Alex Shapiro

When I’m not crawling around the shoreline and shooting photos of wildlife, I’m working on becoming a more adept note alignment specialist. I compose music, mostly for chamber ensembles and symphonic wind bands who kindly offer my notes to the air and anyone within earshot.

I’ve had a very fortunate life as a composer, and there’s a pretty extensive bio on my website, which will definitely give you an idea of how I spend a lot of my time. The website is my professional face to the world for All Things Music; this blog is an informal portal to the aspects of my life which inspire the notes.

I’m passionate about a lot of things, and I have a tendency to get involved and delve deeply whenever possible. I love to think, to listen, to learn, and to talk, and I do my best to do them all in the correct order. Sometimes I fail. But I keep trying.

I grew up in Manhattan, and moved to Los Angeles in 1983 when I was 21. I spent the next ten years in Van Nuys, a very flat area in the middle of the San Fernando Valley. Coming from New York City, any street that was lined with palm trees was pretty damn impressive to me, regardless of the luster-lacking neighborhood. I moved to Malibu in 1993, and for a few years in the early 2000’s I also lived part-time on a sailboat in the Santa Barbara harbor. Although that life sounds utterly glamorous and oh-so extravagant, the house in Malibu was a doublewide mobile home [albeit a really nice one right at the beach], and the sailboat was a 16-year old 32-foot sloop that cost about the same as a car payment each month. I celebrate having figured out how to think and live very affordably in a somewhat nontraditional way, in an incredibly gorgeous area that might otherwise have been beyond my means. Investing in wheel estate and keel estate, as I jokingly refer to those abodes, was a nifty way to live. And it kept me close to the ocean I love.

In continued pursuit of that happiness, there was a change of kelp in my life: in 2007 I moved from the paradise of Malibu to another, less traffic-congested paradise: the San Juan Islands, off the coast of Washington State. As my life has morphed into northern watery and wooded joys, so has this blog.

The first 15 years or so of my career was spent composing music for mostly low-budget, somewhat off-the-radar film and TV projects, as well as for documentaries, corporate videos and CD-ROMs. In the mid-1990’s I noticed that I actually wasn’t especially delighted with this path, and rather abruptly decided to shift my career back to composing concert music, which is what I had started to do from the time I was nine years old. I have never been happier. I also write jazz and pop/rock tunes, and maybe some of that material will eventually see the light of day. But I’m known primarily for the concert music I compose, as well as for the large collection of plastic dinos that adorn my kitchen.

My days incorporate a beautiful triangle of composing music, connecting with nature, and communicating with a great many people in person and via the boundless internet. I am an extremely lucky gal. Thanks for being here and allowing me to communicate to you.

Alex Shapiro