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Of Wind and Touch

(Baritone Saxophone and Piano).
Total duration ca. 10 minutes (2006)
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).
Commissioned in 2006 by saxophonist Brandon Masterman
.
One movement work. 16 pages, 8.5" x 11".

Premiered in October 2006 in Youngstown, Ohio by Brandon Masterman, baritone saxophone, and Henry Orazi, piano.

Audio clip of "Of Wind and Touch" performed by Brandon Masterman, baritone saxophone, and Henry Orazi, piano.

Audio clip of "Of Breath and Touch" performed by Carolyn Beck, bassoon and Delores Stevens, piano.


Also available as:

Of Song and Touch

(for Euphonium and Piano).
Total duration ca. 10 minutes (2011)
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).
One movement work. 16 pages, 8.5" x 11".

 

Of Air and Touch

(for Oboe and Piano).
Total duration ca. 10 minutes (2001)
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).
One movement work. 16 pages, 8.5" x 11".

 

Of Breath and Touch

(for Bassoon and Piano).
Total duration ca. 10 minutes (2006)
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).
One movement work. 16 pages, 8.5" x 11".

 

 

 

 

Beck and Call CD
The bassoon and piano version of this piece, Of Breath and Touch, is featured on Carolyn Beck's 2005 CD, Beck and Call, on Crystal Records CD 846. Click CD for more info.

"...Alex Shapiro’s short fantasy Of Breath and Touch... This piece imaginatively couples a Middle-Eastern-style moto perpetuo from the keyboard with a melody of long-held notes from the bassoon. Following an introspective central section, it revisits the busy opening as a brief coda."

------
Fanfare Magazine, May/June 2006

"The disc opener [of Alex Shapiro's] "Of Breath and Touch" is delicate and nervous, like a fine race horse...".

------International Record Review, March 2006

"First we hear Alex Shapiro's "Of Breath and Touch." She uses essentially middle-eastern influences in melody, through the bassoon, and rhythm, through the piano. The effect of the ostinato role of the piano, if not the whole piece, is hypnotic. Beck states a somber melody in the beginning then again later in the piece, followed by long sustained passages in different registers that build and recede with intensity. All this is occurring while the piano asserts various harmonies below–sometimes insistently, sometimes agitated, and sometimes as if in a state of delirium."

------American Record Guide, May/June 2006

Gramophone

""Of Breath and Touch" has Middle-Eastern influences, with bassoon chants, plaintive phrases and anxious activity above consoling piano ostinatos...Carolyn Beck explores the full extent of the instrument's character... on this extremely inviting disc."

-----The Gramophone, May 2006

 

     

View page one of the score to
Of Wind and Touch
for baritone saxophone and piano

view score

Listen to an audio clip of
Of Wind and Touch

for baritone saxophone and piano

hear

__________________

Listen to an audio clip of
Of Air and Touch
for oboe and piano

__________________
Listen to an audio clip of
Of Breath and Touch
for bassoon and piano
hear
Watch!

video

__________________

Purchase any of these scores

Score and part available from
Activist Music for $25.00.

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Of Wind and Touch is a passionate and exciting piece for a baritone sax and piano duo, and offers an adventurous saxophonist a broad range of music to explore within a single movement. This sonata is an adaptation of my 1999 bassoon and piano work, Of Breath and Touch. Not all pieces lend themselves to new incarnations, but thanks to the interest of Brandon Masterman, this one turned out to be particularly well suited to the intensities and range of the bari sax.

At the time I began composing Of Breath and Touch, I happened to be listening to works by the French composers Ravel, Debussy and Satie as well as to traditional music from Egypt and Turkey. There are unexpected parallels in the types of minor scales used by each country's musicians, as well as between the disparate cultures' use of reed instruments. Western reed instruments are remarkably well suited for some of the long, floating melodies that are often heard in Middle Eastern music, usually played by wind instruments like the ney or the mizmar.

While I couldn't easily explore microtonality in a duet that strongly features the all-too-well tempered piano, I did reference the driving rhythms of some Middle Eastern music in a hypnotic and ostinatic piano part that's fun to play, and the reed writing showcases the extraordinary range and tone of the instrument in the hands of a fine player. The result is a uniquely American piece that is informed by other cultures. The title refers to the nature of each instrument, as well as to a more sensual pair of pleasures.


 
 
 

Enjoy this video of bassoonist Ryan M. Hare and pianist Gerald Berthiaume performing the original version of this piece, OF BREATH AND TOUCH, in February 2013, on a concert of Alex Shapiro's music during her vist as the resident composer for the Festival of Contemporary Art Music (FOCAM), at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington:

 

Of Wind and Touch, page 1 D  
Of Wind and Touch page 1
Of Wind and Touch, page 4 D  
Of Wind and Touch page 4
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