An Israeli composer has written a musical composition about the 45th U.S. president, called “The Trump Sonata.”
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Avner Hanani’s 12-minute sonata is split into six movements, titled “Good Time,” “Love,” “Smile” (about his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton), “Build the Wall,” “Apologize” and “I’ll Be Back.”
The new work manages to be surprising, sophisticated and funny, yet also completely terrifying. “The Trump Sonata” is best described as a kind of monodrama for video and piano. It is actually a pastiche of various Trump speeches, with the composer providing accompaniment on the piano.
Hanani says that despite what people may think, his work is a politically “neutral” creation.
“It’s an attempt to capture the person through musical and artistic means," he says. "I treated Trump like an operatic figure – larger than life. So you could say I was complimenting Trump, and that the music I attached to him is attractive. Besides that, I tried to be varied, not to follow the intonation of the speeches all the time.”
The composer say that when he hears Trump speak, “sometimes I hear his speech like a chant, with clear intervals, and sometimes like sprechgesang [a style of dramatic vocalization somewhere between speaking and singing], without clear intervals.”
Hanani admits Trump’s opponents could see the work as mocking the U.S. president, but this wasn’t his intention. Still, he concedes that although he “didn’t work on it out of a desire to make someone laugh, I don’t think it is a humorless work.”
One thing is for sure: “The Trump Sonata” was a labor of love. “I invested many hours to choose the most musically interesting passages, with a beginning, middle and an end,” says Hanani.
Hanani explains that he used the same Trump quotes over and over because repetition is a significant element in music. “Just ask Beethoven,” he smiles.
“They are required here so we can hear the music behind the speeches,” he says. “To me, the result sounds similar to the structure of Scarlatti’s sonatas,” referring to the 18th-century Italian composer.
You can hear all six movements of “The Trump Sonata” on YouTube, and Hanani says the next step is performing the work in front of an audience, accompanying Trump’s quotes with live music. “Anyone who organizes it will get the pianist for free,” he quips.