String Songs

Price: $34.95
String Songs
by Frank A. Wallace

Seven songs for guitar and strings; PARTS INCLUDED

Preview: sample PDFs from String Songs

Written: String Songs are arrangements of songs by Frank Wallace written at various times from 1996-2007; completed in May 2015

Duration: 23 minutes; 32 pages

Difficulty level: advanced

Instrumentation: guitar, violin 1 & 2, viola, cello;

All Gyre compositions are ASCAP
Copyright ©2015 Frank A. Wallace
Cover photography by Frank Wallace; design by Nancy Knowles
All rights reserved.

A Finale Garritan Orchestra midi rendition

String Songs are arrangements of seven songs I wrote between 1996 and 2007. The first being my first ever and the second a song inspired by a poem of Wendy Holmes, lifelong friend of my wife, and fabulous artist/photographer. The next five songs are all from a 2006 composition entitled Syzygy which is a song-cycle on poetry written by my wife, Nancy Knowles. The treatment of each song varies to create a constantly changing texture throughout the 23 minutes of the work.

1. Song without words quintet
2. Advice trio
3. Watershed at Brewbakers duo
4. Architecture quintet
5. Caramelo quartet
6. Remembered wellness quintet
7. Orbs in syzygy quintet

The quintets use the full resources of the ensemble and are the most lavishly adorned with polyphonic lines, textural octaves, enhancements to the guitar accompaniments, etc. Advice, the only trio, is virtually identical to the original piece for guitar with soprano and baritone voices. [There is also an arrangement for piano and oboe and bassoon.] Next we have a duet between violin and guitar, a jazzy number with strumming of chords and an elaborated vocal/violin line with two-part polyphony at times and melodic flourishes at others. The rest are full ensemble except the cello is tacet in #5, in which the strings are muted in this peaceful setting.

Original words follow:

I. Song without words Nancy Knowles
Secretly shining
prism within my heart
Sings forth your light,
star all alone, apart,
all alone so soon.

Warming my soul
from afar
I hear your call
echo in the womb
of my song,
song without words
you’re gone too long.

Now you’re the sun,
I’m your moon
your reflection
secretly shining
I’m your song
without words.

II. Advice Wendy Holmes
On these cold nights of the equinox

warmth ’til it washes over you
and radiates from within.

that you are a perfect child of god,
not in charge of the plot.

looking everywhere for lightness. Don’t fret,
for this corrects nothing.

Relish the black night
as it fills with the rippling song
of the woodcock, returned to dazzle his mate.

Learn from him as he spirals upward,
folds his wings at the peak, and plummets
in a fountain of melody to the dark field below.

Stand near where he lands,
then wanders curiously in circles,

And suddenly takes off again with a burst of wings,
whistling as he ascends,
only to tumble down once more in birdsong.

your open mind. Rise each day into fresh courage.
Embrace the early turn to spring.

the thaw in the soil; like the killdeer and the robin,
spend the morning listening for worms.

Let meaning take care of itself.

III. Watershed at Brewbakers Nancy Knowles
All of me leads
to half of you

We meet, mourn
the silent passing
leavetaking of child
who was, is you

Tears blind our eyes
how brief

Wonder in our souls
how sweet

we await
our dreams.

IV. Architecture Nancy Knowles
A burst, yea
burst me not, Sampson
astride of thunder.

If the walls of your vessel
burst with rising boiling waters,
shards and torrents
gushing forth intermingled,
your body parts and all of our dreams
hurled on the rocks below,

If then the vessel itself
needs hence to be repaired,
If someday, old man,
you become weary of gluing little pieces
back together, or cry over lost ones
crushed in haste by your foot,

You might then ponder
then a new design-—
a vessel of porous clay
that daily sweats its labors,

Or an open bowl, round lip
calling to the heavens,
welcoming divine cooling breezes

Or if that rising heat contained
keeps you alive,
gives fuel to your passions,
you might then just fashion

a little spout.

V. Caramelo Nancy Knowles
Face of honey
Sweet song
Dear sweetness
Precious tune
My dear, I gave it to myself.
Tawny honey song day.

VI. Remembered wellness Nancy Knowles
Indeed it happens
we even sometimes notice it

Sometimes yes we revel in it
soaring for a moment or two
just like dreams.

It’s not always stunning
(or even vaguely glamorous)
On the contrary, when we are not
stunned into forgetting
then the extraordinary
becomes so ordinary

That we remember it,
dropping into grace.

VII. Orbs in syzygy Nancy Knowles
I did it
How did I do it?
I did it

It wasn’t enlightened
It really just happened
but I did it

Didn’t tell no one
(that’s the rub)
gotta tell someone
I did it

I did it
somehow I did it
don’t matter none
why where or how:
I just did it.

I did it
somehow I did it
he said I must
she said I could
I said I can
and so
it seems
I did it.

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