Moderna Records: the piano as a compass

IDOL has signed the Montreal-based label Moderna Records. The label nourishes a deep relationship with the king of all instruments, the piano and its evolution in today's musical environment.

We are aware that this name could ring a bell for other reasons than music. As Thomas Maxwell, Sr. Director of our Nashville offices, said: “Seriously, what are the odds that we’d sign a label named Moderna Records during a global pandemic?”

Moderna Records is a modern / neo-classical label founded by Évolène Lüthi in 2015 amidst the thriving music scene of Montreal. As Evo isn’t a fan of over generalizations in music, when describing Moderna, he eloquently suggests: ”We’re here to trace lines from electronic sound designers to classical composers, connecting them through the realms of ambient and cinematic music.” Or, more simply, “ultimately, we aim to be putting beauty into the world,” as he confided in Ambient Music Guide.

The label is now composed of Evolène Lüthi, a sound engineer, and Nick Hyatt, a classically trained pianist with a Major in Experimental Composition, though their musical tastes don’t confine to only piano-based Neo-Classical compositions. Evolene Luthi admitted to Ambient Music Guide that he evolved from a post-rock to an ambient fan: “Let’s say that Mogwai, Mono and Explosions in the Sky gave way to Goldmund, Stars of the Lid, Peter Broderick… After a few years of hanging around the ambient / classical scene with my solo project, I started connecting with artists and grew the desire of starting the label.”

Listen to the interview of Nick Hyatt by Other Record Labels

Their roster

Jacob David – a Danish pianist and composer from Copenhagen, Danemark,
BLOMMA – two US-based keyboardists / pianists, Jacob Pavek and Philip Daniel, who met on Instagram,
Snorri Hallgrimsson – a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer from Reykjavík, Iceland,
Ed Carlsen – a composer and producer from Italy,
Pêtr Aleksänder – a duet composed of Eliot James (producer for Two Door Cinema Club, Bloc Party) and Tom Hobden (musician for Noah & The Whale, Mumford & Sons).

It was natural for IDOL to sign Moderna Records as the label has also released records from some artists we’ve worked with via Erased Tapes, like Peter Broderick and Ben Lukas Boysen.

As Evolene Luthi disclosed to Contemplative Classical: “For me, beyond the complexity and/or quality of the production, it’s the ability of a composer/musician to transmit their emotions, their soul through music.”

Summer Series

This year is Moderna Record’s third annual summer single series, featuring a carefully curated selection of melodic piano based tracks from some of the label’s favourite composers around the globe. The collection is intimate, each piece recorded at the composer’s home studio, with the listener invited to join at the piano bench. Featured this time around are: Akira Kosemura (JP), John Hayes (US), Nat Bartsch (AU), Julia Gjertsen (NO), Jacob David (DK) and Hideyuki Hashimoto (JP). The series is tastefully mastered by Berlin based Martyn Heyne and set to artwork by Canadian designer Thedor Erkamps.

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