A Single Veil

Price: $11.95
by Frank A. Wallace
Six spiritual songs for mezzo-soprano and guitar; poems by various authors.

“‘A Single Veil’ seems to me the most interesting piece of music for voice and guitar which I’ve come across during at least the past twenty years.”

––Christian Kellnberger, guitarist from Munich, Germany

Preview: a sample PDF of A Single Veil

Duration: 12 minutes; 12 pages

Instrumentation: mezzo-soprano and guitar

Vocal range: G3 – F5

Difficulty level: Moderate

Language: English and English translations

Written: summer, 2001

World premiere: October, 2001 by Duo LiveOak at the La Jolla GFA

Recording: Duo LiveOak’s CD Woman of the Water

All Gyre Publications are ASCAP
Copyright ©2001 Frank A. Wallace
Cover photography and design by Nancy Knowles
All rights reserved.

from Duo LiveOak’s CD Woman of the Water

These six songs of medium to high difficulty are written on spiritual texts from Rumi, Shem Tov Ben Palquera [Sephardic], Eugene Guillevic, Robert Creely and Nancy Knowles. All in English translations or originals, the songs progress from jarring anger to calm, quiet love.

“‘A Single Veil’ seems to me the most interesting piece of music for voice and guitar which I’ve come across during at least the past twenty years.”
Christian Kellnberger, guitarist from Munich, Germany

Gyre Publications
Copyright ©2001 Frank A. Wallace
Cover photography and design by Nancy Knowles
All rights reserved.

I. Radiance

Don’t try to hide inside anger
radiance that cannot be hidden.

by Rumi
from The Essential Rumi,
Coleman Barks, translator
Harper San Francisco, 1995

II. A Falling Darkness

If fear is like a rock,
Then I am a hammer.
If sorrow is a fire,
Then I am the sea.
When it comes, my heart
Increases its strength,
Like the moon that shines brighter
When the darkness falls.

by Shem Tov Ben Palquera
from The Jewish Poets of Spain, 900-1250
David Goldstein, translator
Penguin Books, 1965

III. A Single Veil

Don’t say that day is the same as night
Don’t say that night is alien to day

A single veil is woven across all things
and tears sometimes

in day’s brightness
or night’s black.

by Eugène Guillevic
excerpt from Elégie de la Forêt Sainte-Croix
Guillevic Selected Poems
Denise Levertov, translator
New Directions, 1968, 1969

IV. Towards the Sun

Is there some mischief afoot
in the heavens?
Some ruse the Gods have yet to reveal?
Or am I being tried
for sins I remember not?

Like a flower in a drought
I reach towards the sun,
as long accustomed,
but it beats me back, weary,
to the earth.

I shall try again tomorrow.

by Nancy Knowles, 1974

V. Love Comes Quietly

Love comes quietly,
finally, drops
about me, on me,
in the old ways.

What did I know
thinking myself
able to go
alone all the way.

by Robert Creeley
from For Love
Charles Scribner’s Sons, NY, 1962

VI. Lullaby

And slowly, slowly
all the small
trickles and streams and
creeks and rivers
wend their way
back together
back to the sky.

by Nancy Knowles, 1974