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Alex Shapiro, composer email

 

VIRAL

for symphonic wind band and pre-recorded soundscape.

From the symphony, SUSPENDED.

Composed by Alex Shapiro.

Grade 5 and beyond.


2021. Duration ca. 6:00.
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).

Commissioned by Kappa Kappa Psi, National Band Fraternity, and Tau Beta Sigma, National Band Sorority, for the 2021 National Intercollegiate Band.

Premiered July 13, 2021 at the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner, conductor.



score cover

 

VIRAL is currently available as a digital set of .pdf score and parts. Print sets will become available in the latter part of 2021.

Click here to order from Activist Music ORDER VIRAL

Full set: $200.
Score only: $30.

 

 

LICENSES INCLUDED:

Synchronization and mechanical rights are included free of charge for music educators and non-profit ensembles wishing to create a virtual recording and video of this piece, subject to written approval from Ms. Shapiro prior to publicly posting the media.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Alex Shapiro.

 

 

QUICK LINKS

 
 
 
 

 

 

Photo by Alex Shapiro.

 

 

 

VIRAL: RECORDING

 

Click here to listen:

Choose either the .mp3 or .WAV (better!).

 

.mp3

 

.WAV

AIRBORNE
(a stand-alone work that is also the first movement of SUSPENDED):

AIRBORNE: audio demo, low res
AIRBORNE: audio demo, hi res

Listen to the full symphony:
SUSPENDED

download, low res
download, hi-res

Very listenable demo recording.

Coming soon: premiere recording by the National Intercollegiate Band, conducted by Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner; live at the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, WI. July 13, 2021.


   

 

 

Photo by Alex Shapiro.

 

VIRAL instrumentation

 

 

 

VIRAL: PERUSAL SCORE
(email Alex for access code)

Not for performance or duplication.

 

.pdf file of the TRANSPOSED CONDUCTOR SCORE

9 x 12; 43 pages


CONDUCTOR SCORE


 

perusal score

 

 


Photo by Alex Shapiro.

 

 

 

PROGRAM NOTE

 

VIRAL was composed as the final movement of a symphony for winds, percussion, and pre-recorded soundscape titled SUSPENDED. The entire symphony is a cathartic journey, beginning in absolute rage and chaos before traveling through grief, bleakness, macabre humor, and ultimately optimism.

Pointillistic and "zappy," VIRAL is a fluttering, stuttering, energetic, percussively driven seven-part Rondo. The Washington State Ferry and the rhythms of its syncopated engines provides the basis of transportation, as contagious bursts of pitches fling themselves from different corners of the stage and speakers. Much like a virus, one group's outbursts attach themselves to another as droplets of notes are randomly spread but instead of a lethal ending, this one is hopeful, insistent, and exuberant.

 

PROGRAM BIO for Alex Shapiro



Alex Shapiro bio and photos

 

 

Photo by Alex Shapiro.

 

 

 

PERFORMANCE NOTES

 

It is essential that the track volume be set to be as loud as the band. The track is an equal, additional "section" of the ensemble.

Short bursts of double tonguing are tossed around the ensemble, creating a feathered and flitting texture for a trailing effect. This staggered sound is forgiving: if anyone starts on the wrong 16th beat it shouldn't matter too much, as long as they remain metronomically glued to the tempo, and blend dynamically with the track to be part of the fabric of the harmonic shifts.

The success of VIRAL hinges on a seamless balance between the track and the ensemble, which serves as an additional set of colors and textures. The instruments should avoid sticking out from the ambience of the track until the A theme becomes major at measure 137, after which from there until the end, the band has a fuller presence.

Close attention to articulations and dynamics is essential for the music to make sense. Every gesture of repeated notes that includes a dynamic swell or diminuendo must be interpreted as written, and even over-emphasized. In most cases, the sharp nature of a quick "zap" is desired, very much like a sound effect.

It's vital for the ensemble to remain in extremely tight sync with the track, and stay on top of the tempo. For the majority of the piece, musicians should think absolutely metronomically, and throughout, they must watch the conductor like a hawk. If at all possible, it is highly recommended that the percussionists be outfitted with earbuds or in-ear monitors that play the click, because the live ensemble will hear these instruments louder than they will be able to hear the accompaniment track through the stage monitors.

Conductor note: don't get misled by the many syncopations in the track, some of which are so heavy they might be felt as downbeats. The TRACK stave of the score indicates the audible downbeats, and the click track will be a reliable guide, with accented downbeats on every measure. Additionally, there is an optional vox guide track that can play along with the click, in which the rehearsal measures are enunciated to indicate score position, to avoid becoming momentarily disoriented.

 

 

 

 

WEBHEARSALS

 

Zoom, Skype, etc. are wonderful tools for affordably bringing Alex into your rehearsal, without having to book a plane flight and hotel! She has a great time coaching students, and the difference between their musicianship at the beginning of the session and by the time it ends, is remarkable.

Alex can tell the band about how the piece was created and engage them in conversation, and even show them how her digital project studio works! It's also easy to arrange to have her say hello to the audience during a concert, via a custom video. Webhearsals connect musicians to the real person-- and the stories-- behind the notes on the music stands.

The best way to reach Alex Shapiro is through email,
by clicking here 
email Alex

You can also leave a voice message or a fax at:
(270) 916-0093.

To see some examples of webhearsals, and the view Alex loves to share from her desk, click here.

Skypehearsal

A December 2012 Skypehearsal with Alex in her studio on San Juan Island, and band director Mary Bauer and Mt. Mansfield Union High School in Vermont, rehearsing PAPER CUT.

 

 

 

 

MORE INFO

WASBE World
WASBE World

 

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 multimedia presentations she has given at The 2013 Midwest Clinic, the 2014 TMEA convention, and countless other seminars, 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.

Click here for the full .pdf file readThe e-Frontier


 

 


Photo by Alex Shapiro.
Link to SUSPENDED
VIRAL is also the final movement of Alex's symphony for winds, percussion and pre-recorded soundscape, SUSPENDED. Click here to read about the work.

 

 

Photo by Alex Shapiro.

 

 

 

THE CONTACT INFO

The VERY best way to reach Alex is through email, by clicking here Email Alex!

Email Alex!

You can also leave a voice message or a fax at:
(270) 916-0093, and she'll return your call.

Call Alex!

All photographs by Alex Shapiro.

 

 

 

Alex Shapiro at the Hal Leonard Booth at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, December 2014. There's a lot more Shapiro band music to hear!

Head on over to THIS PAGE for an overview of Alex's wind band pieces. You can listen to each one, read all about it via a link, and if desired, request a free pdf perusal score. Have fun!

 

 

Photo by Alex Shapiro.

 

 


     
Alex Shapiro
Alex Shapiro
 
     
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