When I was growing up, my family and I would sometimes travel to the Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier in my home state of Michigan. One of the earliest memories I have of that place is how far it was to walk to the lighthouse, how warm the sandy beaches were, and how cold the waters of Lake Michigan were on that bright summer day. There was another time that I visited this place around sunset. The lighthouse and pier practically emitted a radiant golden glow across the entire beach, a perfect and quasi-spiritual image of what Michigan's natural beauty has to offer that greatly profounded me.
This piece represents the idea of that place with its lush musical language. But, it also represents the warmest qualities that family and home can provide. Thus, the work is mainly reflective in a sense, bridged together by a ballad that sometimes twists and turns harmonically. Often times warm and peaceful, other times darker and uncertain, The Golden Pier is a piece which embraces all of these qualities throughout its entire journey. In the end, however, I believe that the inherent beauty of the Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier will always remain a bright memory and a natural wonder for those who visit it.
The Golden Pier joins my earlier band pieces The Straits of Mackinac and The Great River Rapid Chase to complete a triptych of music inspired by my Michigan roots in some shape or form. I would like to dedicate this piece to my wife, friends, family, and colleagues who have supported me and my work over the past few years. Thank you for believing in my music.
From the composer -
"If possible, don't be afraid to experiment with different instrumental combinations when performing this work! These experimentations can be used as a learning tool for you and your performers for how color and texture can change with even the smallest difference in orchestration (example: have the flutes play alone at a particular passage, then clarinets or saxophones, then a combination of these families. What are the differences in timbre? Does it affect the mood or emotion of the piece, and if so, how?). Use this piece, in that regard, as an endless sea of experimentation and creative possibilities for you and your performers.
With all of this in mind, this arrangement of THE GOLDEN PIER should be used as an opportunity to demonstrate how music isn't just chord progressions, electronic samples, heavy-metal grooves, or even just simply dots on a page. It's how that music is brought to life with what we have available; what we can create from it; how decisions of musical intent, listening to each other, and hearing these new sounds/colors/textures can impact our perceptions of the piece; and finally, how we can use these skills for any performance situation, no matter what the instrumentation, style, or genre may be."