Ocean Calling

Meira Warshauer composer

Phillip Bush piano
Elizabeth Loparits piano

Release Date: July 14, 2023
Catalog #: NV6535
Format: Digital
21st Century

OCEAN CALLING from composer Meira Warshauer is a moving trilogy for two pianos dedicated to the ocean. The three installments — “Waves and Currents,” “From the Depths,” and “The Giant Blue” — speak to the vast majesty of the aquatic world and the many challenges that face it. Innovative performance techniques coax unique sounds out of the instruments; a metal chain rustles on vibrating strings to mimic the white noise of breakers in “Waves and Currents,” while “From the Depths” utilizes coloristic “inside piano” techniques, and bowed tones recall sounds from the blue whale in “The Giant Blue.” Against the backdrop of large-scale contaminations, overfishing, acidification, and rising temperatures, OCEAN CALLING is an impassioned plea on behalf of Earth’s greatest natural resource.


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"Ocean Calling speaks volumes on the behalf of the world’s greatest resource with eloquent piano playing via Warshauer’s distinct vision." - Take Effect

An Inside Look

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Ocean Calling: I. Waves and Currents Meira Warshauer Phillip Bush, Elizabeth Loparits - piano 8:03
02 Ocean Calling: II. From the Depths Meira Warshauer Phillip Bush, Elizabeth Loparits - piano 13:59
03 Ocean Calling: III. The Giant Blue Meira Warshauer Phillip Bush, Elizabeth Loparits - piano 18:45

I. Waves and Currents was commissioned by Gail Anastasion, Janna Baker, and Laurie Walden in loving memory of their mother, Patricia M. Baker.
II. From the Depths was commissioned by the South Carolina Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association.
III. The Giant Blue was commissioned by Matt and Debbie Long in loving memory of Matt’s grandmother and Meira’s first piano teacher, Mary Eunice Troy.

Recorded December 14-16 2022 at the Recital Hall, University of South Carolina School of Music in Columbia SC
Session Producer Brad Michel
Session Engineer Jeff Francis
Piano Technician Paul Williams

Editing, Mixing & Mastering Brad Michel

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Chris Robinson

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Production Manager Martina Watzková

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Aidan Curran

Artist Information

Meira Warshauer

Meira Warshauer


With a musical palette ranging from traditional Jewish prayer modes to minimalist textures with rich melodic contours, and from jazz-influenced rhythms to imaginative orchestrations of the natural world, composer Dr. Meira Warshauer’s music has been performed live to critical acclaim and heard on broadcast and online media worldwide. In much demand for commissions, she writes for orchestras, chamber and vocal ensembles, and soloists, as well as opera.

Phillip Bush

Phillip Bush


Acclaimed as “a pianist of poetry, elegance, and power” (American Record Guide), “a pianist of exceptional, cherishable finesse” (Los Angeles Times), and “one of those rare pianists who combine structural intelligence with a hundred color gradations” (Village Voice), Phillip Bush has established a performing career over the past three decades that is noted for its remarkable versatility and eclecticism, with a repertoire extending from the 16th century to the 21st. Since the launch of his career upon winning the American Pianists Association Fellowship Award and subsequent New York recital debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1984, Bush has appeared as a recitalist throughout North America as well as in Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean.

His Carnegie Hall concerto debut with Oliver Knussen and the London Sinfonietta was hailed by The New York Times for its “impressive last-minute heroics,” as he substituted for an ailing Peter Serkin on short notice in concerti by Stravinsky and Alexander Goehr. Bush has also appeared as a soloist with the Osaka Century Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Houston Symphony, and a number of other orchestras, in repertoire ranging from the Beethoven concerti to the American premiere of Michael Nyman’s Concerto for Harpsichord.

Bush is widely acknowledged as one of the most experienced American chamber music pianists of his generation: The Kansas City Star referred to him as “the ideal chamber musician.” He has performed and recorded with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, appeared innumerable times on Brooklyn’s Bargemusic series, and has performed at the Grand Canyon Music Festival, Newport Music Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Strings in the Mountains (Colorado), Sitka Music Festival (Alaska), St. Bart’s Music Festival, Music at Blair Atholl (Scotland), Cape May Music Festival, and at many other festivals. He has collaborated in recital and chamber music with concertmasters and principal players of many of the world’s great orchestras, including Berlin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Metropolitan Opera, Philadelphia, New York, Cleveland, and Houston. Bush has also made guest appearances with the Kronos, Miami, Parker, Jupiter, Lutoslawski, and Carpe Diem string quartets, and has performed with members of the Emerson, Guarneri, Tokyo, Orion, and St. Lawrence quartets.

Over a 10-year period, Bush performed over 250 concerts in Japan with the piano quartet Typhoon, including several sold-out performances at Osaka Symphony Hall and Tokyo’s Bunkamura Orchard Hall. He recorded five albums with the group for Epic/Sony, all of which reached the top of the Japanese classical charts. From 2007 to 2015, he served as Artistic Director of the Bennington Chamber Music Conference in Vermont, the largest (over 300 participants and 50 faculty) and oldest (founded 1946) institute for amateur chamber musicians to study with professional concert artists.

