19
October 2018
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Cue of the Week: “Two Legacies”

This week’s music is a third excerpt from my guzheng concerto, Identity: Zhongshan Zhuang. This is a playful duet between guzheng soloist and piccolo. (It’s meant to evoke the imagery of two children playing.) The climactic build at the end presages the beginning of the finale.

The concerto has been performed by the San Francisco Symphony, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the China National Orchestra, as well as regional orchestras in the US, Canada, and China. You can find it online from all major music vendors and streaming services.

12
October 2018
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Cue of the Week: “A Place of Memories”

This week’s music is a second excerpt from the guzheng concerto I composed with Victor Cheng, Identity: Zhongshan Zhuang. In contrast to the triumphant character of last week’s excerpt, this passage is more introspective and poignant.

In writing this I was particularly interested in the similarities and contrast between the guzheng and orchestral harp. You can hear the harp playing accompaniment on the left stereo side of the recording.

The full album is available for streaming or purchase at Apple Music/iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and the other usual suspects.

05
October 2018
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Cue of the Week: “The Return”

With a new orchestral concert project coming soon (stay tuned for details!), I thought I’d share some excerpts from my earlier guzheng concerto, Identity: Zhongshan Zhuang.

For the uninitiated, a concerto is a piece that alternates focus between the orchestra and a soloist, who is usually positioned at stage front. The soloist is often an instrument like a violin or piano, but in the case of Identity it’s a guzheng – a Chinese folk instrument that sounds a little bit like a cross between a guitar and a harp.

In this excerpt from the third movement, guzheng virtuoso Su Chang enters a little past the one minute mark. If you’d like to hear the full piece, our album (recorded at Warner Brothers) is available via Apple Music/iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and the other usual suspects.

21
September 2018
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Cue of the Week: “A Happy Reunion”

I’m going deep into the archives for this one, back to when I was a film scoring student at the University of Southern California. I wrote this finale for an adorable thesis film called Big Bucks for Buddha, pitched as “a love triangle between a boy, a girl, and a dog”. You can probably figure out the tone of the film from that of the music.

Budding composers were treated very well by USC in those days, with access to a pro-grade recording studio and some the best student musicians and filmmakers in the country. Digital instruments being primitive at the time, we were “forced” to work with real orchestral players. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise: my sampler-based music from that era is unlistenable, but I find that live-recorded cues like this have aged rather well.

14
September 2018
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Cue of the Week: “I Cannot Live With This / The Close”

The film Genie and the Shark pits a clever genie against an opponent who can match her trickery: a film and TV agent. This was an especially fun project in that I got to write both underscore and opening theme song.

This week’s music is a medley from two moments in the film: mid tug-of-war negotiations, and the happy resolution. I gave the traditional orchestral sound a light dusting of mideastern folk music to reflect the flavor of the story.

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Morituri Te Salutant // Michael Gordon Shapiro - HOMEPAGE MUSIC
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