Rustling Flights of Wings


Innova 019


01        Out of Season  2:05

02        The Nymph  1:08                                           

03        The Owl People  4:25                                    

04        Angels  3:13                                                               

05        Time  1:34

06        A Game  1:50

07        Our Lives Grow  4:09

08        Who Would Not Gladly  1:06

09        Finally  3:31



10        Der Nachbar (R.M. Rilke)  4:05

11        Chanson d’Automne (Verlaine)  3:24

12        Casida del llanto (Lorca)  3:46

13        Kreisler (Sandburg)  2:52

14        Haiku (C.F. Cilliers)  1:26



15        At Melville’s Tomb  3:43                                          

16        Interior  2:32                                                  

17        Exile  3:32                                                                  

18        A Name for All  2:47                                                 



19        The Rose of the World  2:42

20        The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water  1:34

21        He Hears the Cry of the Sedge  3:47

22        Two Songs of a Fool (I)  1:26

23        Two Songs of a Fool (II)  3:40

24        The Cat and the Moon  3:22





Nancy Allen Lundy, soprano; Stephen Gosling piano; Ralph Farris, violin

© Stanley Grill.  All Rights Reserved. 2018.

innova® Recordings is the label of the

American Composers Forum.





Raised in the Bronx, Stan has been obsessed with music since the age of six, when his mother took him to Carnegie Hall and he was astonished and awestruck by a performance of “La Mer.” While that obsession first took the form of playing piano at every possible moment (when not otherwise engaged in activities typical of a kid growing up in the Bronx of the 1950’s and ‘60s), it was Stan’s music theory studies at the Manhattan School of Music that converted that obsession to writing music – and to finding his own musical voice.

            He learned the craft from extraordinary musicians: among others - Robert Helps, Leon Kushner, Ursula Mamlok and Joseph Prostakoff.  Stan’s passion for medieval and Renaissance music has greatly influenced his writing - a contemporary expression of ageless techniques based on melody, modal harmonies, and contrapuntal, extended, interweaving lines. Two main themes permeate many of his works - music composed in an attempt to translate something about the nature of the physical world, and music composed to inspire and promote world peace.

            Stan’s music has been performed the world over – from Ecuador to Poland; Toulouse to Tokyo; Brooklyn to Vienna – by such artists as Camerata Philadelphia,  Camerata Arkos, Englewinds, the Pandolfis Consort, the Bronx Arts Ensemble, One World Symphony, violists Brett Deubner and Ralph Farris, and violinist Jorge Avila.



            While always inspired by great poetry to compose songs, Stan is also a prolific composer of chamber music. Several of his string quartets are also available from Innova Recordings in a brilliant recording by the Diderot String Quartet.

            “As I see it, as much as we strive to find reason and purpose in our having been born into this amazing, mysterious and awe-inspiring universe, that attempt is largely futile. It is however, the best part of our nature that obliges us to make the attempt, though the most we can hope for is to gain some small degree of understanding of the world around us, and, more importantly, of ourselves. To achieve this, we each approach the problem in our own way, uniquely shaped by our cultural background, innate talents and abilities, education and so on. For some, science may be the window through which they best perceive and interpret the world, for others, religion. For those to whom the world seems to express itself most clearly and beautifully through sound, music is the voice that speaks to us and through which we, in turn, most effectively express ourselves. The best of my music has arrived, rather inexplicably, as part of a personal effort to understand the world and myself. It is, in a way, an act of translation. The world says something, I try to understand it, and then translate it into musical language. The particular musical language which I speak, is, of course, a product of my conservatory training and personal musical tastes, but hopefully, the outcome, imperfect a translation as it may be, will convey to others something of its original intent.” 

