Image © Parodi Fair, Inc 2006
Starr Parodi (click for MySpace)
Image © Parodi Fair, Inc 2008
(01 November 2008) Born in Los Angeles, musician and composer Starr Parodi has released a gorgeous album of piano improvisations called Common Places (Parodi Fair (USA) 8 37202 23832 8, 2006). These ten tracks are all improvisations on themes recorded on a 1928 Steinway B piano. The sound resonates with neo-classical, americana, gospel and cinematic themes all played as "stream of conciousness" improvisations.
Starr is best known for her work as a keyboardist for the house band known as "The Posse" on The Arsenio Hall Show. She recently scored the 2006 critically acclaimed film Conversations With Other Women (Helena Bonham Carter/Aaron Eckhart), High Roller:The Stu Ungar Story (Michael Imperioli), and the hit Lifetime Show The Division. Her music has also been included in film trailers for many of Hollywood's biggest films including The Last Samurai, X-Men 3, The Last Holiday, War of the Worlds, Mission Impossible, Failure to Launch, Everyone's Hero, Akeelah & The Bee, A Good Year, and Flight 93 to name just a few. She is also well known in the television and film industries for her music scoring abilities as one half of the Parodi/Fair partnership.
"After recording the basic improvisations, Jeff Fair & I started experimenting with creating a new sonic palate using only the piano but effecting it with various filters and other devices. Sometimes the effect was ambient, sometimes percussive & many times subliminal. I loved adding these textures to the improvisations because they broadened the musical voice of the piano and added additional emotion and interest to the performances," according to Starr.
This refreshing and passionate array of songs lifts the spirit with unfettered creativity. Starr expertly places a new spin on certain melodies, and also pioneers new sounds in her original handiwork. She developed this album after a spontaneous recording of the title track. "I had just finished recording another project and happened to have the mic's up and ready to go on the steinway. I was doing some chordal improvisations while watching the poetic movement of the sycamore trees in the canyon outside my studio window. As the Santa Ana winds kicked up I felt a well of inspirational emotion inside and just started to play. Over the next few months the other nine songs on my CD followed in this spirit and fashion."
The most memorable track is the improvisation and exploration of the James Bond theme, which is a completely new version to what has been heard before. She arranged/produced and performed one of the most popular James Bond themes, heard in the trailers for Goldeneye, The World is Not Enough, Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day and featured on the Capitol CD, "The Best Of Bond ... James Bond", which reaped a gold record for her.
Another standout track is "Albinoni's Adagio" with its exquisite and flowing instrumentals. Albinoni could never have imagined that his baroque Adagio in G Minor could take on such a new sounding and creative take on the original. Starr evokes lushness and sensitivity in this stunning piece. There is a feeling of euphoria in her rendition of "Let It Be." She places new energy in the classics. "I recorded this music purely out of joy, purely out of sorrow, purely out of a longing and a searching, a peacefulness and restlessness. These are the common places we all share."
There is absolutely nothing common about Common Places. There is no doubt that Starr Parodi's interpretive and improvisational skills deserve the highest accolades. Her
music is a sumptuous array of originality that heightens the senses. There is a fresh, innovative feel to these songs that everyone will relish.--Audrey Elliot in New York