A Fire-Breathing Dragon (composed April 2014) is a powerful orchestral work that unleashes fireballs of fury and torrents of cascading flourishes and scalular arpeggios. A biting-dissonant work, it is mysterious and ponderous in its lulls and predominantly an extroverted, highly charged, lively work that spins exotic, propulsive rhythms and polyrhythms across tough, angular melodic fragments with fresh and imaginative colors. Rising themes and brooding, dark forces coalesce into whirls and swoops of sound with great pictorial effect. Surging ominous sounds vividly running amok over a topography of big and bold gestures create chilling effect in its ultimately most mysterious of compelling performances. Its language is tonal verging into atonality, maintaining interest in harsh passagework of underscored, unspecified storylines.
Much of this is evocative, impressionistic music infused with the awe and wonder of brooding modality and highly accessible music of impassioned waves of torrential storm. It is a musical score that is extremely graphic. Well-orchestrated and brilliant in its musical incarnation, its gripping and loudest, most enthusiastic climaxes provide solid evidence of imaginatively growing, aggressive music. Rippling inner voices become ineffably haunting sounds. It is a score that is supernatural to its core – a lurid atmosphere of rage, horror and majesty in an impressively large-scale score that builds tension with insinuating motifs, helter-skelter rhythms and tremendous roars of triumph. It simmers clearly enough to make the middleground audible, yet is separated by multi-layers of full, grand waves of taut, tightly-orchestrated sound. Consistent and coherent it is an unflinching addition to the orchestra repertoire, cinematic in its roots yet fascinatingly eclectic and using its own harmonic palatte, that is primal, raw and difficult to take.