Twilight Lifts the Veil (an unaccompanied cycle for All Hallow’s Eve)


An unaccompanied song cycle for All Hallow's Eve. (2018)



10 min.


Solo Voice


Sara Teasdale : Dusk in Autumn
Florence Ripley Mastin : Night Fell
Lizette Woolworth Reese : All Hallows Eve


Dusk in Autumn
Night Fell
All Hallows Eve

Program Notes

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-nos 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.

Singers’ Notes:

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.

Additional information

Select a Key

High (B3 – A5 or 8vb), Medium (A3 – G5 or 8vb), Baritone (G2 – F4)

Ross Crean

Ross Crean jokingly says he “writes strange music that he likes to listen to when he is by himself, eating raw cookie dough in a dark closet,” but in truth, his music has been referred to as being “funny…and virtuosic” (Classic Concert Nova Scotia), having “exceptionally different, outstanding quality” (Download), and music that “stirs you deep, undertones of humanity” (Access Contemporary Music). Composing and creating music with a focus on the evocative and lyrical, he began his professional career as a Bass Baritone, specializing in avant-garde and Contemporary Classical music, many of which were his own compositions. While pursuing his Masters at Illinois State University in Composition, he has studied with Stephen Taylor, David Feurzeig, and Nancy Van de Vate.

As an undergraduate in Vocal Performance at Saint Xavier University, he has trained in several vocal styles, including rock, opera, sean-nós (traditional Gaelic singing), and Indian and Middle Eastern vocal ornamentation. Crean’s emotionally-violent monodramas Missa Dementia, The Mysteries of Uncle Archibald, and Xenophysius Obscura (The Stranger’s Nature in Darkness) brought the composer/ performer much critical acclaim throughout Europe. His comedic song cycle The Passive-Aggressive’s Guide to Mother Goose, completed in 2016, has already been performed in London, Philadelphia, Toronto, Halifax, Sacramento, Austin, and Chicago. His two most recent operas, The Great God Pan and Lost Daughters, have both been premiered in 2017.

A prolific collaborator, Crean has received commissions from and worked with numerous artists, including internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Heidi Skok (formerly with the Metropolitan Opera), The Mozart Ensemble at Oberlin College, Opera on Tap (Chicago and New York), and Loyola University Museum of Art. His musical work has also been featured on Skope TV, Much Music, Fuse TV, and Comcast OnDemand. A multi-genre artist, he founded his own record label, Knight & Thorne Music, and continues to perform worldwide as a solo artist. Ross is also signed as a composer on the PARMA Recordings/ Navona Records label, and released the recording of The Great God Pan in August 2017. He is currently Resident Composer and Creative Director for Nebula Creatives, a multimedia firm based in Chicago.

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