Piano Highlights


The 2009 album Numbers, Colors And People (recorded in one day at Philip Glass’s studio) showed how far American Ambient had come since the days of La Monte Young or Windham Hill's George Winston. Not only is it the place to start with Shapiro's oeuvre, it also contains the classic tracks Quiet Kissing and Mint Green. The latter’s astonishing success on the Internet (including over seven million spins on Pandora) and as theme music on American TV belies its origins. In fact, Mint Green was directly inspired by the Cocteau Twins's track My Truth from their 1993 album Four-Calendar Café. 

Eschewing fancy studios with fancy pianos, Shapiro opted to record his second solo piano album, Intimate Casual (2012), at his Brooklyn home using his Suzuki upright piano. It incorporates a mute damping pedal that enhances the gossamer feel of its ten beautiful tracks. Possibly one of the finest Ambient piano albums ever recorded, the album also includes Shapiro’s cover of Energy Flow, the famous solo piano piece by fellow New York resident Ryuichi Sakamoto.

The opening track of
Piano 3 (2016), the Cocteau Twins inspired Royal Purple, conveys a rich serenity and an almost stillness in Ambient calm which pervades throughout the album. Another jewel in Shapiro’s rich chest of music, the 14 pieces include new compositions alongside some of Shapiro’s favorites from his catalog of music written for theater and film. 

(Notes by Mark Prendergast, author, The Ambient Century)