For any soloist wanting a 40-ton duet partner.

(Contrabass Flute and Electronic soundscape).
Total duration:
10:21 (2008)
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).
Commissioned in 2008 by flutist Peter Sheridan.
One movement work.
9 pages, 8.5" x 11".

Premiered on April 11, 2008 in Tucson, Arizona, and a revised version on August 25, 2008 in Melbourne, Australia,

by Peter Sheridan.


Audio clip performed by Peter Sheridan.


Also available for bass clarinet.
Also available for
Also available for
And any other instrument on which someone wants to play the piece.


Also related:

Wail Wail

Wail is a one minute recording created from the tracks recorded for Below by Alex Shapiro.


Beneath Beneath-wind band

(Symphonic Wind Band and Electronic soundscape).
Total duration: 10:21 (2011)
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).


Beneath (for orchestra) Beneath-orchestra

(Orchestra and Electronic soundscape).
Total duration: 10:21 (2019)
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).
Click here for commissioning and publishing information.


Kelp forest

Peter Sheridan and Alex Shapiro.
Peter Sheridan and Alex at a performance of "Below"
in Los Angeles, CA. April 2008.

View pages of the score
view score

Listen to an audio clip
of this piece

1. hear
2. hear


Email Alex for the access code
to download a perusal score!

download perusal score


Purchase this score

Score and audio track available
from Activist Music:
$25.00 print; $17.00 digital.




Erupting beneath the surface is a stunning world of liquid beauty and grace. Hidden from our eyes and even our imagination, this private sanctuary envelopes life and hope. Follow your ears and your heart to the depths of a place we sometimes forget to look.





Below CD


This piece is featured on Peter Sheridan's 2009 CD, Below: Music for Low Flutes, on Move Records MD3330. Click CD for more info.



Below CD single


This piece was released in 2020 as a single by flutist Tessa Brinckman. Click cover for more info.





Want to hear how Alex found the perfect whale for this piece? Click here to read a short interview with her, on the blog The Natural World.  





"I am deeply touched by this piece. I cannot help but become teary... Thank you, this work is a MAJOR addition to the repertoire...... I feel (and AM) blessed! Wow"


Peter Sheridan, March 2008



"Peter Sheridan presents a kaleidoscope of flutes on this CD and honours every single flutemaker by playing their instruments so marvellously. In "Below" he appears to master my subcontrabassflute in a way I had never thought possible!"


Jelle Hogenhuis - Designer of low flutes, 2009



"Below by American composer Alex Shapiro is a stunning electronic soundtrack based on undersea noises, including the song of the Pacific humpback whale. This acts as a partner to the contrabass flute, whose deep tones blend superbly with the vastness of the sounds and effects. There is rhythm and energy in this piece as well as a welcoming bath of resonant electronic soundscapes, and the results are an appealing blend of sonic anthropomorphism and attractive melodic contours."


Dominy Clements  - MusicWeb International, April 2011



"… beautifully atmospheric…"


Carla Rees, - The Journal of the British Flute Society, 2010





Enjoy Peter Sheridan's premiere recording of BELOW,
on his 2009 album for Move Records:






Enjoy this video of flutist Kathleen Purcell
performing BELOW on her bass flute,
on March 20, 2016 in Santa Cruz, CA:






Enjoy this excerpt of the video Diana Lehr created
to Tessa Brinckman's recording of BELOW:





Want to see the tuba version?
Enjoy watching Tony Zilincik
perform BELOW at Capital University
during the February 2023 NOW Music Festival
for which Alex Shapiro was composer-in-residence:






Enjoy this video of Cindy Renander
performing BELOW on her bass clarinet,
during the Tacoma Ocean Fest Online 2020 series:






And for something different, here's a live modern dance performance
with guitarist Hector Murrieta performing and improvising
to choreographer and dancer Dora Hagerman's interpretation of BELOW.

Please forward to 2:43 together into the music, which ends at 10:40.
Note that the audio track volume on the video is quite low,
and that any percussive sounds heard are not part of the piece
(probably a creaky stage!).


Below, page 9  
Below, first page
Below, page 9
Below, page 9


Alex appears in three of director Michael Stillwater's documentary films: Shining Night, Beyond The Fear of Singing, and In Search of the Great Song. Click below to listen to a short excerpt from the latter, filmed at Alex's home on San Juan Island, WA. and scored with her piece BELOW. Alex shares her thoughts about how the sea inspires her muses.






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