SCORES FOR LIFE

I create music that amplifies the emotional world of stories, situations, and spaces. My music has taken me to clubs, concert halls, and music festivals all over the world; and yet I find the deepest satisfaction improvising on the piano while a friend tells a story or dances, or composing music that will deepen the emotion of a recorded hospice interview or a home video. Below are some recorded examples of my work. For more information, to collaborate, or to submit materials for scoring, contact me at: wellshanley@gmail.com

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FAMILY ARCHIVES

The Meemas Interviews

This is an interview in which a high school girl and her aging grandmother discuss life, love, and family.  The source was an old cassette discovered in an attic nearly 30 years after the interview took place.  My process of scoring this beautiful piece is described in detail here


REAL JAIL STORIES

Rachel Pater of Richmond Story House goes into the jails and works with inmates on their stories. I was fortunate to get to score some of them. This is a piano improvisation which I created in real time while listening to Shatema’s moving reflection on the idea of “moving on”.


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NATURE INSPIRATIONS

I have always been deeply moved by the sounds of nature.  I find it centering to improvise on the piano while listening to nature sounds, and the field recordings by my friend Matt Wyatt have been an inspiring source for these impromptu scores.  This one features a meadow on a late spring morning.


MASHUP-STORIES INTO SONGS

Award winning story tellers and regular folks tell their true stories and Jude Treder-Wolf and I write songs about them.  They are performed in tandem- first the story, then the song.  Performances have drawn sold out crowds to festivals and clubs in New York City and Long Island; please get in touch if you’d like to bring this one of a kind event to your town. More info at: www.mashupstoriesintosong.com


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HISTORICAL & EDUCATIONAL

Elizabeth Van Lew Walking Tour

This is a 70 minute walking tour of the Church Hill neighborhood in Richmond, VA that focuses on the amazing life of Van Lew, a civil rights activist and Civil War spy, without whose aid Ulysses S. Grant said the war may likely have ended differently. Learn More at: www.richmondstoryhouse.org


CREATIVE HOME VIDEO

Sometimes my music is a perfect addition to my friends’ outlandishly creative ideas. Here's a film my friend Courtney Ferrell shot on her phone featuring 100 snowmen holding picket signs of inspiration.