(2 Violins, Viola, Cello, Double bass, Flute/Piccolo, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, Bassoon, French Horn, and Piano).
Total duration ca. 11 minutes (2009; revised 2013)

Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).
Commissioned in 2009 by The Norton Building Concert Series, for the Fifth House Ensemble.

One movement work. 56 pages (score), 8.5" x 11".

Premiered on November 15, 2009 in Lockport, IL
by Fifth House Ensemble.

Audio excerpts from the live concert premiere, performed by Fifth House Ensemble. These excerpts do not include piano, which was added in the revised 2013 version.

View pages of the score to

view score

Listen to DEMO audio clips of the revised version of Archipelago, with piano:


The start of the piece:


A little later in the piece:


Listen to audio clips of the original version of Archipelago, from the premiere:


Earlier in the piece:


The middle of the piece:


Purchase this score

Score and parts available from
Activist Music: $55.00 print; $35.00 digital.






I live in a beautiful archipelago in which each island has a distinct character. Some are similar to each other, and others cause me to wonder what the geo- and meteorological forces could have been to make them so contrasting. This piece is not dissimilar, as it wends its way through a series of cohesive but varied segments, each subject to the forces of my own emotional geology.

Similarly, a musical ensemble is its own archipelago: wonderfully contrasting individuals who, when experienced together, form a compelling, unified group. As with navigating the channels and straits between isles, or those of one's psyche, Archipelago offers a journey, and every listener will experience the landscape differently.


Alex, with Fifth House Ensemble at 2009 premiere in Lockport, IL.

Alex Shapiro and the Fifth House Ensemble at the premiere of Archipelago, November 2009.

Archipelago, page 7  
Archipelago, page 9    
Archipelago, page 30    
Archipelago, page 39    

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