National Anthem

solo piano
4 minutes 30 seconds

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  • February 9, 2007 - Marilyn Nonken, Settlement Music School, Chamber Music Now! Concert Series, Philadelphia, PA
  • October 5, 2007 - Marilyn Nonken Bellefield Hall Auditorium, Music on the Edge Concert Series, Pittsburgh, PA
  • April 22, 2008 - UH Contemporary Music Ensemble University of Hawaii at Manoa

The tone of National Anthem is intended to reflect a general sense of loss and confusion that emanates from the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These events have revealed, among other things, the deeply unsettling effects of blind patriotism. As a result, I chose to create a work that "resets" our national anthem, adapting it to appropriately portray the aforementioned sense of loss as opposed to a fanciful and idealized self image. The fabric or pitch material of this piece is entirely drawn from the Star Spangled Banner. You may not recognize the anthem's presence because throughout most of the piece it is simultaneously occurring in three keys. In addition, the three keys move at three proportionally related tempi, each one a varying degree of slowness. Finally, while the order of pitches in the anthem is maintained, the contour of the melody is warped, further impairing one’s ability to hear the original tune. National Anthem was written for Marilyn Nonken.

Written for Marilyn Nonken