Kettle Brew


(Timpani, Percussion (Crotales, Suspended Cymbal, Tam tam, Bongos, Bass Drum) and Electronic soundscape).
Total duration 7:40 (2013)
Co-composed with David Jarvis (ASCAP).
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).

Commissioned in 2012 by
The Edward R. Meyer Project Award.
One movement work. 9 pages, 8.5" x 11".


Premiered February 8, 2013, at Washington State University in Pullman, WA., David Jarvis, percussion. Audio clip performed by David Jarvis, recorded at Washington State University, February 2013.





Listen to audio clips of Kettle Brew,
earlier in the piece:



and then later...
Listen to the full piece, in streaming audio:
View pages of the score to
Kettle Brew
view score




Purchase this score

Score and audio track available from Activist Music for $35.00 print; $25.00 digital.






It all started near midnight in a 2-star hotel lobby bar on the outskirts of recession-hit Reno, Nevada. David and Alex sipped their scotch from plastic cups because the locals had a penchant for stealing the barware. Surrounded by band musicians on the final night of a regional CBDNA conference in March 2012, their scheming about a new piece for timpani began at that table with the chipped brown Formica and cigarette burns, continued over emails that summer when Dave was in Oahu, and congealed into notes on the page when he stopped by San Juan Island, WA. on his return home, to work with Alex at her studio.


"How about an electroacoustic piece?"
Wonderful, Alex.
"Let's add some other percussion for color."
Great, Dave.
"Two words: funk timpani."
Oh, yeah, Alex!


As Bald Eagles flew by the window, Alex inputted Dave's hand-written timpani riffs as fast as he could pass them to her from the sofa while not spilling his beer.

Once Dave got home to Pullman, WA, Alex got busy creating a prerecorded track unlike any other for kettledrums and percussion. When it was largely in place she emailed the audio track and score to Dave, who proceeded to add what seemed like thousands more percussion notes to the fast sections because, well, he knew he could play 'em. KETTLE BREW represents the best aspects of composer and composer/performer collaboration, and proves what percussionists have always known: two heads can be even better than one.





DOWNLOAD the password-protected perusal score and audio file for KETTLE BREW (email Alex to obtain the access code):

David Jarvis, percussion; Alex Shapiro, electronics (7:43).

Perusal score

Download the perusal score



Enjoy this video of the amazing David Jarvis
performing KETTLE BREW:



Alex dusting

Alex wiping

This composer is no diva! Prepping a video shoot means everything in the frame gets dusted...

...and wiped...

Alex sweeping...and swept...

Alex Shapiro and Dave Jarvis...and attacked with mallets!

David Jarvis

David Jarvis, preparing for the recording session.





Want to see an exciting live performance of the piece?
Enjoy percussionist Kyle Auth
performing KETTLE BREW at Capital University
during the February 2023 NOW Music Festival
for which Alex Shapiro was composer-in-residence:




Kettle Brew: page 1

Kettle Brew, page 1
Kettle Brew: page 9    
Kettle Brew, page 9

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