Shawn Alpay learned his first instrument at age ten. He chose the cello because it wasn't too big and it wasn't too small, and that suited him fine. He played in orchestras throughout high school and college, but he departed the classical world soon after to pursue the potential of sharing his own voice.
For several years, Alpay led a large orchestral rock outfit called The Definite Articles. They recorded their only full-length at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco. The group disbanded, but Alpay hung around the studio immersing himself in the craft of audio engineering. He soon became a house engineer and producer there, but his own creative output drifted off.
Then his mom unexpectedly passed, and the sharpness of those emotions got him to push through his self-doubt and start writing again. The stage name of Completions serves as a continuing reminder that revision can serve too much like a shield, and that it's more important to finish an imperfect creation than to let it die on the vine. With that in mind, Alpay once again hunkered down at Tiny Telephone to record.
Completions, the self-titled EP, was released in 2015. While the material touches on several personal stories and specific experiences, it also speaks broadly of empathy and shared experiences.
As a live band of one, Alpay sings over a plucked cello onstage, invoking the idiom of quiet and thoughtful projects like Jose Gonzalez , Andy Shauf, and Sufjan Stevens. In addition to pursuing his own project, Alpay has performed live in several others, including matt pond PA, How To Dress Well, and Father John Misty. He now lives in Portland, OR, and he’s busy writing material for an upcoming LP.