Alex Shapiro, composer email
The musicians on Notes from the Kelp

Alex Shapiro
Notes from the Kelp

Notes from the Kelp (Innova Recordings 683) was recorded over a period of three years, and none of those sea-vegetable infused notes would have made it into the air without all of these wonderful musicians bringing them to life.

Here's information (including links, some of which may no longer work after over a decade!) about each of the terrific players on this CD.

Click on a name or title to view the musicians or piece.

Click on the icon for info about the piece.

Click on the photo to read even more about the musician.

  Clickable index of musicians:
  Lisa-Maree Amos flute
  Alan Baer tuba
  Frank Basile piano
  Carolyn Beck bassoon
  Peggy Benkeser percussion
  Charles Boito clarinet
  Thomas Burritt marimba, vibraphone
  Colleen Carroll flute
  Bradley Haag piano
  Eileen Holt Helwig flute
  Susanne Kessel piano
  Connie Kupka violin
  Leslie Lashinsky contrabassoon
  Robin Lorentz violin
  Brice Martin flute
  Teresa McCollough piano
  Kathleen McIntosh harpsichord
  Victoria Miskolczy viola
  Dan Morris percussion
  Alex Shapiro electronics, note scribbling
  Peter Sheridan flute
  David Speltz cello
  David Walther viola
  Miwako Watanabe violin
  Clickable index of pieces on the CD:
  1. ccSlipping violin, harpsichord and percussion
  2. ccBioplasm flute quartet
  3-5. Current Events string quintet
  6. ccFor My Father solo piano
  7-9. At the Abyss piano, mallets, percussion
  10. cPhos Hilaron flute, clarinet, bassoon & piano
  11. cMusic for Two Big Instruments tuba & piano
  12. cDeep contrabassoon & CD

Slipping more info on this piece
Recorded by:
..Robin Lorentz, violin
..Kathleen McIntosh, harpsichord
..Dan Morris, percussion
Robin Lorentz

Robin Lorentz was the premiere violinist of the acclaimed California Ear Unit for 25 years. A versatile instrumentalist, Ms. Lorentz' solo violin playing has been featured in major motion pictures and television series. She has been a featured performer on tour with composers Terry Riley and John Luther Adams, gave the world premiere of John Adam's "Road Movies" at the Kennedy Center, and has served as concertmaster on the LA Philharmonic Green Umbrella series and the Ojai Music Festival.


Kathleen McIntosh

Harpsichordists often get stuck musically somewhere before 1800, but not Kathleen McIntosh! She loves baroque music, to be sure, and plays in festivals and concerts all over the U.S. and abroad. But among her greatest joys is playing new music, and she has premiered new works by Tomiko Kohjiba, John Steinmetz, Melinda Wagner, Alex Shapiro and Augusta Read Thomas among many others. She is also part of McFish.


Dan Morris

Dan Morris started out playing in rock bands before developing an interest in world music, jazz and the avant-garde. He built a successful career performing on albums and TV/film soundtracks, and has been featured on more than 45 recordings. Dan has toured the world with a number of musicians/bands, including the Smashing Pumpkins, Noe Venable and Rufus Wainwright. Recently Dan has been composing for multimedia and dance. His passion and talents are currently being utilized in video game sound and music at Activision Publishing.


Postscript: The amazingly talented and wonderful Dan Morris passed away, from kidney failure, at age 37 on December 21st, 2007. He is deeply missed.


Bioplasm more info on this piece
Recorded by:
..Los Angeles Flute Quartet:
..Lisa-Maree Amos
..Colleen Carroll
..Eileen Holt Helwig
..Peter Sheridan

Los Angeles Flute QuartetThe Los Angeles Flute Quartet performing Bioplasm.

