From isolation, to lushness.


(Solo piano with prerecorded digital audio).
Total duration ca. 8:45 (2023)
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).
Commissioned in 2023 by pianist Mark Stevens
One movement work. 14 pages, 8.5" x 11".


Audio demo recorded by Alex Shapiro.




View pages of the score


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Listen to an audio demo
of Breathless


This score will be available for purchase
immediately after its premiere and no later than April 2025.




As I sculpted BREATHLESS, I pondered the allure of contrast; a cinematic sense of dystopian isolation that eventually arrives at unabashed lushness. Single notes on the piano are hesitantly struck as though they might have lost their way. Those fragile utterances ultimately blossom to flowing passages that sound as though they require twenty fingers, not ten, to play.


The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. Quarantine had many of us repeating what often felt like the same day, over and over. Here, a simple theme of twelve pitches repeats nine times, painfully slowly, always in the same order. Unnatural and two-dimensional, the internet nonetheless united us in spite of our collective detachment. Loneliness comprises the first two-thirds of this music.


And then, something shifts. The audio track melts away. The pianist is released from technology's unrelenting quarantine of a metronome lashing them to sonic patterns, and finally given free expression. Phrases climb upward from uncertainty, but there is no resolution. Humans are not capable of it. But there can be hope, and breath.



Arcana Album


Alex Shapiro has produced a significant album of her solo piano works, including the acoustic version of this work, titled LUVINA, beautifully performed by New York pianist Adam Marks. The 2020 disc, ARCANA, has been released on Innova Recordings 041.




Email Alex for the access code
to download a perusal score!


Perusal score

Breathless, page 1  
Breathless Page 1
Breathless, page 9    
Breathless Page 10

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