Born in Richmond, Virginia and raised in Warm Springs, Georgia (population <475), Alan Shockley holds degrees in composition and theory from the University of Georgia, The Ohio State University, and Princeton University (M.F.A., Ph.D.). He’s held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Centro Studi Ligure, and the Virginia Center for the Arts, and has received grants from the American Music Center, Pittsburgh ProArts, and the Heinz and Mellon Foundations, among others.
In 2005 the California EAR Unit premiered his candlepin bowling deadwood, and the Kiev Philharmonic recorded his orchestral work the night copies me in all its stars for an ERM Media CD. His works can also be found on Wergo, Princeton Alumni Council, Jack Straw Studios, and Bohn Media recordings. His works have been performed at the American Academy in Rome, the University of Cape Town, the Fondation des Etats-Unis (Paris), the L.A. County Museum of Art, Merkin Hall (NYC), and other venues around the globe.
Recent commissions include two piano works commissioned by Benjamin Binder in response to Schumann’s Carnaval, a virtuosic violin solo for the Montecito Summer Music Festival (stn [adversary]), and pipers’ noise for snare drum(s) and tape for the 10th anniversary of the University of Georgia's Performing Arts Center. These days his works are often experiments in musical form—attempts at tailoring the form to the material, resulting in a unique shape for each piece, and hopefully one that 'works' in a strange and individual way.
Shockley's interests in musical form also led to his first book, Music in the Words: Musical Form and Counterpoint in the Twentieth-Century Novel, which was released in June 2009 by Ashgate Publishing. He's currently Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory in the Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach.
Works for Winds