Release Date: February 9, 2018
Catalog #: NV6139
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Solo Instrumental

Small Stones

Modern Piano Music

Nancy Zipay DeSalvo piano

Jason Tad Howard composer
Daniel Perttu composer

SMALL STONES showcases Dr. Nancy Zipay Desalvo’s exploration into both minute and immense concepts. Recorded on solo piano, DeSalvo performs the compositions translating the compressed beauty of Jason Tad Howard and the expansive universe of Daniel Perttu.

In the first half of the recording, Howard’s set of nine “short shorts” feature songs all under the two-minute mark (with the exception of his final track, “Reconciliation: A Not Quite So Short Short Short,” which runs just over four minutes long). Despite their short run times, each composition is satisfying. DeSalvo makes the melodies twinkle and shine in multidimensions like small diamonds.

Based around the pitch of “C,” each short short establishes its own character and technical approach while sharing the common thread of its pitch. The compositions ring with recurring themes in melody and rhythmic texture, coming together at the final “Short Short No. 9” which unveils a grand finale.

Born out of a visit to Stonehenge, Perttu’s compositions expand on the pebble of a simple vision into a larger, more complex structure. In her ambitious, emotional performance, DeSalvo is translating Perttu’s pursuit to achieve full comprehension of the mystical nature surrounding one of the Natural Wonders of the World.


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Artist Information

Nancy Zipay DeSalvo


Dr. Nancy Zipay DeSalvo performs extensively as a soloist, a professional accompanying pianist (specializing in saxophone and string repertoire), and a chamber music collaborator. She has been a guest soloist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed with various orchestras throughout the United States. She is an Associate Professor at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania where she is Head of the Piano Area.

Daniel Perttu


“Music has always been a kind of magic for me, a portal to other realms. When I was young, I was inspired by fantasy novels such as The Lord of the Rings, and I’m still drawn to myths and legends. I’ve written works on themes ranging from the sorcery of Merlin to the Callanish Stone Circle and the Torngat Mountains. My aim is to write music that invites audiences into other worlds, so they can re-discover their own sense of wonder." –Daniel Perttu