Roatan is the Place That Gave Rise to My Roatan Suite

Roatan has a history of pirates.

Roatan is the Place That Gave Rise to My Roatan Suite.

Here are a dozen  descriptive piano pieces that I wrote in the Summer of 2000. I was part of a theatrical troupe that toured the island. Wife, Sharon Ohrenstein, was one of the entertainers. We played at 3 different hotels.  It is located off of the coast of Honduras.on the Gulf of Mexico. One of my piano students inspired me compose “something that kids could play.” This exotic island was the perfect setting.

Story for each Selection of the Roatan Suite

  1. Roatan Rhumba: Offers a sense of the Latin rhythms and melodies heard the island by local bands.
  2. Island Dreams: For natives, the main avenue to  better life was being a “diving captain” for tourists. Pay was excellent. Another avenue was working on a ship.They all wished and aspired to improve their position.
  3. The Iguana Farm is a life altering experience. Hundreds of giant iguanas running around while a 5 year old was feeding them. Thank heavens iguanas are vegetarians.

Picture of an Iguana hanging on to a tree branch at Shermans Iguana Farm on Roatan Island.My Roatan Suite features the Iguana Farm in the music of the same title. Every student of piano wants to learn it, regardless of age. In plain English, its “too cool.”

     4.  Children on the Beach: Who can have more fun than children on the beach splashing and playing in the sand.

    5.   Crazy Taxis on the Island: There’s really nowhere to go but the drivers ride like every trip is an emergency. Their small cars usually stuffed atleast 10 to 15                       people.

    6.  Sunrise Worker With Machete: My wife and I were out early walking. What seemed like an  army came toward us with drawn machetes. We thought we were as              good as dead; however, they are very peaceful. Cutting grass on the mountain sides is how they make their living. In their other hand they held a large jug of                    water. My music suggests the swishing sound of their blades.

    7.  Sauntering on the West End. Wow! You haven’t experienced life until you’ve done this. It is a beautiful stretch of  art galleries by local artists, dining done right              on docked ships, fortune tellers, fun, fun, fun.,,etc

    8.  Fishng Fleet Expedition: A dozen large fishing ships left harbor in full gear. The island fishers provide fish to many American markets and major chains.

    9.  Deep Sea Diving: Natives and tourists relish the beautiful coral reefs and colorful aquatic life in the depths of the Gulf. There is an early morning dive and                         evening dive. Yes, they have whale sharks! They also are said to be vegetarians.

    10. Town of Coxen Hole: Coxen was the pirate that first landed on the island with his cutthroat crew. The “Hole” is a term for where the pirates would drink. They                didn’t drink milk! Roatan is famous for rum.

    11. Stroll on the Beach: Was written while my wife and I were strolling on the beach. The vista was  vast, peaceful and beautiful.

12. Shimmering Water on the Gulf: The waves of the ocean are depticted by the arpeggios that run up and down the piano keyboard. I think this piece would even                  offer any concert virtuoso a challenge. Below is a dolphin communicating the latest sea news to folks at the local station.

Image result for Picture from Archie's Iguana Farm in Roatan

Off season, I, David Ohrenstein,  offer piano lessons in Sarasota and a chance for you to try to master the Roatan Suite. Especially the Iguana Farm. The recording will  available for purchase on DSOworks,com


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