The Coney Island Suite is framed by the idea of somebody nostalgically sifting through an album of photographs from their summers of 1899-1913 spent at Coney Island. Each of the movements marks a different period in the narrator's youth.
I. Toy Shoppe concerns the naive joys of childhood (ages 5-11). The scene takes place in the grandest possible storehouse of trinkets and sweets. The air is full of streamers, and paper gliders twirling about in every possible direction. On the ground are windup toy soldiers and a model train set that spirals around all three stories of the building.
II. Carousel is an expression of the exciting and disorienting experience that is early adolescence (12-15). The constantly shifting tone colors and ceaseless left hand ostinato are representative of the narrator speeding through an amusement park during the evening hours, reveling in their newfound autonomy, trying to hit every single ride at once.
III. Queen of the Boardwalk is a bittersweet reflection on the narrator's summer romance (16-19), and the inevitable parting of ways. The scene takes place near the beach at twilight. Of the three movements, this one is most closely linked to the framing idea of the suite, as the narrator is in the twilight of life at the time of these reflections.
This piece was composed in the summer of 2013.
Premiered Sept. 11, 2014 by Jessica Monnier (piano)