Fantail (composed April 2013) is a chamber piece that is imaginatively moody. Rippling inner voices become ineffably haunting sounds with a lurid atmosphere of dark, impressionistic passagework that builds tension with insinuating motifs, helter-skelter rhythms and gripping climaxes to coalesce into a significant new work.
The score, cleanly arranged for traditional Pierrot ensemble, is consistent and coherent in its post-avant-garde broodings and simmers clearly enough to make all the expositional melodic statements and fragmentary, scalular flourishes that dazzle with shimmering special effects are audible. The work moves through deftly characterized moments of surging energy, pulsing vivacity and airy open-chord expanse, and display a stage-worthy sensational showcase for the ensemble’s soloists in dramatic flair with great tension and release.
There is a strong gestural consciousness in the work, evoking wildly moving call-and-response and abstract sketches with descending lines and rhythmically complex fragments, often contain wit, dexterity and dissonant agitation. The music provides contrast and deftness with an even flow of accessible, pleasurable and entertaining sweeps of attractive and glittering rich, textures cleverly spun.