The proprietor of ISMERON, J. Martin Stafford was born in Hyde in 1948 and educated at Stockport Grammar School and the Universities of Manchester and Sheffield, where he studied philosophy. In 1987, frustrated at his failure over many years to find a copy of an obscure book on David Hume, he made enquiries about the possibility of having it reprinted from a copy made available by a nearby library. Advances in printing technology had made possible short production runs; so he went ahead and launched his own imprint.
In 1994, realising that one of his favourite recordings would never be reissued on CD unless he himself organised and financed the project, he embarked on the CD branch of his small enterprise. 1994 was also the centenary of the birth of the composer E.J. Moeran. To commemorate this anniversary a new recording of the piano works was commissioned. Late in 1995 the name of ISMERON (a character in Purcell’s The Indian Queen and the name of a family pet) was adopted for the book imprint and CD label.
Since our products are for a fairly specialised market, our production runs are small. Our motive in producing them is pleasure and commitment rather than profit, so we keep our prices as low as is practicable. There have been no price increases since 1990.
In May 2007, the magazine International Record Review featured an article about the Ismeron CD label, which may be viewed or downloaded from this link IRR0705p88.pdf.