A devoted advocate for contemporary music, Bush performed worldwide for 20 years with both the Philip Glass Ensemble and Steve Reich and Musicians, in venues ranging from the Sydney Opera House to the Acropolis in Athens. He has also worked directly with many of the most significant American composers of our time, from John Adams to Charles Wuorinen. The New York Times has said “Mr. Bush may be one of the few pianists who can play both Elliott Carter’s music and Philip Glass’s with equal persuasiveness.” Bush’s efforts on behalf of contemporary music have earned him grants and awards from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Aaron Copland Fund, ASCAP, Chamber Music America, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His discography as a soloist and chamber musician has now reached over 45 recordings on labels such as Sony, Virgin Classics, Koch International, ASV, New World Records, Denon, Cedille, and many others.

Bush is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Leon Fleisher. From 2000 to 2004, Bush taught piano and chamber music at the University of Michigan, and he has served as visiting faculty at the University of North Carolina. Since 2012 Bush has been a member of the piano and chamber music faculty at the University of South Carolina School of Music.

Elizabeth Loparits

Elizabeth Loparits


Dr. Elizabeth Loparits is an active performer and educator, currently serving as Vocal/Instrumental Collaborative Pianist and Lecturer of Music in Applied and Collaborative Piano at the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Loparits has performed solo and duo-piano recitals in Hungary, Costa Rica, and the United States, including recent appearances at UNCW’s Piano Masterworks Series, Lumina Festival, New Music Festival, and with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra.

As a chamber musician, she has given recitals at Indiana University, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, University of Miami, Chicago College of Performing Arts, Southeast Missouri State University, the North American Saxophone Alliance Conference, and the Ronald Sachs International Music Competition. She performed the world premiere of Stacy Garrop’s Tantrum (2002); Meira Warshauer’s Ocean Calling III (2014), and the North Carolina premiere of Ocean Calling I-II (2013). Top prizes include the National Bartók Piano Competition in Hungary, the Kodaly-Bartók Chamber Music Competition, and the North Carolina Symphony/UNCG concerto competition.

Loparits holds degrees from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Pécs, Hungary (B.M. Piano Education and Chamber Music Artist Diploma); Illinois State University (M.M., piano performance); and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (D.M.A., piano performance). She has spent two summers as a principal young artist at Opera North, and currently is pianist/coach at Opera Wilmington, serving their outreach events, concerts, and summer productions.


OCEAN CALLING is a trilogy for two pianos dedicated to the ocean. Covering 72% of the planet’s surface and providing half the oxygen we breathe and many other resources, the ocean regulates our climate with currents traversing thousands of miles. But large-scale contaminations, overfishing, acidification, and rising temperatures undermine the ocean’s ability to sustain its own ecosystems and the planet as a whole. I hope the OCEAN CALLING series will help renew our connection with this vital life source and its vast, mysterious realms, and that we will hear the calls from the sea that we are one.

“Waves and Currents” revels in the joy of swimming at the seashore. A child of the North Carolina coast, my earliest memories relate to the flow of tides and surf at the beach: diving into breakers, floating on the surface, and jumping with crests and dips, ever watchful for the next wave about to roll and crash. Metric shifts, contrasting textures, and glissandi, both on the keys and on strings inside the piano, convey the swirling energy of waves, currents, wind, and spray. A metal chain rustles on vibrating strings to mimic the white noise of breakers, while attentive use of the damper pedal suggests liquid, underwater resonance, contrasted with bright, dry sounds above the surface.

— Meira Warshauer

To evoke the incredibly varied and fantastical creatures of the sea, “From the Depths” assigns one instrument for coloristic “inside piano” techniques, including stopped notes, harmonic glissandi, plucking or strumming strings, and striking the strings with the side of a glass. The other piano complements these colors with hints of fragility and lilting flow contrasted with urgent dramatic movement, and nostalgic reflections on what may be or already has been lost. The title alludes not only to the depths of the sea, but also to the deep place inside each of us which hears the cries for a life-sustaining universe as our own.

— Meira Warshauer

“The Giant Blue” conveys the expanse of the sea and ancient reverberations from the medium where life began. The title also refers to the Giant Blue Whale, believed to be Earth’s largest creature. Blue Whales are known to make two types of calls: the “A” call, which is a regular pulsing, about 92 beats per minute; and the “B” call, a low moan, dropping in frequency at the end. The music’s pulsating chords with sustained bowed tones recall these whale sounds and their resonance through miles of ocean.

If we listen deeply, can we comprehend the whale’s call and the calls of other sea creatures? What do they tell us, as their numbers decrease and their habitats transform? How do we respond?

— Meira Warshauer


Ocean Calling: I. Waves and Currents (excerpt)

Meira Warshauer

Ocean Calling: II. From the Depths (excerpt)

Meira Warshauer

Ocean Calling: III. The Giant Blue (excerpt)

Meira Warshauer

From the Blog

August 4, 2023

Today, Meira is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our composers and performers. Read on to learn about the post-lesson epiphany that led her to pursue music, and the formative experience that inspired her to advocate and raise awareness for our planet…