I often joke with my professors that I’m good at creatively reading directions. Gentle Fingers, Iron Fists is proof—it began as a composition assignment about quartal and quintal harmony. I decided to combine the two and use power chords instead. At the time, I was just beginning to find time to play piano again, and this piece began to represent what I love most about the instrument: it can convey anything. Sweet and light or brash and confrontational, pianists hold a great deal of power in their fingers. Gentle Fingers, Iron Fists represents both extremes, acting both as a piece with a story to tell and a tribute to the piano and those who play it.