Passionate flute players driven to dynamic performances, excited by new music, and committed to authenticity, the Los Angeles Flute Quartet is a mix of solo and ensemble players who have appeared with orchestras throughout the country. Ensemble members Lisa-Maree Amos, Peter Sheridan, Colleen Carroll and Eileen Holt Helwig broadcast frequently, and can be heard on soundtracks of numerous award-winning films and CD recordings. Dedicated to promoting new music for Flute Quartet, the ensemble commissions new works for multiple flutes, many of which are now published. LAFQ has appeared at the National Flute Association Conventions, American Composers Forum, Music Teachers National Association, and Composers Inc. Concert Series. Their album 'Above and Beyond' continues to be featured on radio stations nationwide. 

Eileen Holt Helwig is a versatile musician. In addition to her present orchestral playing career, she has also been an opera singer. She plays with many orchestras including the Riverside County Philharmonic, Long Beach Symphony, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, to name a few. She is on faculty at University of California, Riverside, University of La Verne, and the LA County High School for the Arts in Los Angeles, CA.


Flutist Colleen Carroll is a tenured member of California’s Cabrillo Music Festival Orchestra since 1985, and has appeared with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and performed with the Kansas City Philharmonic and Kansas City Civic Orchestra. She has appeared throughout California with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Mostly Modern Orchestra, Pacific Philharmonic, Hidden Valley Opera, and Monterey Symphony. A prominent freelancer and studio musician in Los Angeles, Colleen has shared the stage with vocalists Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, and can be heard in many of Hollywood’s biggest films.


Australian-born flutist Lisa-Maree Amos, has appeared as Guest Principal Flute with the Boston & BBC Symphony Orchestras and the Pacific Symphony and is currently Principal Flute of the Colorado Music Festival and a member of the Hollywood Symphony. She has recorded for NMC, BMIC & BBC Radio & has received awards from the Royal College of Music & Tanglewood Music Center. In 2003 she made her London Wigmore Hall Debut, and performed Nielsen's Flute Concerto with the Colorado Music Festival.


Peter Sheridan is on the Music faculty of Santa Monica College, El Camino College and La Sierra University, and has performed on several Hollywood soundtracks, and freelances with many of the Los Angeles orchestras including the Pasadena Symphony, the Thousand Oaks Symphony and the Hollywood Studio Orchestra. As a soloist with the Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival, he has appeared on PBS as part of the "Continental Harmony Series", and toured throughout the Four Corners area of the Southwest. Mr. Sheridan studied with Thomas Nyfenger, Judith Mendenhall and Sheridon Stokes at UCLA, and has been the recipient of many awards and scholarships from the Juilliard School, Mannes College, Aspen Music Festival and the University of Arizona.



Current Events more info on this piece
Recorded by:
..Miwako Watanabe, violin
..Connie Kupka, violin
..Victoria Miskolczy, viola
..David Walther, viola
..David Speltz, cello

The Pacific Serenades Quintet
recording Current Events.

Originally from Tokyo, violinist Miwako Watanabe was a frequent soloist with the Munich Bach Orchestra under Karl Richter and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Neville Marriner. She was a member of the Sequoia Quartet, and later founded the Francesco Trio, both of which were winners of the Walter Naumburg Chamber Music Award. Ms. Watanabe performs in Japan as a member of the Mito Chamber Orchestra and the Saito Kinen Orchestra. In Los Angeles, she appears regularly as the Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay and performs with Pacific Serenades and on the South Bay Chamber Music series.


Violinist Connie Kupka has served as Principal Violinist for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Pasadena Symphony, and the Colorado Music Festival, and has appeared as soloist with the South Bay Symphony and Colorado Chamber Orchestra. She augments her Los Angeles orchestral activities with chamber music performances with the South Bay Chamber Music series and Monday Evening Concerts and is also active in motion picture studio orchestras. Ms. Kupka has participated summer chamber music festivals, including those in Santa Fe, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, and the Ojai Music Festival.


Australian born Victoria Miskolczy is Associate Principal Violist of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (since 1989) and a regular member of the Pasadena Symphony (since 1988). She has also performed with the Oregon Bach Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival and in the Hollywood Bowl, Sydney (Australia), Pacific and Long Beach Orchestras. Ms. Miskolczy has performed solo recitals and chamber music throughout the United States and Canada, and as a commercial musician has played on hundreds of motion picture sound track scores.


