This short, atmospheric work was composed in 2006, originally as the final music in my Houdini opera, Disappearing Act. The opera, with a libretto by Dorothy Louise, centers on the debate that Doyle and Houdini had about life beyond the grave. Other images and characters, including the ghost of Queen Victoria, and a shell-shocked soldier from World War I are projected as "ghostly flickerings" at the very close of the opera. The undulating, arpeggiated chords allude to the ocean music used at the beginning of Act II, which sets the scene at the boardwalk in Atlantic City.
May 17, 2005: Premiere of Ghostly Flickerings, Carson
Cooman, pianist, at the Maxwell Davies tribute program, May 17, 2005,
in Pittsburgh at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
Sept. 25, 2005: Ghostly Flickerings was given its UK premiere by pianist Trey Hargrove at the Peter Maxwell Davies Tribute Concerts, St. Paul's, Ealing, outside London.
Recorded by pianist Steven Graff on the Zimbel label, John Carbon: Piano Music Played by Steven Graff.