"Twilight Lifts the Veil" is a song cycle I have been asked repeatedly to compose for singers who have been looking for new music to perform during the Hallowe’en season. I have chosen three early 20th Century female poets whose words have often left me with an evanescent feeling, as if their words went through me and left a mark while floating ephemerally away. As a singer raised in the sean-nós vocal tradition, I have always felt that the naked voice is the most visceral way to reach the divine in any capacity, and I hope that this collection can draw that forward not only in the notes written and sung, but also in the spaces and silence between.
Perform at the tempi you see fit. I normally suggest anything around 90 bpm for a start, but do not see this as a piece the requires a metronome. Hold rests, stretch notes, accelerate, ritardando, and fermata as much as you would like for your own individual performance. There are no expectations but your own.
In the third song, All Hallows Night, I suggest the singer repeats the final phrase as much as they desire, with thoughts that the performance would end with the singer slowly leaving the performance space as the cycle nears completion, representing the coming and going of the departed as All Hallows Eve arrives and transitions to All Souls Day.
All in all, have fun! I certainly have.
Oíche Shamhna! Rosśa Crean 2018