Head Banger, for four horns
by Michael Kallstrom
The following YouTube video was recorded as live for soundfestival in January 2021
Head Banger was composed for the TransAtlantic Horn Quartet and they often play it to begin the second half of their concerts. As the title suggests, Headbanger is about powerful rhythmic and melodic motives over a strong and steady pulse. The opening features two of the horns providing the motivic underpinning with the remaining two playing a longer, melodic theme in unison. While three of the horns maintain these rhythmic motives in parallel motion to evoke the riffs typical of heavy metal bands, another solos aggressively over this accompaniment in the middle section. After a quiet and more tranquil interlude, the opening texture returns and the work comes to a close with quartet pounding out statements of the rhythmic motive.