Sounds Nature
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Cellist Madeleine Shapiro's performs works for cello and electronics by five pioneering composers.

The Nature Project, begun in 2005, was inspired by cellist Madeleine Shapiro's love of outdoor activities and concern with the environment. Ms. Shapiro has commissioned and performed more than 20 works specifically for this project, and it continues her career-long interest in electronics and multi-media. This recording features five of these works by pioneering composers. Called a "cello innovator" by Time Out New York, Madeleine Shapiro has long been a recognized figure in the field of contemporary music. She performs extensively as a solo recitalist throughout the U.S., Europe and Latin America with a focus on recent works by living composers. In addition to her recordings for Albany Records, Ms. Shapiro appears on the Naxos, New World, Stradivarius, CRI, Mode and HarvestWorks labels.
Morton Subotnick, composer
Axolotl for solo cello & electronic ghost score
Madeleine Shapiro, cello

Judith Shatin, composer
For the Birds for amplified cello & electronics
Madeleine Shapiro, cello

Matthew Burtner, composer
Fragments from Cold for cello & electroacoustics
Madeleine Shapiro, cello

Tom Williams, composer
Dart for cello, digital delays & fixed media
Madeleine Shapiro, cello

Gayle Young, composer
Avalon Shorelines
Madeleine Shapiro, cello

"Shapiro is a dynamic performer, and her passion for the environment is evident in this recording as she brings to life her deep reverence for the nonhuman worlds." (The Whole Note -

“The final result of this program is positive, as much for the interesting recordings of na-ture as for Shapiro’s cello. It is likely to get us all into the outdoors, where I love to be. Try it!” (American Record Guide)

"The axolotl is a Mexican amphibian equipped to live on land, yet it never leaves the water. Morton Subotnick's Axolotl mirrors this refusal to change state through its use of ghost electronics, which generate no sound of their own but steadily alter the amplitude and frequency of cello tones. The music remains acoustic in origin even when its timbres seem to emerge from some exclusively electronic zone. Soloist Madeleine Shapiro nurtures this ambivalent state, drawing out fine shades of coloration as she energises those phantom transitions. Four other compostions place her cello in dialogue with sounds sampled from the natural world. Judith Shatin's For the Birds pitches it against a wide spectrum of avian calls, some heavily digitised. Matthew Burtner confronts the cellist with snw crunch and wind gusts from his native Alaska. Shapiro audibly catches her breath as her bow performs a prolonged icy glide. Dart, by UK composer Tom Williams, is a vivid electroacoustic evocation of the fluctuating character of a Devon river, while on Canadian composer Gayle Young's Avalon Shorelines the cello provides an improvised counterpoint to the lap and crash of ocean waves in Newfoundland." (The Wire)
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