His operatic experimentalism is highly accessible, founded on a thigh-slapping homespun yet romantic perversity...Surrender to his vision and you'll be transported on his rhythmic momentum through cinematic landscapes, while girls sing of marriage and choirs pound out chords like Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.
Banjo of Death is the work of a man doing what he wants and therein lies its odd appeal.
The Wire February 2004
Harper's sensual, electronic score adds resonances and nuances that confound the literal and specific. Instead of the expected local color - Oriental Idioms - he uses American pop: gospel, rock and rap recitations. Rather than a series of stop and go numbers, the music flows organically and dramatically from one idiom to another, highlighted and supported by the inventive electronic instrumentation.
-Michael Anthony, Minneapolis Star Tribune
William Harper paints in long, bold strokes, balancing scenes instead of motives, and propelling the ear on voyages of emotion. Elegant counterpoint interwoven with Gregorian Chant... joyous ensemble pieces break out at every dramatic juncture. The tonality is postminimal, but the ways textures alternate and recur provides an effective, Stravinskian illusion of perpetual forward motion.
-Kyle Gann, Village Voice