Toccata for Obama
This piece was written soon after as a tribute to President Obama. It is a short piece which goes through a number of different styles which reflect President Obama’s heritage. There are references to Irish, Indonesian, Kenyan and American music styles, the latter being jazz. The piece ends with a Balkan flavour. I don’t think President Obama has any Balkan heritage, but it’s a fun way to end the piece and reflects the fact that the piece was first written as a violin and guitar piece for a concert I performed in Romania with the Irish-Romanian violinist Ioana Petcu-Colan.
I began the orchestral version of the piece in 2012, left it aside and then finished it in 2020. My motivation for finishing it was witnessing how far the US had fallen under President Obama’s successor. The piece now holds a sense of nostalgia for me, reflecting better times and a renewed, urgent hope for change.