Shapiro, Alex / Chamber Music
Album: Chamber Music   Collection:Classical
Artist:Shapiro, Alex   Added:Jan 2007
Label:Alex Shapiro  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2007-01-21 Pull Date: 2007-03-25 Charts: Classical/Experimental
Week Ending: Mar 25 Feb 18 Feb 11 Feb 4 Jan 28
Airplays: 1 1 1 1 1

Recent Airplay
1. Mar 21, 2007: Eran Althoff Mukamel (KMFEBM)
Bioplasm (2004)
4. Feb 02, 2007: the jewish alternative
For My Father (1996)
2. Feb 16, 2007: The Alternative Jewish Alternative
Music For Two Big Instruments (2000)
5. Jan 25, 2007: Radio Experiment #3
Current Events (2003): Iii. Rip
3. Feb 06, 2007: Storytime: Kids with Big Jobs
Current Events (2003): I. Surge

Album Review
Reviewed 2007-01-22
Contemporary classical from southern California composer. Variety of instrumental ensembles. Personal, sometimes lively and energetic. Lots of focus on rhythm. Track 4 has cool pad tapping sounds. Many of the slow sections sound meandering and vague, between new age and serialism.

*1. Slow start, adding instruments and dissonance. Very wide slow vibrato on the violins that’s almost like extra pitches. Then some bubbling ascending skittering stuff. Lots of energy. Yummy ending – check out Chopin’s “Revolutionary Etude” if you like it – leaves you hanging.
2. Slow, tense, romantic. Not very original, meanders.
3. Upbeat. Repeated rhythmic motif. Dynamically schizophrenic.
*4. Flute quartet, begins with just pad-tapping?? Then some breathy bursts. Then long slow notes with lots of pitch rolling and woosy scales. Beautiful beautiful dissonance. Big fat low flute sound. Then rolled tonguing in harmony. Sounds like they might be singing sometimes. -7:00 to -5:30 has a hard-to-follow the melody, and lots of new age meandering. Last 5 minues ok... Mix of the cool stuff and meandering lines.
5. Very slow solo piano.
6. Tuba and piano, disjunct. Very similar to Hindemith’s brass sonatas for the first two minutes, then gets a bit Copland and light jazz-ish. Good tuba though.
7-9. Percussion/marimba/vibes/piano.
7. Perpetual motion-ish. Groovy ascending line repeated for the first minute, then gets more diverse but with the same rhythmic monotony (cool here). The piano and marimba/vibes go amazingly well together here. The slow section in the middle kinda blows.
8. Starts with... wine glasses? I don’t get the piano part.
9. More rhythmic ostinato. Kinda stiff, with dull cymbal work.
10. Almost minimalist piano (think Reich) with 12-tone-sounding bassoon (i.e. the melody line is disjunct and seems random at times). Beware the new-age middle section. The end echoes the beginning. Lo-fi piano recording.
x11. Sadly the kick-ass contrabassoon does not make up for the cheesy electronics and percussion.

Track Listing
1. Current Events (2003): I. Surge   6. Music For Two Big Instruments (2000)
2. Current Events (2003): Ii. Ebb   7. At The Abyss (2003): I. Observe
3. Current Events (2003): Iii. Rip   8. At The Abyss (2003): Ii. Reflect
4. Bioplasm (2004)   9. At The Abyss (2003): Iii. Act
5. For My Father (1996)   10. Of Breath And Touch (1999)
  11. Deep (2004)