Archive for January 1st, 2006

Happy 2006… we hope.

Sunday, January 1st, 2006

Alex Shapiro

My name is Alex Shapiro, and I am a composer.

The world does not need any more blogs. Any pithy opinions that might erupt from me can already be found on wonderful sites like those listed in on the upper right-hand side of this page. Other personal and musical observations I stumble upon are safely nestled into the Essays pages on my own website. Just as composing is improvising in slow motion, my collection of brief writings is glacial-speed blogging. And since I’m supposed to spend my time writing music rather than writing about writing music, that pace suits me, and presumably my web-visitors, just fine.

But I decided recently that there is an aspect to my life so heart-wrenchingly beautiful that it should be shared, because there is not a single day that goes by when I don’t thank the universe for my great fortune.

Looking northwest

…info about the music

Click on the blue music icon above to hear a movement from my “Evensong Suite” titled “Phos Hilaron,” to accompany this photo of the bluffs looking northwest up the coastline.

I live in one of the most spectacular locations in the United States: Paradise Cove, in Malibu, California. A small indentation at the northern point of the Santa Monica Bay. The Bay defines one edge of Los Angeles; its beaches do their best to keep the city from oozing into the ocean.

Paradise Cove is home to some of the most compelling geology and tide pools and kelp beds and marine life and tides and swells and rips and vistas that one could ever hope for. It is filled with life and with ever-changing light and weather. Its tides shift constantly, and the water is never the same texture for very long.

…info about the music

Click on the blue music icon above to hear a movement from my string quintet “Current Events” titled “Ebb,” paired with this photo of a lone snowy egret at an ebb tide here a few days ago.

When I’m not composing, I’m walking slowly along this beach, head down, carrying on quiet conversations with creatures and rocks and plant life. The thick, salt smell and the irregular rhythms of the waves help me solve whatever stubborn musical riddles eluded me moments earlier at my writing desk. When time permits, I guide my kayak far out to the placid kelp beds where I can float on slick lilypad-like boughs that strain toward the sunlight from their anchored roots. I peer closely at the leaves and the critters crawling on them; for a brief time I become another form of sea life and these waters are my true home. Occasionally I paddle out much further, with the hope of encountering sea lions, dolphins and bigger waves. And just last month, I became the proud owner of a magnificent, custom-designed 12-foot Hawaiian-style paddleboard that I’m anxious to take out on the water when it’s not hanging on my wall as a work of art. I’m looking for the right wetsuit; these waters are currently 58 degrees.


Recently I’ve gotten into the habit of sticking my camera into my jacket pocket before setting out on these neighborhood walks. There have been too many times when a remarkable sight made me wish I could immediately share it with others; thanks to the internet, now I can. And will.

Paradise Cove December 2005

…info about the music

Click on the blue music icon above to hear an excerpt from the second movement of my “Sonata for Piano” as you view Paradise Cove looking southeast.

On a reasonably regular basis– my intention is at least every two or three days, and often daily– I’ll be adding my current photos to this page, some paired with some MP3s of excerpts of pieces of mine that I think might be good accompaniment. Instead of film scoring, I guess this is pixel scoring. If you’d like to know more about a piece, just click on the link. My hope is that the combination of the sounds and the visuals will translate from my life to yours, and this simple blog will create a shared smile. Oh, and I warn you: in addition to marine-related visions, you just may find a few cat photos, too. Cat blogging is alive and well. And not only on Fridays.

Welcome, and please don’t hesitate to drop a comment in the box.

surf's up

nokia free 3410 ringtonedownloadable 3390 nokia free ringtoneringtone alltel free kyoceranokia ringtone free download 34101220 free nokia ringtoneringtones cents 99nokia ringtone 3390 freeaccountant barrington Map