October 2013
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New concerts for “Identity” guzheng concerto

This fall begins a new series of performances of Identity: Zhongshan Zhuang, a concerto for guzheng and orchestra Michael composed with composer/producer Victor Cheng.

In September, guzheng soloist Su Chang joined the Albany Symphony for concerts in Albany, GA and nearby Trifton. In late October, she will perform with the Gulf Coast Sinfonia at a concert in Miramar Beach, FL.

The concerto is available for orchestral rental from Janen Music Rentals. A grant offered by Hanyi Inc, available to qualified orchestras, can subsidize travel and accomodations of Su Chang and her instrument to performances. Information is available at the above link.

September 2013
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Michael Joins the Roster of COOL Music Interactive

Michael is pleased to have joined agent Darrell Alexander and a roster of distinguished composers at COOL Music Interactive, a new division of the music composer representation agency.

Originating as a London-based orchestral contracting service (the Chamber Orchestra of London, from which COOL Music gets its name), COOL evolved into an agency representing a handful of prominent composers for film, television, and now interactive media.

COOL Interactive is the designated successor to Michael’s former agency, Four Bars Intertainment, founded by game music representation pioneer Bob Rice.

September 2013
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“Touché” begins festival circuit

Feature documentary Touché: A Blind Fencer’s Story begins its festival circuit at the prestigious Big Bear Lake International Film Festival in California.

Touché shares the poignant stories of several blind and sight-impaired individuals who endeavor to master blindfolded fencing. As much a story of vision loss as it is a documentary of a fascinating sport, Touché follows the personal lives of the fencers as well as a nail-biting championship competition.

Michael’s score for the film utilizes an intimdate chamber ensemble including cello, piano, and guitar. The music was augmented with drums and hand percussion to capture the cat-and-mouse energy of a dynamic athletic event made even more gripping by its blindfolded variant.

August 2013
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Michael composing music for “Hex: Shards of Fate”

Michael is writing over thirty minutes of score for Cryptozoic Entertainment’s first foray into video game development, Hex: Shards of Fate. Hex combines the trading card game tradition with quests and online multiplayer tournaments in a richly detailed fantasy world.

Michael’s score combines a dark fantasy orchestral sound with elements of exotic percussion, mid- and far eastern winds, processed acoustic instrumentation and other evocative colorful sounds to give the game a distinct musical signature.

Hex: Shards of Fate‘s final release is expected in late 2013/early 2014.


February 2013
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“Identity” concerto available for orchestral rental; soloist subsidy grant announced

Orchestral scores and parts for Identity: Zhongshan Zhuang, a concerto for guzheng and orchestra, are now available for rental from Janen Music.

Composed by Michael Gordon Shapiro and Victor Cheng, the piece puts the 3800-year-old Chinese folk instrument at the fore of the Western orchestra in new take on a traditional concerto setting. Identity has had performances in the United States, Canada, and several cities in Mainland China, most notably in Beijing by the China National Symphony. Janen Music is now making the piece available to American orchestras for the first time.

Recognizing that most American orchestras don’t have access to a guzheng player, Hanyi Inc will subsidize travel and accommodations for a renowned guzheng virtuoso, Su Chang – effectively providing a soloist for the piece at no cost to the host orchestra! This offer is made possible through a grant offered by Hanyi, motivated by a desire to help share this music more widely throughout the United States, and to introduce American audiences to the guzheng. The grant will be awarded to up to six qualified orchestras for performances in 2013 or 2014.

For more information on the piece or the grant, please visit Identity’s page at Janen Music.

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