In 1792 the explorer George Vancouver, whilst exploring the north west coast of the USA, observed a large island, but on closer examination he discovered an intricate channel dividing it into two. He realised that he had been deceived as to the character of the island and named the channel Deception Pass. It is a most impressive site: a sheer rock face rises hundreds of feet out of the sea and through it flows an immense torrent of water, highly dangerous for sailing craft.
The composer writes: At the time of my visit there I was about to write a work for the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and became obsessed with the idea of writing them a musical portrait of Deception Pass. The work is not entirely programmatic, but each movement evokes different images of this magnificent place.