I wanted to share my latest musical crush with you. Tony Bank's Six Pieces For Orchestra has been on repeat-play on my iPod for a couple of days now, specifically the third piece entitled Blade - which I've included below for your listening pleasure. Tony Banks is one of the founding members of the British rock group, Genesis - but I didn't know this until after I'd purchased the cd on a whim. If I had known, I might not have bothered, because for me Genesis associates too strongly with 'Dad rock' and Phil Collins. Tony Banks isn't the only former rock musician to go the classical route; Paul McCartney, for example, has similarly composed classical works - Liverpool Oratorio (1991) and Standing Stone (1997) - as well as The Frog Song ;)
Banks' Six Pieces For Orchestra is filmic and very accessible and maybe its immediate ease on the ear and slight sense of 'movies-I've-seen-before-deja-vu' will undermine its staying power in musical terms, but have a listen to 'Blade' and tell me you don't feel your heart soar a little bit as the violin soloist takes flight. In these moments, Banks' music recalls Ralph Vaughn William's The Lark Ascending - that exquisite sound-image of a bird in flight above a world war one battlefield, moving ever higher into the sky. At other times, we could be at the beginning of a film by Christopher Nolan. This is definitely music by which to speed paint something loose and lyrical and uplifting! Enjoy.
Blade from Six Pieces For Orchestra by Tony Banks