Composer Alex Shapiro Releases ARCANA with Pianist Adam Marks on innova Recordings
Shapiro’s 2nd Composer Portrait Album Features Her Complete
Solo Piano Works, Spanning Over Two Decades of Compositions
Recorded on the Yamaha Disklavier™ DCFX ENSPIRE PRO
Concert Grand Piano: Acoustic Performance to MIDI,
MIDI to Audio Recording
Video with Performances of Works from the Album,
a Talk-Back About the Album and Recording Process,
with Examples of the DCFX Piano Technology
For Immediate Release – New York, NY – Composer Alex Shapiro releases her 2nd composer portrait album, ARCANA, on innova Recordings. Featuring pianist Adam Marks, ARCANA comprises over two decades of Shapiro’s piano compositions.
This album was recorded exclusively on the Yamaha 9′ Disklavier™ DCFX concert grand piano at Yamaha Artist Services and The American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City.
Yamaha notes that “Disklavier pianos are true acoustic pianos that incorporate a cutting-edge fiber optic sensor system to meticulously capture every nuanced movement of the keys, hammers, and pedals.”
Marks performed the 80 minutes of works on the DCFX at Yamaha Artist Services in New York City. As Alex oversaw the recording over four days of sessions, every detail of Adam’s playing was instantly translated into exceptionally high-resolution MIDI. Later that year when Alex returned to NYC from her home on San Juan Island, WA, the same piano was moved to The American Academy of Arts and Letters, where multiple microphones were set up to record the audio of the MIDI information faithfully played back by the piano, amidst the beautiful acoustics of the historic hall.
Marks says of the unique project, “To record someone’s complete catalog for piano is to live with their history—their ups and downs—and to listen to the world through their ears. At the root of all of Alex’s works is her stunning relationship to the elements. She’s surrounded by water at home, and connected to the earth, yet constantly soaring above the clouds in her travels.”
On September 15, Shapiro and Marks held a live event over Zoom featuring performances of select works from ARCANA, a talk-back about the album and the remarkable recording process, and a demonstration of the DCFX Piano Technology.
Adam Marks performing SPARK from ARCANA by Alex Shapiro.
VIDEOS FROM LIVE-STREAM RELEASE EVENT
Featuring performances of select works from ARCANA, a talk-back about the album and the remarkable recording process, and a demonstration of the DCFX Piano Technology.
2. SLOWLY, SEARCHING
I. Cradle These Roots
III. Heal from Within
IV. Reach to Light
V. Branches and Vines
VI. Touch It
VIII. From Earth to Sky
11-15. PIANO SUITE NO. 1: THE RESONANCE OF CHILDHOOD
I. Variations on a Memory
II. On My Mother
III. Quiet Child
IV. For My Father
17. CHORD HISTORY
19-21. SONATA FOR PIANO
Alex Shapiro (b. New York City, 1962) composes genre-blind acoustic and electroacoustic solo, chamber, choral, and symphonic pieces known for their lyricism and drama. Published by Activist Music LLC, her works are heard daily in concerts and broadcasts across the U.S. and internationally, and can be found on over thirty commercially released recordings from around the world. Shapiro is known for her seamless melding of live and recorded sounds that often include striking visual and physical elements, and for her innovative uses of technology throughout the composing, rehearsing, and performance of her music.
Ms. Shapiro is the Symphonic & Concert writer member on the Board of Directors of ASCAP, and a board member of the ASCAP Foundation. She also serves as a board member of The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and is a former board member of U.S. music organizations including The American Music Center, the American Composers Forum of Los Angeles, The MacDowell Colony, and The Society of Composers & Lyricists.
Educated at The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music as a student of Ursula Mamlok and John Corigliano, Alex moved from Manhattan to Los Angeles in 1983, and in 2007 relocated to Washington State’s remote San Juan Island, where she composes in a home perched on the water’s edge, surrounded by wildlife. An award-winning nature photographer, Alex’s images and music can be experienced on her blog, www.notesfromthekelp.com, and her website, www.alexshapiro.org.
Praised as an “excellent pianist” with “titanic force” (New York Times), Adam Marks is an active soloist, collaborator, curator, and educator based in NYC. He has appeared as soloist with the Mission Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Symphony Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra, and at notable venues including Salle Cortot, Carnegie Hall, Miller Theatre, Logan Center for the Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Millennium Park, Ravinia, and Davies Symphony Hall. He was a laureate of the Orleans Competition for contemporary music in Orleans, France, and his premiere of Holly Harrison’s “Lobster Tales and Turtle Soup” with Eighth Blackbird won the Australian Art Music Awards Performance of the Year in 2018. Other recent international performances include recitals in Brazil, Singapore, France, and Croatia.
He holds an undergraduate degree from Brandeis University, a Masters from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Ph.D. in Piano Performance from New York University with research in works for vocalizing pianist. His teachers include Sara Davis Buechner, Anthony de Mare, Donn-Alexandre Feder, Evan Hirsch, and Lois Banke. Adam proudly plays Yamaha pianos and Schoenhut toy pianos.