Introduction to Helps’ music

What Helps loved about Sessions’ music was his harmonic refinement and his notion of expressive counterpoint connected to extremely long melodic lines. This harmonically supported ”long line“ would become an obsession for Helps – it was a concept he fully mastered and made his own.

For him, this expansiveness was architectural, like the taut wires holding lengthy platforms on a suspension bridge — a kind of structural legato. As composer, he could breathlessly extend phrase after phrase without losing crucial continuity and without sacrificing dramatic development. As pianist, he brought this sensitivity of musical breadth even to the most ”pointillist“ serial work like Milton Babbitt’s Partitions