Liquid Compass

From Wind Repertory Project
Alex Shapiro

Alex Shapiro

Subtitle: For Symphonic Wind Band and Pre-recorded Soundscape

General Info

Year: 2014
Duration: c. 9:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Activist Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $195.00   |   Score Only (print) - $35.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Metal Bowls
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tom-Tom (4)
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone

Audio accompaniment track with click for conductor
Audio accompaniment track for performance

Also required: six sponges, six hand towels, and an audio system capable of playing the audio tracks from a laptop computer via a small digital audio interface connected to an audio mixer.


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Continuing in the tradition of innovative electroacoustic band works, this work spans the mystical and the triumphant. A connection to the sea is conveyed through metal bowls filled with water, and flutists will particularly enjoy the otherworldly "ooh-wah" effect they create. This work migrates to many places, but never loses its bearings in pursuit of a musical true north.

- Program Note from publisher

Liquid Compass is a tone poem that takes the musicians and the audience on a watery journey spanning the mystical and the triumphant. Commemorating the 140th anniversary of Carthage College's wind band, the piece migrates to different places, but never loses its bearings in pursuit of a musical true north. The spiritual power of the sea is ever-present, in layers of unique sounds heard in the audio track, and duplicated by the musicians. The effect is a physical surround-sound of texture, as metal bowls capture slow, resonant drips of water, and flutists breathe other-worldly intonations. The piece, like the school that commissioned it, continues to push forward while observing that which has come before. Because one can't celebrate history, without reflecting on the waters over which time and experience have passed.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Ithaca (N.Y.) College Wind Symphony (Benjamin Rochford, conductor) - 8 March 2023
  • University of Toronto (Ont., Can.) Wind Symphony (Jeffrey Reynolds, conductor) - 4 December 2021
  • Western Carolina University (Cullowee, N.C.) Wind Ensemble (Margaret Underwood, conductor) - 28 September 2021
  • University of Toronto (Ont., Can.) Wind Ensemble (Gillian MacKay, conductor) – 14 October 2017
  • Central Washington University (Ellensburg) Wind Ensemble (Lewis Norfleet, conductor) – 17 February 2017 (2017 NAfME NW Conference)
  • State University of New York, Potsdam, Crane Symphonic Band (Brian Doyle, conductor) – 19 November 2015
  • Florida Atlantic University Wind Ensemble - 2015

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works