Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom

Music Composed By: Jasha Klebe

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom is a documentary chronicling the events that unfolded over 93 days in 2013 and 2014 in Ukraine.  Viewers witness the creation of s new civil rights movement that began with peaceful student protests and evolved into a violent revolution that called for the resignation of the nation's president

            The musical score of Winter on Fire was created by Jasha Klebe whose musical upbringing was influenced by his grandfather, baritone opera singer Marvin Klebe.  Beginning with classical piano training, Joshua Klebe went on to become a film music composer, working at Remote Control Productions.  While there, he had the opportunity to work alongside Oscar winning composer Hans Zimmer on such notable films as The Dark Knight Rises, Rush and Captain Phillips.  He has also worked with Grammy winning composer Lorne Balfe on such projects as The Bible, Assassin's Creed III and Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

            For the Winter On Fire score, Jasha Klebe wanted to "create something of an anthem for the people... Throughout the film, from the march of the millions, to the building of barricades, to ultimately the final scene where they achieve the overthrow of Yanukovych, I wanted to create a simple tune that anyone could hum along to; a piece of music that constantly grew, just as the number of protesters in Maidan did, and ultimately conveyed their courage and sense of unity." 

            In creating the score, Klebe used a technique I have noted used by composers of films about war and atrocities over the years - the bittersweet violin solo.  Used in movies like Schindler's List, Defiance and more, this technique offers up an incredibly beautiful yet morose violin solo that speaks to the spirit of the people and the hardships they are put through.  This music speaks volumes to the listener and can only enhance the visuals of the documentary.  this is the anthem of the people that Klebe wanted to create.  Mixed in are piano, woodwinds, strings and percussion.  Background violins perform quick strokes on the strings offering an intensity to the drama.  Percussion offers up the sense of danger.  The music becomes darker and more intense as the movie moves forward, but that main anthem is never forgotten. 

            The Winter On Fire: Ukraine's Fight For Freedom Soundtrack is a beautiful score that serves well as dramatic background music for an equally dramatic documentary or as an enjoyable stand alone album.  Whether you have seen this documentary or not, one thing you must do is take a listen to this soundtrack.  Jasha Klebe is one talented composer and his music for this film is definitely well worth the listen.


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