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IMMERSION
for symphonic wind band,
and prerecorded audio track.

Composed by Alex Shapiro


2011; Total duration: 23:00.
Three movement work.
79 pages, 11" x 17".
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).

Grade 4 and beyond (DEPTH and BENEATH) and Grade 5 (SURFACE).

Each movement can also be programmed separately:

DEPTH (7:49)
SURFACE (4:07)
BENEATH (10:11)

Click here to listen! listen



score cover

 

Click here to order

IMMERSION was commissioned by a consortium of partners:

Dr. Milton Allen, The Ohio State University
Dr. Tom Duffy, Yale University
Encore Wind Ensemble, Minneapolis, MN
Glenn C. Hayes, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Jerry Luckhardt, University of Minnesota
Steve Olsen, Rosemount High School, Rosemount, MN
Dr. Robert Taylor, University of British Columbia

First premiere February 16, 2011 by the University of Minnesota Symphonic Band, Jerry Luckhardt, conductor, Minneapolis, MN.

Second premiere, February 23, 2011 by The Ohio State University Symphonic Wind Band, Milt Allen, conductor, Columbus, OH.

The Minneapolis premiere of Immersion was recorded by Minnesota Public Radio for later broadcast. Click here to listen to each movement in its entirety.

     
Orca
     
instrumentation
     
seal devouring an octopus!
   

 

   

View pages from the score to
Immersion


view score

Listen to excerpts from each movement:

 

DEPTH

1a. listen to Depth

SURFACE

2a. listen to Surface

BENEATH

3a. listen to Beneath

BENEATH

3b. listen to Beneath

Read the technical notes:

tech notes

First premiere performance, recorded live at Ted Mann Hall in Minneapolis, MN. February 16, 2011 by Minnesota Public Radio, performed by the University of Minnesota Symphonic Band, Jerry Luckhardt, conductor.


Score, parts and audio tracks are available in print, or as digital files for half the listed price.

All three movements available from Activist Music for $350.00.

Each movement available separately
for $150.00

Conductor scores: $60.00 for IMMERSION; $35.00 for any movement separately.

Accompanying tracks include a conductor click track.

 

purchase

 

Program note:

IMMERSION brings listeners on a sonic journey into a private, aquatic realm. Beneath the surface of the ocean is a world of liquid beauty and grace hidden from our eyes and from our imagination. Even in this habitat of life and hope, exquisite creatures remain vulnerable to events triggered from beyond their fragile sanctuary. Follow your ears and your heart to the depths of a place we sometimes forget to look.

 

 

Downloads for perusal

 

To download each movement separately, email Alex for the guest access code, then click below.

 

Listen to a live premiere of IMMERSION

email Alex for
the guest access code

Download the perusal scores to IMMERSION

email Alex for
the guest access code


Purchase the full set
of score, parts,
and audio tracks



DEPTH
(7:49; 16 pages)

1. listen to Depth
pdf of score to DEPTH
purchase DEPTH

SURFACE
(4:07; 32 pages)

2. listen to Surface
pdf of score to SURFACE
purchase SURFACE

BENEATH
(10:11; 27 pages)

3. listen to Beneath
pdf of score to BENEATH
purchase BENEATH

PURCHASE ALL THREE
(IMMERSION; 75 pages):

purchase IMMERSION

A note from Alex:

 

IMMERSION is a three-movement symphony that can be presented as one longer piece, or modularly, in any combination of movements together or separately. Depth, and Beneath, are moderate in tempo, while Surface is very fast and percussive, and even suitable as an encore.

The sea has been a constant in my life, and I have always lived on or next to the water. From my upbringing by the rivers flanking Manhattan, to my earlier adult life on the Pacific ocean in Malibu and Santa Barbara, living on the beach and also on a sailboat, to my current existence on the Salish Sea in the Pacific Northwest where I can kayak from my home in the San Juan Islands to outlaying atolls, I’ve spent a lot of time observing water and water-based life.

My studio on San Juan Island is in a largely glass house built on the very edge of the sea with an enormous view across the Salish Sea from the San Juans to the U.S. mainland, and as I composed Immersion, the ocean and its fascinating wildlife were my constant companions. Had I not been a musician, I might have become a marine biologist, and my interest in these sciences is reflected by my participation on the Board of Directors of University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories, a preeminent marine science research center. I have a deeply fortunate life, to be a composer with an inner view to working scientists, and most of all, to have a window to the daily lives of wild creatures whose private existence is often beneath the surface, in the depth of the sea. I seek to share this private world, through music.

