The Russian invasion of Ukraine started on 24th February 2022, and I knew I couldn't stay in Russia any longer. I couldn't leave right away – the bank wouldn't let me get my money. It took more than two weeks, but I ended up salvaging some of my savings, and escaping to Istanbul with the help of my friends.
These were the first pieces I composed after leaving. I was staying at a hotel at the time, and helped in literally everything by Amy Salsgiver, an American percussionist in Istanbul. I was only able to buy a computer thanks to her (I had to leave my old one in Moscow), and after some 7 or 8 hours of excruciating attempts to get my old software to work with the newest version of Windows my new laptop had, I was finally able to work on music again, and my first thought was the first bars of the vibraphone canon.
Many more canons for Amy followed – really, the project may have gotten a bit out of hand after the first dozen or so – and I enjoyed composing them very much. Percussionists have enough problems carrying their instruments around, and frequently have to make do with what (and who) is available at a given location. I wanted to compose a little repertoire of pieces with a shared DNA, drawing from the same pool of resources and techniques. Each would be complicated, as canons frequently are, but also short enough for performers to be able to learn it quickly. Some would be for a single percussionist, others would become opportunities to invite more performers to participate. They would work both as independent pieces, and as little groups with a shared narrative.