Scenes of Mackinac (2001)

Scenes of Mackinac for flute, vibraphone and cello


One of the many benefits of being married to my fantastic wife is that her parents own a cottage on Mackinac Island, the famous tourist spot located in the Straits of Mackinac, just east of the bridge connecting our upper and lower peninsulas. Many tourists only see the first couple of streets downtown, but those who spend more time there are able to become more intimately acquainted with the Island. I wanted to write an homage to a place that has become very special to me, and the three movements here depict the Island that I see and/or imagine. The first movement, "North Shore at Dusk," is a prelude that depicts the lonely, isolated northern side of the Island; the vibes and flute portray the water gently lapping at the stony beach while the cello sings a melancholy tune as the sun dips below the horizon. Movement two, "Carriages on Main St.," is a cakewalk based on the main theme of Scott Joplin's rag The Easy Winners; no cars are allowed on the Island, so the main drag is always a bustle of horse-drawn carriages and bicycles weaving gaily in and out of all the traffic. Lastly, "Ball at the Grand Hotel" plays upon how I imagine an early-20th Century ball would have looked from outside the windows of the stately edifice: gentlemen and their ladies all dressed up, whirling amid the faceted light from gas chandeliers.

(Available from C. Alan Publications)