A Ragtime Suite
by William "Ragtime Bill" Rowland
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
In 2008 I accepted a commission to compose "Intoxicating Rhythms: A Ragtime Suite." I envisioned this composition as a collection of four fairly standard rags, but in four very different styles.
My patron is Larry Johnson, who lives in Oregon, and has commissioned several works of mine before, some of which are on my CD. He wanted these rags to honor his mother's sisters and brothers with unique musical compositions.
1) The Aviatrix Rag, written in the fashion of an early ragtime piece and dedicated to Aunt Josie, who lives on a ranch in Idaho. In her youth she was an adventurous young lady, and one of the first women in Idaho to get her pilot's license.
2) High Country honors Uncle Dick, a retired fish and game warden and pilot who has spent a lifetime outdoors. This rag is written in a florid classical style.
3) ¿Por Qué No? has a Latin beat, the "Spanish tinge" that Jelly Roll Morton spoke of, and was written for Uncle Donald, who is a bachelor and a retired professor of infectious diseases at medical colleges.
4) Marjie remembers a favorite aunt who recently passed away, and is written in a later, "swing" Ragtime style. She was described to me as a simple woman with a completely out-of-control laugh, but who endured hardship with special style and grace.
Here they are, as played on the piano :
I also arranged these rags for concert band, and they are available here:
I hope you will enjoy listening to these, and thanks for your interest!
My home page: RagtimeBill.com
Contents copyright 2010 by William Rowland