an electro-aquatic piece
for symphonic wind band and prerecorded track.
Composed by Alex Shapiro.
2014; Duration 9:00.
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).
Commissioned by Carthage College in commemoration of the 140th anniversary of the Carthage College Band, Christo et Ecclesiae.
Click here to listen!
The full streaming recording of the Carthage College Band playing LIQUID COMPASS, conducted by James Ripley.
LIQUID COMPASS is available as a physical, bound set of score and parts plus audio download, or as a digital set of .pdf score and parts, plus audio download.
Click here to order the PDF set from Activist Music
Click the happy green icon to order the print set from Hal Leonard
One of the unusual ingredients to the journey: water dripping!
LIQUID COMPASS was generously commissioned by Carthage College, and its alumni, to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the Carthage Band, Christo et Ecclesiae. The participating donors are greatly appreciated:
Generous support was provided by:
Anonymous Friend of Music
Carthage College Department of Music
Additional support was provided by:
Kurt and Vicki Chroust
Calvin and Nona Claus
John and Lori Gnabasik
Scott Jones and Jennifer Bodrie Jones
Ronald and Cynthia Larson
The Justice Law Firm P.C.
Lewis and Margaret Payne
Richard and Mary Sjoerdsma
Very special thanks to Dr. James Ripley, who set his musical compass with the faith that we might discover a shared true north!
Conductor James Ripley and Alex Shapiro rehearsing LIQUID COMPASS
with the Carthage College Band, May 2014.
Alex showing off her latest publication at the Hal Leonard booth at the Midwest Clinic, December 2014.
THE PROGRAM NOTE
LIQUID COMPASS is a tone poem that takes the musicians and the audience on a watery journey spanning the mystical and the triumphant. Commemorating the 140th anniversary of Carthage College's wind band, the piece migrates to different places, but never loses its bearings in pursuit of a musical true north. The spiritual power of the sea is ever-present, in layers of unique sounds heard in the audio track, and duplicated by the musicians. The effect is a physical surround-sound of texture, as metal bowls capture slow, resonant drips of water, and flutists breathe other-worldly intonations. The piece, like the school that commissioned it, continues to push forward while observing that which has come before. Because one can't celebrate history, without reflecting on the waters over which time and experience have passed.
PROGRAM NOTES for download
PROGRAM BIO for Alex Shapiro
Conductor Derek Wickum leading the Bemidji High Band in Minnesota
during a 2015 performance of LIQUID COMPASS.
A CONCERT VIDEO
The Florida Atlantic University Wind Ensemble, in Boca Raton, FL, conducted by Kyle Prescott:
Alex has written an extensive two-part article about electroacoustic band music and the uses of multimedia in the concert world. The essay, titled The e-Frontier: Music, Multimedia, Education, and Audiences in the Digital World echoes the presentations she gave at The 2013 Midwest Clinic and the 2014 TMEA convention, and appears in the June and September 2014 issues of the magazine of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, WASBE World. The pdf is offered here with the very kind permission of the organization.