Ponce de Leon first discovered Key West in 1521 during his expedition to Florida in search of the Fountain of Youth. Legend says he named the island Cayo Hueso, which means “Bone Island” in Spanish, for the bleached limestone rock, driftwood that appeared to be bones, and actual skeletons found on the island. It was only later that it became known as “Key West,” which sounded like Cayo Hueso to the English-speaking settlers that later took over the Spanish territory.
This rather energetic piece imagines the bones of Bone Island strutting around, making sure the presence of its spirits is known. The ending leaves the audience hanging in suspense, waiting for a resolution that never arrives.
Key: A minor, C minor
Mood: determined, spooky
Pedagogy: ensemble playing, repeats, hand position changes, staccato, extended rests