Home
Bio
Works
Concerts
You're here
Recordings
Commissions
Dial-a-Mood
Links
Essays
Jazz/Film/TV
Purchase
Alex Shapiro, composer email

BREATHE

for concert wind band and prerecorded track.


Composed by Alex Shapiro.
2020; Duration ca. 10:00.
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).

Grade 4 and beyond.

score cover

 

BREATHE instrumentation

 

 

Alex Shapiro

 

Welcome to the BREATHE delivery page, containing the conductor score, the full set of parts (coming soon!), a reference MP3, the accompaniment tracks with and without click, and a smattering of my thoughts on the music. The case-sensitive download password is in the email with this link.

I look forward to working with you as we bring this to life!

Warmly,
Alex

 

 

QUICK LINKS

 
 
 
 



 

THE PROGRAM NOTE

 

Much of the year 2020 is epitomized by the concept of being deprived of breath. From the lung-destroying effects of COVID-19, to the murderous strangulations of police brutality. From the searing, choking walls of wildfire smoke, to the smothering evil of politicians attempting to asphyxiate democracy.

It was tempting to title this piece, "2020". But the pandemic, the systemic racism, the climate changes and the abuses of power that churned malevolently as I composed this music, although heightened by a collective awareness, are not new. 

As quarantine has led millions of people to repeat the same day over and over, a simple theme of twelve notes repeats nine times, painfully slowly, always in the same order. A piano, rather than a wind instrument from which a deadly virus might be spread, offers up one pensive note at a time, paired with an atmospheric soundscape. As people attempt to stay connected to others through the internet, the combination of isolation and technology are a familiar theme.

The static bleakness begins in grayness, becoming only more grim as time passes. Three quarters through, the orchestration gradually fills with sounds made from humans, not computers. The electronic track stops. The technology stops. All we hear are live musicians as the conductor, formerly tethered to unrelenting demands of a metronomic click track, is finally able to allow the ensemble to breathe freely. Phrases climb upward from uncertainty, but of course there is no resolution. There can never be a resolution, because humans are not capable of it. But there can be hope, and breath.

Alex Shapiro
San Juan Island, WA
September 2020

 

 

PROGRAM NOTE for download Program note



Program Notes

PROGRAM BIO for Alex Shapiro Photo and bio

Alex Shapiro bio and photos

 

 



 

 

BREATHE was commissioned by the Colorado Mesa University Wind Symphony, Calvin Hofer, conductor, with the generous support of Karen Combs and Lynn Wegener.



 




 

 

THE DEMO RECORDING

 

Coming soon: For reference purposes only, here is a sampled realization of the music (try not to laugh too hard at the tinny sounds!).



DEMO WAV

 



 

 

THE PERUSAL CONDUCTOR SCORE
(email Alex for code access)

PERUSAL ONLY; not for performance or duplication.

 

.pdf file of the TRANSPOSED CONDUCTOR SCORE

9 x 12; 26 pages including cover and notes.


Perusal score for BREATHE

 









 

ADDITIONAL READING

WASBE World
WASBE World

 

Alex has written an extensive two-part article about electroacoustic band music and the uses of multimedia in the concert world. The essay, titled The e-Frontier: Music, Multimedia, Education, and Audiences in the Digital World echoes the presentations she has given at the 2013 Midwest Clinic, the 2014 TMEA convention, and countless other seminars, and appears in the June and September 2014 issues of the magazine of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, WASBE World. The pdf is offered here with the very kind permission of the organization.

Click here for the full .pdf file readThe e-Frontier


 

 


 


 

ADDITIONAL MUSIC

Alexwith some of her music at the Hal Leonard rack at the Midwest Clinic, 2014.

Alex loves writing for band! You can listen to any of her other pieces by clicking here Alex's wind band catalog

 



 

 

THE CONTACT INFO

The VERY best way to reach Alex is through email, by clicking here Email Alex!

Email Alex!

You can also leave a voice message or a fax at:
(270) 916-0093, and she'll return your call.

Call Alex!

 





Home
Bio
Works
Concerts
You're here
Recordings
Commissions
Dial-a-Mood
Links
Essays
Jazz/Film/TV
Purchase

 

©2000-2020 by Alex Shapiro. All rights reserved to design and content.