by Frank A. Wallace
eleven short preludes for guitar solo
Preview: PDF sample of Film Scores
Duration: 15 minutes; 11 pages
Difficulty level: moderate
Instrumentation: solo guitar
World premiere: June 18, 2016 at Stone Church Arts, by Frank A. Wallace
Recording: Frank Wallace on YouTube, recorded Nov. 2015
James Knowles and the team at Roger Smith Hotel
Robert J. Ward
Film Scores I hope will become just that, but as of yet they are headless horsemen riding in search of films to connect with. I started the project in summer of 2011 with the writing of 10 very brief ideas that my son Adam Wallace could use for the many short films he was making along with his colleagues at the Roger Smith Hotel. Great work they were doing about life in the City, artists and art exhibits at the Hotel, Hotel employees and more. I was left with the feeling that writing a real film score would be an awesome task some day. That has not happened, but when friend Mike Dillon asked if I would write a short piece for him based on The Old Man of the Mountain (a now fallen chunk of rock in the White Mountains of New Hampshire), I got inspired to write more short works that were romantic, nostalgic and suggestive visually. But I didn’t do it. Actually, it was borrowing a bunch of manuscript paper from Bob Ward while visiting in Boston that finally worked – I told him I would pay him back with a piece, so that was the real motivation for getting off my duff and penning these works. Thanks Bob. And Adam and Mike.
I. Rain in DR for Adam Wallace
Adam spent a lot of time in the Dominican Republic around 2011 and later. Beauty abounds, human and otherwise.
II. On Seine for Adam Wallace
Who wouldn’t want to be on the Seine right now with a loving partner.
III. Anoushka for Bob Ward
OK, I watched Anoushka Shankar on a video and was looking for a name for this exotic piece which is dedicated to Bob Ward. Bob and I are old friends and I hope his current partner won’t get mad at me for the name!
IV. Old Man Remembered for Mike Dillon
V. Broome Street for Adam Wallace
While this was written in the first batch in 2011, I wasn’t quite sure about it. I added a repeat and a new ending and realized this is a perfect rendition of the sounds on Broome St. Manhattan where my son just moved. It’s gritty as he likes to say, but really fun and vibrant.
VI. She Looked at Me for Bret Williams
…or did she?! My most recent piece is another set of short guitar solos that I dedicated to Adam Levin, Boston entrepreneurial guitarist, called Clusters. This work is in the same vein but written for Bret Williams, another entrepreneurial guitarist from NYC. In fact, I originally named this piece with an exact description of what it is, Cluster Pluck, but decided it was a bit too racy fro me. I reviewed Bret’s CD eponymously titled The Music of Bret Williams and decided to give him an ironic little response to his lovely music. The [new] title comes from a song/poem of Nancy Knowles used in my song cycle Syzygy:
for my father (and mother)
had known it
VII. Awakenings for David Isaacs
I met David, and his wife Chelsea, at a GFA about ten years ago. We share many passions, mostly around guitar and song, both of us being married to, and partners with, our singing wives. Yesterday, May 30, 2015, we started sharing fatherhood when Rowan Allan Isaacs was born, at 9.5 lbs I might add! So today I wrote David a piece, something I should have done a long time ago, he being one of my biggest fans. The first chords came out and I said, “No, this isn’t right – it should be bright and happy on this occasion.” Then I remembered our email conversations of the past three weeks, David being scared of what fatherhood would do to his career. I assured him, as he assured me many others had, that it would be a huge boost to his overall energy and output. A totally win/win situation. Nevertheless, Awakenings is about the fear just before the break-through, the dark just before the dawn, ending with that first little tiny ray of sunshine coming over the mountains.
VIII. Pan City for James Knowles and John Knowles
This quirky dynamic little piece is dedicated to all the folks who ran the Arts at the Roger Smith Hotel, back in the day, around 2006-10. My brother-in-law James Knowles is a great artist, but midway through life his wife inherited a small family-run hotel. Jimmy set about re-creating it’s image and infusing the space with vibrant color and life. Part of that effort was the Second Sundays Guitar Series (run by John Olson and me), part the Lab Gallery (run by Matt Semler), and part the in-house social media team run by John Knowles, Adam Wallace and others. Their job, of course, was to document the events as well as create a buzz about the Hotel online. Much of that was video, which became a creative process itself in the hands of such innovative young pioneers. Samples can be seen at Roger Smith Shorts. Others are Homage to a Hero, The Talea Ensemble – and Adam’s later independent work can be seen Adam J. Wallace.
IX. Rain in VT for Dieter Hennings
Beauty also abounds in the Green Mountain state, Vermont. Dieter Hennings, professor of guitar at University of Kentucky Lexington, came to Boston to play 21st century Mexican music in Festival 21 in 2009. We hit it off personally and the audience experienced a truly miraculous concert of passion and commitment. I could go on and on about Dieter’s boundless energy – but this story began when he called about a year later to ask if I could record him next weekend and produce a CD in a week! Fortunately some of the music was already finished, we only had to record a 30 minute long Weiss suite! We did it – in the rain. It rained incessantly for two days throughout the regions and we hid out on a hill in Vermont working our asses off while my wife stayed at home designing the cover.
X. Sweet Betrayal for Rafael Elizondo
I was a little pissed off at someone, which reminded me of another someone I was a little pissed off at in the same way, when I wrote this lovely and nostalgic piece. No big deal, but I don’t usually attack a new work with any particular emotion, it’s engrossing for me, but not emotional usually. So it was that this was a balm for me, a nice way to forgive and forget. It is dedicated to the great Mexican guitarist Rafael Elizondo who is an online friend of mine who shares my love of good microphones, cameras, and guitar, ie: we both have made a lot of videos in the last year or two. I know Rafa will bring out the real beauty of this simple piece and my hope is we’ll see a video of him playing it soon. For the record, I was not and have never been angry with Rafa!
XI. Wood More Graced for Rafael Elizondo and Steve Connor
This piece was added as somewhat of an after-thought a month after the others were completed. I wanted to include a more rhythmic, dance-like piece in the set. This is perhaps more rock than dance, but fills the need! I was playing my Connor guitar #71 from 2004 when I picked up my pencil to start this piece, almost immediately I noticed a message from Rafa Elizondo that he had just received his Connor #289 called Mirror. The coincidence was too weird, so in commemoration of that moment I chose a title that comes from a poem I wrote about living in the country – it seemed the perfect praise of beautiful guitars and their amazing builders. I should add that the fundamental parallel fifths and other musical building blocks were derived from the previous two works – and that Dieter Hennings also plays a Connor guitar!
Below are samples presented for inspiration only should you wish to make a video using these works. The first by NYC Ballet has 1.5 million views; the second is a beautiful essay on In the Woods by Toru Takemitsu presented by Matthew Rohde; then three from Adam Wallace with Frank Wallace guitar pieces in the background and the last is a simple slide show made by Frank Wallace.