Stone Face

Price: $9.95
Stone Face
by Frank A. Wallace

four movement suite for guitar solo

I. Old man remembered (from Film Scores)
II. There he makes men
III. Great stone face
IV. The farewell

Preview: sample: 3 pages from Stone Face

Duration: 9 minutes; 6 pages

Difficulty level: Moderate: some stretches and difficult rhythms

Written: August, 2016

Dedicated to: Mike Dillon

World premiere: Frank Wallace Amoskeag Studio September 2016 in Manchester NH

All Gyre compositions are ASCAP.
Copyright ©2016 Frank A. Wallace
Cover photography and design by Nancy Knowles
All rights reserved.

The first performance at Amoskeag Studio September 2016 in Manchester NH.

Stone Face began as a part of my Film Scores project, a set of 11 short, somewhat enigmatic but colorful works that I wrote for my son to use as brief musical highlights in his video pictures of life in New York City. Somehow, this particular piece felt undone. It also carried the burden of using a low C# scordatura on the sixth string – if one is going to bother with such a thing, it would seem only polite as a composer to offer more than a minute or so of music for the effort!

So when Mike Dillon asked me to write a piece for him, I immediately thought of finishing this work. I’ve forgotten its original name – but Mike wanted something dedicated to the Great Stone Face, as Hawthorne called it in a short story [excerpted below]. It later became known as the Old Man of the Mountain – a prominent rock outcrop in the White Mountains of New Hampshire that all travelers could see from the highway as they passed. “The first recorded mention of the Old Man was in 1805. It collapsed on May 3, 2003.” [from Wikipedia]

After the somewhat sentimental first movement comes a dark and craggy work called There he makes men, intense,  representing the pain and wonder of birth. Great stone face is a marching, energetic piece intended to capture the grandeur of the rocky mountain and finally The farewell races to a stormy and tragic end for our friend in the mountain.

Stone Face

The Great Stone Face
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

One afternoon, when the sun was going down, a mother and her little boy sat at the door of their cottage, talking about the Great Stone Face. They had but to lift their eyes, and there it was plainly to be seen, though miles away, with the sunshine brightening all its features.

And what was the Great Stone Face?

Embosomed amongst a family of lofty mountains, there was a valley so spacious that it contained many thousand inhabitants. Some of these good people dwelt in log-huts, with the black forest all around them, on the steep and difficult hill-sides. Others had their homes in comfortable farm-houses, and cultivated the rich soil on the gentle slopes or level surfaces of the valley. Others, again, were congregated into populous villages, where some wild, highland rivulet, tumbling down from its birthplace in the upper mountain region, had been caught and tamed by human cunning, and compelled to turn the machinery of cotton-factories. The inhabitants of this valley, in short, were numerous, and of many modes of life. But all of them, grown people and children, had a kind of familiarity with the Great Stone Face, although some possessed the gift of distinguishing this grand natural phenomenon more perfectly than many of their neighbors.

The Great Stone Face, then, was a work of Nature in her mood of majestic playfulness

Copyright ©2015 Frank A. Wallace
Cover photography and design by Nancy Knowles
All rights reserved.