Upon graduating from USC in 1999 as a student of Donald McInnes, violist David Walther joined the Debussy Trio and soon after became a founding member of the New Hollywood String Quartet. Both groups are critically acclaimed and have toured extensively throughout Europe and the United States. In addition to being a chamber musician, Walther works as a studio musician in the motion picture industry.


Cellist David Speltz helped form the Arriaga String Quartet, and with the Musical Offering ensemble, he performed at the Library of Congress, and Lincoln Center, recording on the Nonesuch label. He is familiar to audiences at many of Los Angeles’ chamber music series, Speltz was a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra during Sir Neville Marriner's tenure and principal cellist of the California Chamber Symphony for eight seasons. In 1989 he was invited by Helmuth Rilling to serve as principal cellist of the Bachakademie in Stuttgart, Germany. David also regularly plays on Hollywood film music sessions.



For My Father more info on this piece

Recorded by:
..Susanne Kessel, piano
Susanne Kessel

Pianist Susanne Kessel, a resident of Bonn, Germany, is well known for unusual concert and CD programs that passionately engage audiences. Exploring many diverse styles, her playing is highly experimental and innovative. Ms. Kessel has given solo recitals on radio and television, produced her own radio features for the WDR Köln, and has worked as a musician or as music coach for several movies. She has given concert-hall piano performances and concert tours in Europe and the USA.



At the Abyss more info on this piece
Tom Burritt, Teresa McCollough, Peggy Benkeser rehearsing At the Abyss.
Abyss trio
Percussionist Peggy Benkeser,
pianist Teresa McCollough, and
mallet player Tom Burritt, at the recording session for At the Abyss.
Recorded by:
..Teresa McCollough, piano
..Tom Burritt, marimba, vibes
..Peggy Benkeser, percussion

Pianist Teresa McCollough has commissioned, premiered, and performed many new compositions by today's emerging and established composers including Alvin Singleton, Lou Harrison, Joan Tower, Alex Shapiro, Belinda Reynolds, Zhou Long, Charles Griffin, David Rakowski, Tomas Svoboda, Henry Martin, George Crumb, and others. She has appeared as a soloist and with ensembles and orchestras on four continents and in international festivals around the world.


Percussionist Peggy Benkeser has been a catalyst for new music in Atlanta since her arrival from Illinois in 1985. As co-founder and artistic director of Thamyris, New Music Group she commissioned and premiered over 85 new compositions from composers including Alvin Singleton and Steven Mackey. Ms. Benkeser performs with "Music for Hammers and Sticks" and is a full-time teaching artist at the Cliff Valley School in Atlanta, Georgia.


Thomas Burritt is currently principal percussionist with the Barbwire New Music Ensemble, and has recorded for guitarist Eric Johnson and recording artist David Byrne. Burritt's first solo CD: "All Times Identical - New American Music for Solo Marimba" was released in November or 2006 and is available at http://www.GoFishmusic.com. He is currently Associate Professor of Percussion and Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and is a clinician for LLC/Malletech Instruments, Malletech Mallets and Zildjian Cymbals.



Phos Hilaronmore info on this piece

Recorded by:
..Brice Martin, flute
..Charles Boito, clarinet
..Carolyn Beck, bassoon
..Frank Basile, piano

Brice Martin

Brice Martin is an active studio musician,and plays for film, TV and commercial soundtracks. He has a large collection of exotic winds from around the world that he specializes in. He has played for ”Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” the Grammy Awards Orchestra, ”Star Trek: Voyager,” and the ”Wonderful World of Disney.” Brice is also a composer and has written music for film and television.



Charles Boito has been active in the Los Angeles musical scene for over 30 years. Graduating from the USC and Yale Schools of Music he is well known for his participation in local chamber music and symphonic groups as well as having performed on hundreds of feature films and TV series. His bass clarinet playing for all of the Star Trek franchises gives him the distinction of being “the world’s most recorded contra bass clarinetist”. He is currently working on the Fox TV series Family Guy and American Dad.