Immersion would not have been possible without the endless support, enthusiasm and collaborative work of Jerry Luckhardt, whose vision and assistance are deeply appreciated.

Alex Shapiro
interview
Want to hear how Alex found the perfect whale for this piece? Click here to read a short interview with her, on the blog The Natural World.
 
 

 

orca whale breaching

 

Hear Alex's description of IMMERSION, and the entire symphony

 

February 15, 2012: Alex was the in-studio guest on Marvin Rosen's new music radio show out of Princeton University, Classical Discoveries, during which they broadcast all of Immersion, and spoke about how the piece came into existence.

Enjoy the live premiere performance, February 16, 2011, by the University of Minnesota Symphonic Wind Band, Jerry Luckhardt, conductor. Recorded by Minnesota Public Radio; Produced by Alex Shapiro.

Listen to Alex describe IMMERSION,
and hear the full symphony:


hear

Marvin Rosen with Alex at WPRB
Alex chatting with host Marvin Rosen at WPRB-FM at Princeton University in New Jersey.

ClassicalMPR

Where do composers get their inspiration? You can see more of Alex's photos, including the sequence of the life-and-death sea lion vs. octopus smack down as described by Alex in the Classical Discoveries interview, on this page of her blog, Notes from the Kelp. blog

blog link to octopus

"There are less than a handful of [electroacoustic] pieces in the repertoire, and nothing like this one. Alex has a unique voice in music that I find stunningly beautiful and connected."

- Jerry Luckhardt, Conductor, University of Minnesota Symphonic Band

UofM Immersion premiere
The video and lighting effects for the premiere of "Immersion" at University of Minnesota.

 

Consortium partners:

 

The University of Minnesota was the lead organization in a consortium of U.S. schools that commissioned Alex to compose this multi-movement electroacoustic symphonic band work. Immersion had its first premiere in Minneapolis, MN on February 16 2011, by the University of Minnesota Symphonic Band, Jerry Luckhardt, conductor.

This premiere enjoyed a multimedia aspect as well, with video and lighting designed by Jay'd Hagberg. The second of the consortium premieres took place the following week on Feb. 23rd by the symphonic band at The Ohio State University, conducted by Milton Allen.

The consortium of commissioning partners included:

U of M

OSU

Yale

U Wisc at Whitewater

Encore Wind Ensemble

Rosemount

UBC

Sample score pages:

 


Click to enlarge these pages from the conductor score for DEPTH.


page 4 of Depth 
Page 4

page 11 of Depth 
Page 11


Click to enlarge these pages from the conductor score for SURFACE.


page 13 of Surface 
Page 13

page 29 of Surface 
Page 29


Click to enlarge these pages from the conductor score for BENEATH.


page 5 of Beneath 
Page 5

page 12 of Beneath 
Page 12

     

Immersion flyer
Click here for a larger flyer more

Shapiro writing studio
Alex Shapiro's studio, and her view while composing "Immersion."

Shapiro and Luckhardt
Alex Shapiro and conductor Jerry Luckhardt, on the University of Minnesota TCF Bank stadium football field
during a marching band practice, October 2010.


Surface sketch
Alex Shapiro's initial sketch of "Immersion" second mov't, "Surface"

Studio sunset
Sunset from the writing desk; Canada's Vancouver Island (L) and Salt Spring Island (R).


How did this mostly-chamber music composer get into writing for symphonic band? Listen to her describe how it happened, in this two-minute excerpt from an interview she gave to Carey Nadeau from the American Composers Forum:

WASBE World

Alex has written an extensive two-part article about electroacoustic band music and the uses of multimedia in the concert world. The first of the series, titled The e-Frontier: Music, Multimedia, Education, and Audiences in the Digital World, appears in the June 2014 issue of the magazine of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, WASBE World, and is offered here with the very kind permission of the organization.

Click here for the .pdf file read WASBE World Part 1

 

     

UofM Immersion premiere
The premiere of "Immersion" at University of Minnesota, Jerry Luckhardt, conducting.

 

shore

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