When the world first went into lockdown at the break of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people found outlets to make the most of their isolated experiences. For musicians, it was a matter of discovering new pathways to produce their music. As relationships evolved and new collaborations emerged, a new collective outlook was adopted and inspiration took the reins, giving way to an explosion of works influenced by an unprecedented human narrative.

Dive in and discover how PARMA artists responded to the tribulations of the pandemic through their music:

Listen to the full playlist on your favorite streaming platform today.

TRANSFIGURATION
Stanley Grill

Crafted in the midst of the pandemic, TRANSFIGURATION is a triumphant release born from collaborative remote recording sessions between violist Brett Deubner and composer Stanley Grill. Its pieces — originally orchestrated for chamber ensemble — were produced with an inventive technique, with parts widely spread in the sound space so that the ear can distinguish between them, even though they were all recorded by Deubner standing, physically, in the same spot.

TRANSFIGURATION - album cover

TRANSFIGURATION

Throughout three works—Sonatine, Sea and Sky, and Transfiguration—lush, crisp soundscapes fill the ears as the viola’s soothing timbre and Deubner’s seamless technique create a pastoral quality that underscores the spiritual and introspective themes of Grill’s compositions.

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MOTHER EARTH
Brett Deubner

Born from the same strife of 2020 and released the following year, MOTHER EARTH comments largely on the pandemic and the whirlwind of events that took place within it.

“I had always hoped that such a world event as this would instead unite all races as we search for a common solution. Politics, misunderstanding, mistrust, and inequity seem to have only been exacerbated by this catastrophe. This album is my answer to the COVID pandemic. My response in the language of music.”

Violist Brett Deubner

Brett Deubner

Conversations with Violist Brett Deubner

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I AM NOT A VIRUS
Jordan VanHemert

Composer Jordan VanHemert takes inspiration from a wide swath of timely subjects in I AM NOT A VIRUS —everything from the coronavirus pandemic to racially charged police killings and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. A collection of piano-driven jazz arrangements with a tight horn duo and an energetic rhythm section, these contemporary works capture and comment on an unprecedented juncture in human history.

“The title track I Am Not A Virus is a response to the age of racism against Asian-Americans sparked by COVID-19 and the perpetual foreigner stereotype—that when people look at us, they always see foreigners, no matter how long one has resided in the United States.”

Composer Jordan VanHemert

Jordan VanHemert I Am Not A Virus

The Inside Story: Jordan VanHemert and I AM NOT A VIRUS

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REIMAGINE
Inna Faliks

Recorded on a Disklavier Yamaha DCFX concert grand piano and edited over hours of cross-country zoom calls, Inna Faliks’s REIMAGINE unites three centuries worth of music and social commentary, proudly raising a monument to the genius of Beethoven and Ravel and to the perseverance and verve of some of today’s most exciting and important composers.

“It was deeply gratifying to musically and spiritually connect with so many, during a most lonesome and precarious time in our history. I am grateful to every person who has made this project possible.”

Pianist Inna Faliks

REIMAGINE - album cover

REIMAGINE

Acclaimed pianist Inna Faliks breaks new ground with REIMAGINE on Navona Records, an homage to Beethoven and Ravel which manages to do the impossible: be breathtakingly innovative while remaining respectful to the source material.

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MODERN MUSES
Josefien Stoppelenburg & Jean Hatmaker

MODERN MUSES began its initial stages during August 2020, where social distancing was heavily encouraged and options for recording and rehearsing were still limited. Beginning with outdoor rehearsals in cellist Jean Hatmaker’s backyard, the album released the following year, complete with exotic soundscapes and empowering instrumentation in this diverse assortment of modern music.

“We used that quiet time of COVID to really focus all of our energy into this album. It’s been a beautiful silver lining.”

Cellist Jean Hatmaker

Conversations with Soprano Josefien Stoppelenburg and Cellist Jean Hatmaker

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THE LONG JOURNEY HOME
Trans-Kalahari Quintet

All produced in Gaborone, Botswana prior to the pandemic, Trans-Kalahari Quintet’s THE LONG JOURNEY HOME faced a shutdown a month before its release due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. With the quintet’s saxophonist Matt Dacso aiding the American public as a healthcare professional and ensemble members from Botswana unable to travel, the project’s release was put on hold until Fall 2020, when the ensemble celebrated together from different continents with a streaming concert.

Matt Dasco

Composer Conversations: Matt Dacso and the Trans-Kalahari Quintet

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GOMITOLO!
Bruce Leto

Pianist Bruce Leto’s album of solo piano works synthesizes the tribulations and perseverance of the human spirit in the age of COVID-19 while also taking a look at some of the more bewildering aspects of the global response. The album is a fitting tribute to the European countries heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic early on, featuring solo piano performances of works by Poulenc, Ravel, and fellow PARMA artist Curt Cacioppo.

“Music by Maurice Ravel and Curtis Cacioppo was included in this album to demonstrate the contrasting interpretations/compositional variations of the “waltz”—a gesture that provides levity during tumultuous times.”

Pianist Bruce Leto

Bruce Leto

The Inside Story: Bruce Leto, Jr. and GOMITOLO!

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