23
June 2009
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Change of Plans begins run at the Secret Rose Theatre

Michael’s short musical Change of Plans has begun a ten-evening run at the Secret Rose Theatre (North Hollywood, CA), as part of the second annual Secret Rose Mini Musical Fest. The show is directed by Derrel Maury, and stars Jordan T. Maxwell, Ross Merrick, and Kristin Chiles. Michael wrote a contemporary score for the show, as well as book and lyrics.

In Change of Plans, a former entrepreneur, now in a rut, rediscovers his college journals. Confronted with his own youthful aspirations, he’s forced to decide whether he wants to re-embrace his earlier vision of himself – or move on.

Showtimes and ticket information can be found at the show’s website.

05
June 2009
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Cue of the Week: “Sands of Arabia”

There is a long Hollywood tradition of attempting to shoehorn ethnic folk music in orchestral format. Actually, it predates Hollywood; 18th and 19th century symphonic composers were fond of tossing a triangle into an otherwise perfectly Western-sounding movement and dubbing it “Turkish”.

I’m not one to turn down a chance to engage in a little cultural imperialism myself. This cue from Empire Earth 2 opens with a solo from a Armenian wind instrument called a duduk (film composers love it for its sinuous sound, and often use it as a shorthand for “attention audience: we’re now in Damascus”). The music then transitions to a more traditionally symphonic crescendo, meant to evoke the vastness of the desert and civilizations long past. Now if only I had remembered to add a triangle…


(Click on the play button to stream, or the cue title to download.)

Sands of Arabia
 

29
May 2009
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Cue of the Week: “Dennis Alone”

This moody and lyrical cue features soprano sax, a recurring modal piano ostinato, and string orchestra.

I’ve always liked using the saxophone as an orchestral voice, in distinction from its traditional role as infantryman in the jazz army. (Or in the case of the soprano sax, the easy-listening army.) In its upper register, the instrument can function almost like an oboe, but with a somewhat smoother and less pinched tone.


(Click on the play button to stream, or the cue title to download.)

Dennis Alone
 

Morituri Te Salutant // Michael Gordon Shapiro - HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  1. Morituri Te Salutant // Michael Gordon Shapiro - HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  2. Emerald, Texas // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  3. Mythic Battle // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  4. The Yard Sale // Michael Gordon Shapiro - HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  5. Investigations // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  6. Home Room // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  7. Sands of Arabia // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  8. Spider Cult // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  9. Poker Night // HOMEPAGE MUSIC