Helen Bowater has enjoyed an exceedingly diverse musical career. Her study included electroacoustic music with Ross Harris and composition with Jack Body. She has worked as a singer, pianist, violinist and also worked with rock bands and Gamelan Padhang Moncar. Following residencies at the Nelson School of Music in 1992 and at Otago University as Mozart Fellow in 1993, she was appointed Composer-in-Residence with the Auckland Philharmonia in 1994.
Banshee was commissioned by Edinburgh Contemporary Arts Trust with financial assistance of the Scottish Arts Council, and was a finalist in the 1999 SOUNZ Contemporary Award.
The banshee, a supernatural death messenger, proclaims imminent or recent deaths. Her most characteristic trait is a keening or wailing with mournful, eerie or spine-chilling qualities. But there are ways of stopping the banshee's cry.