Kennywood Carousel

24 Nov 2005

Kennywood Carousel Opus 6, Composed October 2005. From 1997 to 2010, we lived in Pittsburgh, PA, where "Kennywood" was (and certainly still is) the local amusement park. In fact, it's more than that; it's a tradition and an institution. I don’t think a trip to the park is complete without a ride on their classic carousel. In the center, they have a vintage carousel organ providing the music. That’s sort of the feel I’m going for with this composition. Ideally, it would be rendered by such an organ, a calliope, or something similar. A bell-like treble clef would also be befitting, although it's presented here as a piano rendering. I have an old piece of sheet in my house called “Sunny Jim.” On the cover, there’s a little dog with a dialogue bubble. The dog says, “Rag-Time Finish!” (no-doubt a marketing point back in the turn of the last century). So, here’s a modern-day composition with a similar approach — a rather light-hearted romp on the keys in Ab with a bold rag-time finish. It remains one of my favorite of my own writings.

A note about the video footage... Naturally, it would have seemed preferable to get some actual footage from Kennywood for this. I searched around for any that I could possibly use, but came up empty. However, after quite an exhaustive search on archive.org, I managed to find a true gem entitled "Life Is a Lark at Willow Grove Park" (c. 1956, public domain from the Prelinger Archives). It fits the mood absolutely *perfectly* here as the setting for this composition. I wouldn't change a thing now that it's done.

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