Carolyn Beck

Carolyn Beck is the Principal Bassoonist with the Redlands Symphony and the San Bernardino Symphony, and performs with studio and other orchestras in the Los Angeles area. She was formerly principal bassoonist of the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Orchesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in Spain. Her solo CD "Beck and Call" came out on Crystal Records in 2005 and is available at http://www.crystalrecords.com as well from many recorded music vendors.


Frank Basile

Frank Basile has been Director of Music at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Mar Vista, California since 1989. He has served as conductor of the Yale Bach Society, the USC Early Music Ensemble, and the Burbank Chorale. Frank is currently on the faculty of Campbell Hall School (Episcopal), serves on the Commission on Music and Liturgy for the Diocese of Los Angeles, and is a faculty member in the Leadership Program for Musicians in Small Parishes. He is an award-winning musical director in Los Angeles, having performed in numerous local and world premieres and revivals.



Music for Two Big Instruments more info on this piece
Recorded by:
..Alan Baer, tuba
..Bradley Haag,


Brad Haag and Alan BaerPianist Brad Haag and tubist Alan Baer at the recording session for Music for Two Big Instruments.

Alan Baer joined the New York Philharmonic in 2004, as Principal Tuba. He was formerly principal tuba with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. His other performing credits include recordings with The Cleveland Orchestra led by Vladimir Ashkenazy, performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Peninsula Music Festival of Wisconsin, New Orleans Symphony, Los Angeles Concert Orchestra, and Ojai Festival Orchestra,. He performs as a featured soloist, touring much of Europe.


Pianist Bradley Haag has won numerous prizes for performance including the Clara Rolland Piano Competition, the Theodore Presser Scholar Award, and the Armstrong Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Performance. As a prizewinner at the Artists International auditions in New York, Haag gave his New York recital debut in January of 1999, performing in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and lauded by the New York Concert Review Board. Brad has also appeared as a concerto soloist with the Soloists of St. Petersburg, Russia.


Deep more info on this piece
Recorded by:
..   Leslie Lashinsky, contrabassoon
..   Dan Morris, additional percussion
..   Alex Shapiro, electronics
Leslie Lashinsky

Contrabassoonist Leslie Lashinsky plays lots of low notes. She has toured the world with orchestras led by Zubin Mehta, Leonard Bernstein and Esa-Pekka Salonen, and has played bassoon and contrabassoon on many motion picture soundtracks, including Jurassic Park, The Lion King, The Matrix, The Chronicles of Narnia and Spiderman 3. Her orchestral credits include the L.A. Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, L.A. Opera, Bolshoi, ABT and Joffrey Ballets, Long Beach, Glendale and Pacific Symphonies, L.A. Chamber and Hollywood Bowl Orchestras, and many theatrical productions. Leslie is a multimedia artist and has taught at Art Center College of Design and Pepperdine University.


Dan Morris

Dan Morris started out playing in rock bands before developing an interest in world music, jazz and the avant-garde. He built successful career performing on albums and TV/film soundtracks, and has been featured on more than 45 recordings. Dan has toured the world with a number of musicians/bands., including the Smashing Pumpkins, Noe Venable and Rufus Wainwright. Recently Dan has been composing for multimedia and dance. His passion and talents are currently being utilized in video game sound and music at Activision Publishing.


Postscript: The amazingly talented and wonderful Dan Morris passed away, from kidney failure, at age 37 on December 21st, 2007. He is deeply missed.

Alex Shapiro
When she's not exploring tide pools or kayaking or boating between islands where she lives, Alex Shapiro often drenches herself in sounds she creates in her digital recording studio. Paralleling her interest in acoustic music, Alex began working with electronics in 1977 at age 15, and has remained involved in electronic and electro-acoustic music as a composer and as an engineer ever since. Despite her persistent need to be near water, she has yet to electrocute herself.



Alex Shapiro

Alex Shapiro loves to hear from people. You're invited to email her and she will respond as soon as her feet dry off.

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