Banshees (composed May 2012) is a frenzied orchestra piece, fertile in its inspired material, and most intense in its burning emotional power. It is a contemporary piece, aleatoric in its pitches and abstract design, cinematic in its dramatic orientations. The disjointed melodic fragments of the lines are equally as fluid and flexible as the ever-growing aggression and frightening, ceaseless textures it underpins. Throbbing motives, continuously moving emphasis on orchestral gestures and sweeping arches and multilayered, expressive complexities fall easily upon the ear like orchestral interludes taught, and tightly-woven into swelling, strong characterizations with theatrical pace. The handling of its materials in the concluding final moments of near madness, reaches a gut-level intensity, realized by exceptional strident and burning Brass edge.
This driving score is not tonally conservative. From the start, the orchestra, winningly psychological in nature, unravels its material and economically maintains a propulsive beat, especially busy, chugging along relentless, tinged with dark foreboding. Twisted with mccabe overtones, the music still writhes in biting dissonances as gloomy, Gothic vitality adds a confidence to the writing and handling of the varied guises of plainly audible leitmotifs, that gain in piquancy with greater sweep and busy fluency, hovering between tonality and atonality, clearly conveying emotion and emotional charge. The real showpiece, however, is undoubtedly the phenomenal role of the Harp, whose swirl gestures and special effects add extraordinarly images full of mood and character that reveal a brilliant personal in its few brief soloistic moments that link assiduously staged entrance of timed and out-of-time sections together both musically and scenically. The work offers an ideal grotesqueness in its passionate and proficient writing in each and every instrumental force.
The contrapuntally turbulent, largely cacophonic flourishes that pervade the hauntingly stark background reflect an effectively fundamental darkening of tone as the music becomes increasingly possessed into a high level of entertainment, infused with moments of searing extrovertness and luxurious harmonic control in its instrumental acrobatics – requirements sometimes pushed to extremes by the intricate, ricocheting orchestration.