When it comes to the handle of composer and pianist Cynthia Hilts’s intriguing octet, Lyric Fury, as the name suggests, the music is defined by powerful contrasts. Hilts likes to build from long, meditative passages to explosive endings. The tried and true technique of tension (and more tension) and release seldom yields more satisfaction or surprise.
But as witness the brisk, striking originals on Lyric Fury, Hilts’s captivating new album, her orchestrations can go in different directions (and different keys) in the same moment, within the same beat or phrase. Imagine, if you will, a peaceful waltz through the meadow and a frantic run through a thunderstorm happening at the same time