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GRAMMY winner Nadia Shpachenko releases; Invasion - Music and Art for Ukraine / The Claquers

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Grammy winner Nadiya Shpachenko recorded an album in support of Ukraine

As she watched in horror her home city of Kharkiv (and the rest of Ukraine) being destroyed and civilians being murdered every day, Shpachenko tried to come up with ways to express her feelings of utter despair and anger, as well as hope and resilience, through her music making. In addition to performing fundraising concerts featuring music by Ukrainian composers, she decided to put together a new album to support Ukraine humanitarian aid. Reference Recordings is proud to release this album, with 100% of proceeds benefitting Ukrainian people affected by the war. Shpachenko commissioned Ukrainian artists to create paintings/artworks to use in the album booklet, online and in­person galleries, and the accompanying music videos, as their responses to the music. Also featured are artworks made by children in Kharkiv, as their responses to the war. The key piece on the album, titled INVASION (for piano, alto saxophone, horn, trombone, timpani, snare drum, and mandolin), is Shpachenko’s longtime collaborator Lewis Spratlan’s response to this tragic war. It was composed for Shpachenko during the period of February 24­March 13, 2022. The rest of the album features World Premiere recordings of solo piano music also by Spratlan. These pieces reflect on the human experience, often finding solace and inspiration in nature and music of the past. WONDERER, a major piece that closes the album, connects in its character to the current experience of many Ukrainian people, especially those displaced by the war. The hero, searching through the unknown, overcoming pain, and reminiscing about things past, triumphs at the end.

The Claquers - STAS NEVMERZHYTSKYI writes….The American pianist of Ukrainian origin , Nadiya Shpachenko , has released a new album , Invasion: Music and Art for Ukraine . The collection includes the works of the American composer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Lewis Spratlan : " Invasion" (for piano, saxophone, French horn, trombone, percussion and mandolin), Piano Suite No. 1 , Six Ragtimes , Two Piano Sonatas , Wonderer ("The Miracle Worker") for piano solo.

According to Nadia, the recording of an album with the music of Lewis Spratlan was planned even before the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, but on February 24, the concept of the collection changed:

"Watching with horror how Kharkiv, my native city, is being destroyed, I decided to express in music my feelings of despair and anger, as well as hope and resilience. On my birthday, the day the war began, Lewis Spratlan began writing Invasion. Restlessness, peace, longing, hope — all that Ukrainians are currently experiencing is embodied in the works recorded on the disc."

Lewis Spratlan and Nadiya Shpachenko have been working together for seven years, since the pianist commissioned the composer to write a piece for her previous album , The Poetry of Places   , dedicated to the connection between music and architecture. In his composition "Bangladesh", Spratlan rethought the transformation of the city's space, thanks to the construction there of the government center of the work of the architect Louis Kahn. In 2020, the album "Poetry of Places" won a Grammy:

"Nadia managed to combine the powerful artistic embodiment of the images of monumental buildings with the finest nuances of tenderness and intimacy. This emotional range of Nadia's artistry, an artist who fully owns the communicative function of music, was fully represented in the five works of the collection. The terrible brutality of war in "Invasion", the complexity and athleticism of "Piano Suite No. 1" and "Two Sonatas", the humor and sometimes brutality of "Six Ragtimes", as well as the multidimensional humanity of "Wonderer" . - comments composer Lewis Spratlan.

For the visual design of the booklet, Nadiya Shpachenko commissioned works from Ukrainian artists: Yuri Nagulka, Lesya Bablyak, Katya Prusenko, Olena Papka and others.

"The paintings of Ukrainian artists depict their response to each work in the album. Also presented are drawings by children from Kharkiv, demonstrating their vision of war."

All funds received from the sale of the album will be directed to humanitarian aid to Ukrainians.

Read more about Nadiya Shpachenko in our interview: "Grammy" laureate Nadiya Shpachenko: "I would love to play music by Ukrainian composers about the architecture of Kyiv . "

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