Composer Alex Shapiro's piece Paper Cut is reminiscent of a movie soundtrack to which the musicians can imagine their own dramatic scene. Paper Cut is written to make the players themselves part of the action with choreographed maneuvers that look as compelling as they sound. In fact, the band members don't even play their instruments until halfway into the piece – instead they “play” paper along with a prerecorded track! The unusual element of paper and the myriad sounds that can emerge from something so simple offers a fresh view of what music-making can be and opens everyone's ears to the sonic possibilities found among everyday objects. Although Paper Cut was composed with middle schoolers in mind, it's also suited to more advanced musicians, since the paper techniques and the skill of playing against a prerecorded track are interesting for all ages. To perform the piece, you'll need an audio system capable of playing the prerecorded audio tracks from a laptop computer via a small digital audio interface connected to an audio mixer. Download information is provided in the printed piece. A free downloadable interdisciplinary curriculum for teaching Paper Cut is also available for download at www.BandQuest.org.
Bandquest®, an exciting series of new music and accompanying curricula for band, is a program published by the American Composers Forum. The series was started as a response to feedback from music educators that there is a pressing need for new, fresh band music. The heart of this program is new works written by a diverse group of leading American composers who have created challenging pieces that are a true departure from standard middle school repertoire. Every BandQuest project includes a residency component in which the composer works collaboratively with a middle school as they create their new piece.ŸMany BandQuest pieces are accompanied by an interdisciplinary curriculum designed to assist students as they learn the music and to integrate each piece with non-music studies. Visit www.bandquest.org to learn more about this innovative series, and email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a free downloadable audio catalog.Ÿ