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Brandon Music

 
 

History

Hello and thank you for your interest in learning more about how Brandon Music came to be!

In 1992, I lived in a very small village in Northumberland, England, by the name of Simonburn, where our house was the former rectory next to the ancient 13th century village church. As part of the exercise to raise funds for the restoration of our fine Walker organ, I agreed to produce a recording. That was Divine Art's first release, on cassette only (now on CD24101). It came to the attention of music critics, and led to my meeting several musicians who enlisted my help in producing CDs. They in turn introduced me to colleagues and though I never intended to become a record producer; one thing led to another until now we have an international business, which has acquired a reputation for quality and for introducing new music and fascinating rarities. The company was first based in South Shields, where I carried on my law practice, but we relocated a few years ago to East Harlsey, on the edge of the beautiful Hambleton Hills and our warehousing is undertaken by our UK distributors in the Midlands. Terry Bickerdike, who has vast experience in inventory and shipping management, joined the Board in December 2008 and was joined in January 2009 by Toby Horton, following our acquisition of Heritage Media, a company specializing in vintage radio plays - an interesting new area for us to explore.

In 2003 we acquired the highly-regarded Athene label, specializing in period piano performances and its sister label, Athene-Minerva. For a time we also distributed other labels but have discontinued this, except for the fine catalogue of Move Records (Australia) and Dan Evans (Dansing). We do not currently take on other labels, although we are always happy to discuss releasing and distributing quality recordings on our own labels. I also co-own a small music publishing business called Brandon Music Limited, in the United Kingdom.

Stephen with Phonograph & RecordsIn April 2005 we launched the first in our new Historic Sound series, in partnership with Pristine Audio – leaders in sound restoration. More releases in this series will follow drawing on the collection of the Northern Vintage Recordings Archive which I manage. Our new recordings of classical, romantic, and baroque music continue, both at home and abroad, and we are also working with several composers and performers in respect to recordings of contemporary British music.

In April 2007, we proudly accepted the acclaimed Metier label into our family. Metier is renowned as among Europe's most important labels for contemporary music, and as well as the existing 77 titles, a new series of releases began in May 2007. The label has drawn praise from many quarters for the quality of its productions and the innovation of programming, ideals which also underpin the Divine Art ethos. In April 2008, we added a further catalog, that of Dunelm Records; this label has always been available to special order only and all of its 200+ titles are in our UK store now. It will take some time for them to be available within the United States, but many of the best titles are being transferred to our Divine Art, Metier and Diversions labels over time.

The company now has seven labels, distribution in several countries, and an ever-increasing list of new projects. However, the two founding principles remain the same:

  1. The company looks to produce recordings of rare and unusual music quality, which are artist-led.
  2. We trust our artists to know their audience and their repertoire, and act as the vehicle by which they can reach out to a larger audience.

Following our reorganization in 2008-9, much of the UK operation is now managed by Terry Bickerdike and Toby Horton together with John Cronin, of Music and Media Management. I still personally look after our CD designs, new projects, and the catalogues – on both sides of the Atlantic. In the music recording world, Brandon Music is now become Divine Art's American twin, publishing recordings on all of the group's labels,though with the cafe, concert series, phonograph museum, art gallery and gift shop it is much more. We invite you to come along for the ride and hope you will check in often to see what is new!

Sincerely,

Old Phonograph



Open for concerts, events and private parties only
Contact us to book your private event
Phone: 802-465-407

YANKEE MAGAZINE "BEST OF NEW ENGLAND 2012" EDITOR'S CHOICE