Quartet: 1 Piccolo, 2 C Flutes,
2 Alto Flutes,
2 Bass Flutes).
Audio clips performed by The Los Angeles Flute Quartet.
Choir; arranged by Michelle Grondin).
|Bioplasm is featured on The Los Angeles Flute Quartet's 2005 CD, Above and Beyond, on LAFQ Records. Click CD for more info.|
Bioplasm is featured on the 2007 Innova Recordings CD, Notes from the Kelp (innova 683). Click CD for more info.
|Hear Alex discuss the making of Bioplasm, in this ASCAP Audio Portrait interview (3:11) :|
Winner of a 2005 award from the Music Teachers National Association.
Bioplasm has been featured on many radio shows across the U.S., including WNYC-FM's New Sounds program, hosted by John Schaefer in New York City, and KUSC-FM's program, Modern Masterpieces, hosted by Alan Chapman in Los Angeles.
"The final work was Bioplasm, by Los Angeles composer Alex Shapiro, which flirts with theatricality and runs an eclectic gamut of styles, beginning with the pseudo-ritualistic entry of the quartet onto the stage, rhythmically clicking the keys of their instruments and blowing short, sharp breaths into the finger-holes. Later, there are passages that seem to evoke a more "tropical" mood and one episode of vocalizing along with the sound of the flutes, before the quasi-Andean music of the opening returns.
[Bioplasm] was a particular favorite, receiving strong gusts of applause and even shouts of approval. As such, it was a well chosen finale, sending the audience home in an elated mood."
------Jules Langert, San Francisco Classical Voice
"Bioplasm proved to be an engaging, substantive work, with a definite sense of musical progress. "
------Walter Simmons, Fanfare Magazine
"…a virtuosic tour de force of balance and mood. Written for four performers who collectively play seven instruments and sing, the atmosphere oscillates between driving intensity and chant-like serenity. The composer explains that she wished to "create an organism from the four flutists that oozes across the sonic floor as a unified entity." Judging by the growing number of performances that Bioplasm is receiving around the world, Shapiro has succeeded in creating a living "organism" that is indeed taking on a life of its own. "
------Andrew Adams Simmons, IAWM Journal
"I am especially taken with the Shapiro "Bioplasm," a slightly bizarre but attractive new piece. I hope other flutists play it too."
------Christopher L. Chaffee, American Record Guide
"From the evidence of their new CD Above and Beyond, with its commissioned works (especially Alex Shapiro's "Bioplasm"), the LA Flute Quartet seems poised to become the "Kronos" of the flute!"
------Martin Perlich, KCSN-FM radio, Los Angeles
"The use of bass flute as percussion is not to be missed. A welcomed addition to anyone's collection of woodwind music. Especially delightful for flute aficionados."
------Laura Brodian KMZT-FM radio, Los Angeles
"Perhaps my favorite piece for listening is Bioplasm, which I first heard on Kalvos & Damian several years ago. This piece explores flute techniques (including noises, voices and multiphonics) in a tightly wrought architecture that feels leisurely and attractive on its surface. That's what I like about Bioplasm, for quartet of flutes (bass, alto, soprano and piccolo): It doesn't make experimentation into hard work... Bioplasm approaches the music with (dare I say it) a film composer's ear. In other words, I am not conscious of the music so much as the sensation."
------Dennis Bathory-Kitsz, composer, host, Kalvos & Damian
"Bioplasm, [Alex's] twelve-minute long flute quartet... jumps into a kettle of primordial soup, dabbling and splashing in agitated rhythms, cloudy ambiances, dense textures and open outcries. The flutes combine into a mysterious surface area, all undulation, ripples and bubbles, obscuring the individual melodic lines into a surreal sort of audioplankton."
------Tobias Fischer, Tokafi
"[Bioplasm is] an eerie and curiously haunting tone poem written for flute quartet — 2 C flutes, 2 alto flutes, 2 bass flutes, and 1 piccolo — that incorporates some uncommon flute techniques such as percussive pitched key clicks and pitch bending (the latter sounding just as the words suggest, and both new to this writer) as well as vocalizations by the players while they’re playing (no, we have no idea how that’s done, but we’re assured that no overdubbing was employed, and that none of the four flutists were harmed in the making of the recording), that requires more than one listening to appreciate fully in all its details."
------A.C. Douglas, Sounds & Fury
"A percussion honorable mention has to be given to "Bioplasm," written for flute quartet. Here the flutes are used as percussion instruments, creating a "throbbing pulse of life" with their keys and air stream. Later the players are called upon to sing, sometimes with what sounds like a multiphonic effect."
------Tom Morgan, Percussive Notes
I named this piece Bioplasm because "Oozing Up From the Primordial Sludge" seemed a bit long for a title. Bioplasm is the stuff of life, the germinal matter that's essential for living beings to generate. This is a squishy piece: rather than exploit the individual voice of each flute, I wanted to create an organism that oozes across the sonic floor as one tethered entity, sometimes slowly, sometimes at a quick pace, but always as one, like a Slinky toy. The blend of homogenous sound with four flutes is a throbbing pulse of life; add to this four human voices, and it's a choir of plasma, looking for life to begin.
Enjoy this video that artist Simon Kenevan made
Enjoy this video of the flutists of Stranded Silver
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