Channel Islands Suite
Off the coast of southern California is an archipelago called The Channel Islands. Endearingly referred to as “The Galapagos of North America”, it is made up of eight islands spanning just north of Santa Barbara down to San Diego. Each island is currently owned or operated by The National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy, and/or the Navy. Native Americans made many of these islands their home 13,000 years ago until Europeans displaced them between the 1500s-1800s. Following this, the Western American ranching era heavily impacted the archipelago’s natural resources in an effort to produce agricultural products in a fragile ecosystem. Now, conservation is a priority on most islands where many species of plants and animals are found nowhere else in the world.
In December of 2016 I began the Channel Islands Suite project. Each trip to a Channel Island has followed the same regime: research of its history and unique features, jotting down of musical themes and thoughts while on the island, and finally, fleshing out the rest of the movement at home. By composing and having this eight movement suite performed, I hope to raise awareness and appreciation for the natural and cultural resources these islands embody. A premiere is scheduled for 2019.