I. Canyon; II. Ebb; III. Rapids

1. Canyon. Like a rock face the music is hard sounding and angular. Bold fanfares are heard in several layers resembling rock strata.

2. Ebb (receding waters) is atmospheric; the horn weaves a lyrical melody over an accompaniment of softly flowing textures, utilising several kinds of mute. The tuba takes over and is interrupted from time to time by rippling motifs on trumpet and trombone.

3. Rapids. The great force of water pounding the rocks was the starting point for this driving, thrusting movement of fast rhythmic passages and cascades of scale and trills, in which the Ensemble displays its virtuosity.

In 1792 the explorer George Vancouver, whilst exploring the north west coast of the USA, observed a large island, but on closer examination he discovered an intricate channel dividing it into two. He realised that he had been deceived as to the character of the island and named the channel Deception Pass. It is a most impressive site: a sheer rock face rises hundreds of feet out of the sea and through it flows an immense torrent of water, highly dangerous for sailing craft.
The composer writes: At the time of my visit there I was about to write a work for the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and became obsessed with the idea of writing them a musical portrait of Deception Pass. The work is not entirely programmatic, but each movement evokes different images of this magnificent place.


Written 1980

Brass Ensemble. 4Tpt-Hn-3Tbn-BTbn-Tba
Length 15

Commission:  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
Publisher: Universal Edition

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