Ben Shaw - vocals, acoustic guitar
Mark Medeiros - electric guitar
Ryan Kowal - vibraphone
Tom White - piano
Joe Grilli - bass
Brian St. Pierre - drums
engineered by Matt Lombardi
recorded on September 8th, 2018
photo by Evan St. Martin
These preludes were composed at various times between June 2016 and April 2018. They contain various twenty-first century classical composition techniques and cover a wide array of idiomatic approaches to the piano. The piano has always been a fascination of mine, not only for its incredible sonic palette but for the depth of compositional possibility achievable on it. Although these represent my first attempts at writing for the piano, I am very satisfied with how they turned out and I feel that as I progressed my compositional voice grew and honed with each new prelude. Enjoy!
These were performed by Constantine Finehouse and recorded by Steve Hunt.
This piece was written between August of 2016 and early July of 2017. Composed mostly using pitch set theory, the variety of melodies and harmonies all stem from these single threads and help give the movements a cohesive sound and a quasi-tonal quality. When writing this piece, I envisioned it as a sort of ballet where the melodies and counterpoint weave around each other in a tight dance in which themes are constantly traded and explored throughout the ensemble, blurring the lines of where each voice ends and the next begins. Each movement progresses an expressive narrative that careens at blazing speeds, laments in anguish, and finally culminates in an almost primal fury.
Violin I: Marissa Licatta
Violin II: Asuka Usui
Viola: Jason Fisher
Cello: Javier Caballero
Recorded at Bridge Studios in Boston, MA

These are all songs that I have been writing, performing, and refining over the past few years in my singer/songwriter project. Some have evolved slightly from what you hear in these demos but most maintain the initial strands of the ideas I cultivated when first writing and then while recording them at home. I use these to send out for potential gigs, help teach the songs to musicians, and to share.

Everything in this playlist was recorded by myself, using GarageBand, an old Apogee Duet, and various instruments I have. The picture is an old blue radiator in our house that I like.

This piece is the first in a song cycle called “Studies In Wind” that will consist of several pieces written for wind instruments in various ensembles. The piece is in an extended ternary form (ABABA) with each section varied by retrograding and/or inverting pitches from its parent section. With this piece I wanted to explore the timbral possibilities of the flute and allow the player to personalize their performance. Since wind is constantly shifting in and out of a consistent pace and force I sought to imbue the piece with that characteristic drifting rhythmic sense and fluctuating dynamism through allowing the player more freedom in the rubato sections and varying the rhythmic language.

This piece was performed by Dr. Elzbieta Brandys-O’Neill and recorded on December 9, 2018 at The Bridge Sound & Stage by Alex Allison.

Wrote this on a morning and recorded the parts later in the evening. At the time I was particularly inspired by the four part harmonies in an old baptist hymnal I found, so I decided to put this together as an exercise to keep my arranging chops up. The original instrumentation was different but in order to record a demo I transposed into a saxophone quartet and ended up liking the sound. However, the ranges and arrangement of the parts would fit well in a variety of ensembles.

An electro-acoustic solo piece composed and performed by myself. The title translates to "Duet For One All Alone", corresponding to the preperation and performance of this selection. The performer must first record him or herself playing the main melody, then sample this recording using the electronic notation and specifications as inspiration, and finally play the main melody in conjuction with the newly sampled recording, thus performing a duet by themselves. I used Logic Studio and its various effects and processes to create the electronic portion of this recording.

Other Projects and Collaborations:

  • Black Bandcamp Icon
  • SoundCloud Basic Black

© 2018 by Benjamin Shaw. Created with