For Ukraine: piano and orchestra

Description: A piece dedicated to supporting Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion. The Ukrainian national anthem is quoted in the second half.

Genre: Symphonic

Creative intent: To reflect a sense of forboding, anger, activity and confusion while also hope through action.

Composition Overview: Mostly conventional orchestration and techniques, except it starts with a slur/glissando on strings to imitate an air raid siren, and what I call a piano slam, where the pianist slams down the fallboard while pressing the sustain pedal, and later a piano slap where the low strings of the piano are slapped by hand.

It is in 4/4 and somewhat atonal until the parts quoting the Ukrainian national anthem. The beginning is somewhat between contemporary and classical in form – lots of changes but maintaining a tonal harmony. The national anthem part is orchestrated to be similar to Beethoven’s Ninth when the Ode to Joy is starting to break out on low strings.

Main Sounds: Strings and woodwinds at the beginning give way to brass and strings; some percussive elements; with piano and violin solos interspersed.