Session Recap: Mathew Fuerst’s "Broken Cycles"

It’s always inspiring to witness the growth and evolution of an artist over time.  We’ve been lucky enough to work with the very talented Mathew Fuerst for the past few years and his innovative writing continues to amaze everyone here at PARMA.

Early last month we entered the beautiful Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA to record Mathew’s new composition for percussion and piano, “Broken Cycles.”  Unlike Mathew’s last recording with PARMA (“Symphony” for full orchestra), “Broken Cycles” showcases Mathew’s talents in writing for small ensemble.  The piece is written as a gradual separation between the two performers and we think its one of Mathew’s best works to date.

PARMA Lead Producer Andy Happel, Mathew Fuerst
Brad Blackham, Stacey Jones

The morning of the session, we met Mathew, Stacey Jones (percussion) and Brad Blackham (piano) who all traveled from Hillsdale, Michigan for the session.  Situated over the water on Rockport Harbor, the Shalin Liu’s picture-perfect setting is only rivaled by the acoustics of the room.  “Broken Cycles” is one of the most percussion-heavy pieces we’ve seen recently and each instrument sounded superb in the hall.

“Broken Cycles” is an intricate piece of music that’s success relies on the interaction and harmony between the percussionist and pianist. There are sections of delicate syncopation and Reich-influenced minimalism along with highly rhythmic and technical passages for both players (think the opening of “Music for 18 Musicians”).

We’re currently working on audio post-production for the recording and we are looking forward to featuring “Broken Cycles” on an upcoming release.  Keep an eye out for updates in the next few months!

Mathew holds a Bachelor’s Degree in composition from the Eastman School of Music where he studied under fellow PARMA composers David Liptak and Sydney Hodkinson.  He also holds Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Composition from The Julliard School, where he worked with Robert Beaser and John Corigliano.  Mathew is currently on the music faculty at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI.

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