The Sirens was written for the 2019 University of Birmingham Music Society Composition Competition, and performed for the first time by the University's Brass Band in November 2021. The piece aims to reflect the state of being mesmerized by the mythological singing enchantresses, which lure sailors to their deaths with their beautiful song. Inspired by the work of John McCabe,
the music consists of many small sections, presenting similar material in
different guises to produce a mosaic form. Also characteristic is the use
of small-group scoring, cadenzas and colourful harmonies.
A quiet opening featuring a flugel solo depicts a ship rocking unsteadily in sparse, choppy waters, before the introduction of mysterious tune in the basses. Following this, the mood shifts rapidly and frequently to represent the dual, dangerously attractive nature of the sirens.
The piece is launched towards its conclusion from letter K as the tempo picks up and the musical gestures become more aggressive, climaxing at letter N