Premiered in 2005 by ensemble Green, Los Angeles, CA.
Desert Notes is some of the most programmatic music I've composed, to the point where even the score itself contains maniacal little outbursts describing the visions that swept through my mind as the music wrote itself. The scene: the desert's arid stillness and the weight of the morning's expanding heat. A sudden rainstorm overtakes the landscape, forming instant pools of water over the cracked earth. The storm passes as quickly as it arrived, and as the birds and reptiles emerge to greet the fleeting moisture, the music ends as flowers strain upward against the bluest sky for those few passionate moments of their fullest bloom. Ahhh.
Well, none of the above was floating around in my head as I began the first measures; my initial working title had something to do with the ocean and being near it. But just after I started the piece, I took a road trip from my Malibu home to Tucson, Arizona. The drive was meditative, and best of all, the desert was in the full bloom of a May preceded by heavy rainfall. Everywhere I turned there were brilliant flowers bursting from inhospitable looking cactuses and scrub. It was truly beautiful.
All the stunning drives I've taken through deserts came to my senses at once, from a trip across the Sinai on a desolate road, to a trek across Mongolia's Gobi on no road at all. I also thought a lot about the extraordinary ten days I spent alone one July in the Mojave's Death Valley, immersing myself like a madwoman in its intense, 125 degree heat. I was rewarded with an equally intense and welcome inner clarity.
I need the ocean, but I'm fascinated by the desert and all the life it embraces. I returned home to the beach from Tucson four days later, and I finally knew what this music was really about.
"...the poignantly lyrical, soaring lines of Alex Shapiro's Desert Tide..."
|Desert Tide is featured on Douglas Masek's 2007 CD, Saxtronic Soundscape, on Centaur Records. Click CD for more info.|
|Desert Notes, page 1|
Also available as:
Cello and Piano)
at the World Saxophone Congress, July 2003
string Electric Violin and Electronic soundscape on CD).
Premiered in 2003 by violinist Sabrina Ann Berger.
(Soprano Saxophone and Electronic soundscape on CD).
Premiered by Douglas Masek, September 2005 in Cape Town, South Africa. Recorded by Douglas Masek, July 2006 in Los Angeles, California. Audio clip performed by Douglas Masek.
Audio clip performed by Douglas Masek.
(Flute, Clarinet and Piano).
Total duration ca. 10 minutes (2008)
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).
One movement work. 20 pages, 8.5" x 11".
Premiered in May 2009 by Palisades Virtuosi.
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