age 17-18 thanks to John McLaughlin’s music.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Justin Bieber is the one I bring up the most music related. I think he is overly hated and his musicality and sensitivity are off the charts! It happens when you start being produced by USHER at 6 years old.

If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be? And why?

Any place I haven’t been to. Discovering new places is super fulfilling to me. From the ones I have already visited, I’d take recording gear and spend a full month at Lake Powell, UT. One of the most beautiful spots on earth is right there in the middle of the Glenn Canyon.

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What would you say to an artist performing your work that nobody else knows?

This music is about enabling the performers around you with a sonic/harmonic environment for them to shine and bring the best of them servicing the music.

I would also tell them that music is something greater than any person that writes it, arranges it or even listens to it and that the performer is the lucky guy that gets to connect with music (that “something greater”) by becoming one in it.

What does this album mean to you personally?

I wrote about it in the album describing “Horizon Sunset” but I did it in a more philosophical generic type of English. Aside scope to that is that is music that I wrote and recorded as I was starting to close down my studio and a chapter in my life when my now spouse and I decided to get married and move to the US. Hence “Horizon Sunset” and what it could mean to new opportunities that come together while letting go…

Is there a specific feeling you want listeners to tune into when hearing your work?

It’s a plethora of different feelings! Each tune has its own vibe and some of them are stylistically and genre divergent from each other because they are meant to have a different feel. I have done similar things throughout my career as a recording artist for my solo records as well, to me, it’s just a testament that we are not monochromatic in what/how we feel even during one single day. It also speaks to multiple interests and human impact to all that surround us. We are all different from each other and this album is indeed about the humans that brought it to light that’s why it became a collective album (#Bloomerangs), something greater than my individuality.

#Bloomerangs debut album HORIZON SUNSET is available Friday, May 12th. Pre-order now until Friday to receive three instant bonus tracks. 

The Inside Story: Piotr Szewczyk

Piotr Szewczyk is an acclaimed violinist and composer, an American Prize winner, and has been hailed by Gramophone Magazine as a “violinist of exceptional finesse and flair” and a composer of “magical” works. Today, Szewczyk is our next featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our artists. Read on to find out what Szewczyk’s guilty pleasure is…

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When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist/composer/creator?

As I was studying violin and piano and playing standard repertoire as a young musician, I started asking myself: why do I have to play only other people’s music? Why do I have to express only other people’s feelings, creativity, emotions, and ideas? I felt the urge to express myself by creating and playing my own music, not just interpreting other people’s works. I actually started composing on piano first because I was drawn to exploring harmonies I liked and experimenting beyond what I’ve learned from classical music. Then I started incorporating violin and other instruments and started to pursue composition professionally, along with violin performance.

If you could do any job in the world and make a living at it, what would that be?

In a way, I feel I’m already doing most of that. I feel extremely lucky that I can be a performer and composer, do both professionally, and be surrounded and inspired by all kinds of wonderful musicians. I hope I can expand those pursuits in the future to include running my own new music festival where I could program and perform my music, music of other living composers that I find fascinating, and sharing that passion with audiences.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Dark chocolate! Can’t live without it!

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What does this album mean to you personally?

Bliss Point represents the deepest artistic fulfillment to me, to be able to perform my own music with amazing musicians and share it with audiences and be able to express something deeply personal. It’s the riskiest, honest, and vulnerable statement to open yourself fully to others by creating and performing your original works. But the fulfillment is also the greatest, and I’m hoping the music will connect with listeners on a deep emotional level.

Is there a specific feeling you want listeners to tune into when hearing your work?

Just being open minded and receptive, and hopefully, the music will connect with the audience and may mean different things to different people. I hope the listener will be able to tune into my emotional soundscape I was exploring while writing the music and will be able to re-experience that while listening.

What was your favorite musical moment on the album?

Each piece means something different, but in the context of this album the title piece Bliss Point and its ending is the favorite part for me. I’m very happy with what I was able to accomplish musically and structurally in this work and hope the listener will get an emotional and intellectual satisfaction from experiencing this piece in the context of the full album.

Piotr Szewczyk’s BLISS POINT, featuring Bold City Contemporary Ensemble and Trio Solis is available Friday, May 12 on Navona Records

Bert the Cat and the PARMA Anniversary

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This king, who is so elegantly laying across the cloud of blankets and plush pillows above, is the one and only Bert the Cat. This is not just any cat, we might add, this handsome man, with perky ears, white paws, and the most serious of stares is the PARMA cat.

The PARMA cat? You may be asking, How is he, of all the cats,  the PARMA cat? 

Well, friends, yes, we have traveled around the world and back again sharing photos of the many cats we’ve come across and the stories in which they tell on our recording adventures, but this cat tops it all.

Bert has been with PARMA since day one. On this day, nine years ago, PARMA began with just a few passionate minds coming together to “make music that sounds terrific,” with Bert purring by their side.

Each night, when not traveling the world, meeting staple composers and symphonies for projects, Bert has sat upon the lap of PARMA CEO Bob Lord.

It has been an incredible nine years for PARMA and Bert. Let’s put our hands together for a round of “appaws” to acknowledge our favorite mascot, and of course, the celebration and birth of PARMA Recordings, the music publishing label that began with just one project and is about to bring you a 500th.

