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Alex Shapiro, composer email

 

FREE

for symphonic wind band.

Composed by Alex Shapiro.

Grade 5 and beyond.


2022. Duration ca. 8:15.
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).

Commissioned by The University of Wisconsin-River Falls for its 2022 Commissioned Composer Project and the UWRF Symphony Band, Dr. Kristin Tjornehoj, conductor. With special thanks to Dr. Patti Cudd.

Premiered April 21, 2022 at Abbott Concert Hall, University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Dr. Kristin Tjornehoj, conductor.



score cover

 

Alex Shapiro in her studio, April 2021.

 

FREE is currently available as a digital set of .pdf score and parts, plus audio downloads. Print sets will become available in the latter part of 2022.

 

Click here to order from Activist Music

 

Full set: $200.
Score only: $20.



 

Photo by Alex Shapiro.

 

 

QUICK LINKS

 
 
 

 

 

Photo by Alex Shapiro.

 

 

 

FREE: RECORDING

 

Click here to listen:

Choose either the .mp3 or .WAV (better!).

 

.mp3

 

.WAV

FREE

FREE: low res
FREE: hi res

 

Demo recording for reference.


   

 

 

Photo by Alex Shapiro.

 

FREE instrumentation

 

 

FREE: CONDUCTOR PERUSAL SCORE

.pdf file of the TRANSPOSED CONDUCTOR SCORE

11 x 17; 49 pages including cover and notes.


FREE score, 11 x 17-single-side

 


Photo by Alex Shapiro.

 

 

 

PROGRAM NOTE

 

One of the best things about being a composer in the 21st century is that there are no stylistic limitations on how we can express ourselves. The freedom to be unconcerned with fitting into any prescribed expectations of others is a gift, and one that's amplified with age and perspective. I happened to complete my 60th solar rotation as I composed this music, and when the piece unexpectedly veered from my intentions stated in its pastoral opening to something with a different kind of energy, I viewed that as a positive metaphor for life, for creativity, and for the joy of becoming old enough to blithely follow one's instincts.


On the opposite end of this emotional spectrum, it was just as I reached the final exuberant phrases of FREE that Russia launched its brutal, unconscionable war against the Ukrainian people. Writing such sanguine music to this hideous backdrop intensified my horror for the many victims whose lives only days before were not unlike mine: free. This piece is not a reflection on Ukraine, nor is it about cruelty. However, none of us exists in a bubble, and events in one part of our planet affect everyone, particularly when suffering is involved. May calm and freedom return to all.

 

PROGRAM BIO for Alex Shapiro



Alex Shapiro bio and photos

 

 

Photo by Alex Shapiro.

 

 

 

PERFORMANCE NOTES

 

Tempo is an important musical factor for FREE, which was written to have its best effect at the indicated tempi—or very, very close to them. The piece will risk sounding plodding if performed slower than indicated.


FREE is a busy score in some places, as several motives play against, or interlock with each other in various syncopations and phase shifts. To ensure an expansive ocean of clarity rather than a crowded tide pool of mud, it's vital that rhythms are exact—indeed, metronomic in some places—and that articulations are very crisp. The piano and percussion section serves as the engine that drives much of the music.


It's fine if players need to take breaths during longer phrases; particularly long slurs indicate phrasing intent.

 

 

Photo by Alex Shapiro.

 

Alex Shapiro at premiere of FREE

Alex speaks to the audience in Abbott Hall at University of Wisconsin-River Falls on April 21, 2022, during a concert devoted to her music which concluded with the premiere of FREE.

 


 

 

WEBHEARSALS

 

Zoom, Skype, etc. are wonderful tools for affordably bringing Alex into your rehearsal, without having to book a plane flight and hotel! She has a great time coaching students, and the difference between their musicianship at the beginning of the session and by the time it ends, is remarkable.

Alex can tell the band about how the piece was created and engage them in conversation, and even show them how her digital project studio works! It's also easy to arrange to have her say hello to the audience during a concert, via a custom video. Webhearsals connect musicians to the real person-- and the stories-- behind the notes on the music stands.

The best way to reach Alex Shapiro is through email,
by clicking here 
email Alex

You can also leave a voice message or a fax at:
(270) 916-0093.

To see some examples of webhearsals, and the view Alex loves to share from her desk, click here.

Skypehearsal

A December 2012 webhearsal with Alex in her studio on San Juan Island, and band director Mary Bauer and Mt. Mansfield Union High School in Vermont, rehearsing PAPER CUT.

 

 

 

Photo by Alex Shapiro.

 

 

 

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!

All photographs by Alex Shapiro.

 

 

 

Alex Shapiro at the Hal Leonard Booth at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, December 2014. There's a lot more Shapiro band music to hear!

Head on over to THIS PAGE for an overview of Alex's wind band pieces. You can listen to each one, read all about it via a link, and if desired, request a free pdf perusal score. Have fun!

 

 

 


     
Alex Shapiro
Alex Shapiro
 
     
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