The PARMA Album of the Day: THE CROSSROADS PROJECT

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Fry Street Quartet‘s debut album on Navona Records THE CROSSROADS PROJECT was released in September of last year. Collaborated with physicist Dr. Robert Davies, the album features works by composers Libby Larsen and Laura Kaminsky, which were commissioned to explore a musical landscape that speaks to the crisis of climate change and an imminently unsustainable human world to move the listener toward meaningful response. Review Graveyard says the album “is modern classical music at its most emotive. Tracks like ‘Emergence: IV. Resolve’ will draw forth powerful emotions in even the coldest of hearts.”

Find THE CROSSROADS PROJECT on Amazon, iTunes, and ArkivMusic.

The PARMA Album of the Day: PLAYING FAVORITES

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Trombonist and educator Deb Scott released her debut album PLAYING FAVORITES in February of this year on Navona Records. Accompanied by pianist Ron Petti, Scott performs a variety of her favorite pieces that appeal to her background in jazz and to her considerable technical skill while featuring the works of PARMA artist Stephen Lias, as well as composers Derek BourgeoisWilliam Goldstein, and Jean-Baptiste Arban. FanFare Magazine says, “this is an entertaining and varied hour’s worth of trombone music. Deb Scott is an astonishingly talented brass player; one awaits her next release with anticipation.”

Find PLAYING FAVORITES on Amazon, iTunes, and ArkivMusic.

Preview of May 2017 Releases on Navona and Big Round Records!

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STREET DATE: MAY 12

May, oh May! Can you believe it’s nearly May? After yet another exciting release with Spotify features, amazing reviews pooling in, and multiple albums hitting more than 10K streams, we’re more than excited to bring you another round of releases. Coming in May we not only have staple composers and artists, we also have two new PARMA artists, and the first ever bundle release that pulls on those nostalgic strings. Take a look…

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OFF THE EDGE  |  Alicia Terzian

An incredible journey into the heart of the string orchestra.  Alicia Terzian’s writing focuses heavily on the drama, nuance, and contrasts made available by the disparate forces of both string orchestra when alone and when complemented by other instrumental timbres.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube


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BLISS POINT  |  Piotr Szewczyk, Bold City Contemporary Ensemble

Polish-born violinist and composer Piotr Szewczyk mines the depths of his musical flavor palette, drawing the album title from a concept of extreme flavor saturation found primarily in food sciences and subsequently in this varied and challenging collection of chamber music.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube


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PASSAGE |  Sergio Cervetti,  Craig Madden Morris,  Betty R. Wishart,  Daniel Crozier

An orchestral compilation featuring works by Sergio Cervetti, Daniel Crozier, Craig Morris, and Betty Wishart.  Though “passage” is a word of numerous meanings, all meanings, as illustrated in this collection, point back to a singular idea – the transition between two disparate entities.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube


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LIVING COLOURS  |  Bruce Crossman

A potent representation of Australian composer Bruce Crossman’s music, inspired by his strong spirituality and eclectic, multicultural interests. Crossman evokes a “resonance of space” within his music, arising from a “deep-felt emotion and sensibility linking heaven and earth.”

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube


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SPELLS  |  Juli Nunlist

A new retrospective collection highlighting the music of poet and composer Juli Nunlist marks a touching journey through the earnest, romantic, and dramatic sounds of the late artist’s compositional language.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube


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CHIAROSCURO  |  Giovanni Piacentini

Classical guitarist and composer Giovanni Piacentini displays his dazzling talents as both composer and performer with a collection of chamber and solo works steeped in resonant, plucked string sound worlds.

Amazon  |  iTunes  |  ArkivMuisc  |  YouTube


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HORIZON SUNSET  |  #Bloomerangs

The debut record from international music collective #Bloomerangs, performing works by composer, arranger, producer, and guitarist Rodrigo Cotelo.  The album features a diverse array of sounds and instruments, often with several guest artists playing with the core performers of #Bloomerangs.

Amazon  |  iTunes (DELUXE- pre-order limited time only) |  ArkivMusic  |  YouTube


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WHAT ARE THEY DOING TO THAT PIANO?

Featured Albums

JOHN CAGE, ICE & FIRE, 16-2-60-N-5, FELT, AN EVOLVING CYCLE

An unusual compilation of five previously released albums featuring prepared pianos and pianos being played in unexpected ways.  Throughout this collection, the piano undergoes one metamorphosis after another, leaving the listener to interpret the diverse and transfixing sounds of which it is capable.

Amazon  |  ArkivMusic

The PARMA Album of the Day: RESOLVE

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RESOLVE, the latest release on Navona Records from two-time Grammy® Award-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman showcases three clarinet-focused works composed by Paul Hindemith, two of which are premiere recordings for Stoltzman. The Whole Note says, “One has to thank Richard Stoltzman, dean of the clarinet in North America, for this latest addition to a long list of recordings, in this instance a celebration of Paul Hindemith’s clarinet music.”

Find RESOLVE on Amazon, iTunes, and Naxos Music Library.

The PARMA Album of the Day: PERCIPIENCE

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The history of setting literary text in music is a considerable one, from Schubert’s Lieder to Benjamin Britten’s Serenade to art songs of the 21st century. Composer Michael Murray presents four song cycles on his Navona Records releases PERCIPIENCE, all of which emphasize the deep connection between poetry and music as varying means of expression that can reveal different facets of the same idea. Gapplegate says, “Murray gives us songs that stand out. They are masterful examples of the form in our contemporary world.”

Find PERCIPIENCE on Amazon, iTunes, and ArkivMusic.