— Stan Grill




Nancy Allen Lundy has earned critical acclaim for her unique vocal beauty, skillful musicianship and theatrical prowess in a variety of classical and contemporary styles. Engagements with opera companies and festivals include English National Opera, Netherlands Opera, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Hawaii Opera Theater, Minnesota Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Portland Opera, Spoleto, USA, Teatro Municipal de Santiago (Chile), Bregenzer Festspiele (Austria), Festival Euro Mediterraneo (Rome), and Suntory Hall (Tokyo). Her operatic repertoire encompasses more than thirty roles, of which she has earned particular acclaim for her portrayals of Curley’s Wife in Of Mice and Men, Gilda in Rigoletto, Musetta in La Bohème, Ann Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Cunegonde in Candide. 

            Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun began writing for Ms. Lundy following her success in his Peony Pavilion, directed by Peter Sellars at London’s Barbican Center with subsequent performances in Rome and Paris. With her skills in mind, Tan Dun scored the role of Juliet in his Orchestral Theater IV: The Gate, which she premiered with the NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo). She has sung The Gate and Orchestral Theater III: Red Forecast with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, London’s BBC Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, as well with orchestras in Lyon, Paris, Shanghai, Lisbon, Sapporo (Pacific Music Festival), and New York (Brooklyn Academy of Music). 2002 saw the world premiere in Tokyo of Tan Dun’s Tea for which Ms. Lundy created the role of Lan under the direction of Pierre Audi, a production which was later reprised in Amsterdam. She has sung Tea in Stockholm and in a concert version at Teatro Carlo Felice (Genova), Lawrence Renes conducting. Other contemporary opera roles she has interpreted include Claire in the American premiere of Peter Bengtson’s The Maids, Caroline Gaines in Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner, Pat Nixon in Nixon in China, Singer #1 in Conrad Sousa’s Transformations, and Water in Tan Dun’s Marco Polo.


Stephen Gosling enjoys a varied career as soloist and chamber musician with a particular focus on the music of our time. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees at The Juilliard School, where he was awarded the Mennin Prize and Sony Elevated Standards Fellowship, and appeared as concerto soloist on an unprecedented four occasions. He is a member of the New York New Music Ensemble, Talea Ensemble Orchestra of the League of Composers, as well as pianist with the New York City Ballet, and has appeared as guest artist with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Orpheus, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, eighth blackbird, American Composers Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra of Europe, among many others. He frequently performs in the Lincoln Center, Mostly Mozart, and June in Buffalo festivals. Mr. Gosling has collaborated with composers including Pierre Boulez, Elliott Carter, Brian Ferneyhough, Oliver Knussen, Steve Reich, Poul Ruders, Charles Wuorinen, and John Zorn, with whom he has performed worldwide over the past several years and released several recent recordings (including the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-nominated Hexentarot); and John Psathas, whose music he has recorded on two award-winning albums and whose concerto Three Psalms he premiered with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.


Ralph Farris is a Juilliard-trained conductor, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and record producer. He is a tireless collaborator, whether working as an individual, or as a founding member and Artistic Director of ETHEL, the genre-bending string quartet described by The New York Times as “indefatigable and eclectic,” and by The New Yorker as “vital and brilliant”. That spirit has led to work with a who’s-who of rock stars, filmmakers, choreographers, educators, stage directors and poets.


Ralph has taken part in major collaborations with ETHEL, Robert Mirabal, Molissa Fenley and Frank Cassara, Annie-B Parson, Vijay Iyer, Stewart Copeland, Martin Scorsese (on the short The Key to Reserva), and Kurt Elling (on the GRAMMY®-winning album Dedicated to You: the Music of Coltrane and Hartman); toured extensively with Roger Daltrey (as Music Director and lead fiddle), Todd Rundgren, Joe Jackson, Ensemble Modern, Bang On A Can, Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, and Kaki King; performed in concert with Seiji Ozawa, John Williams, Leonard Bernstein, David Byrne, Thomas Dolby, Tom Verlaine, Jill Sobule, Andrew Bird, Fernando Otero, Jake Shimabukuro, JP Jofre, Pete Townsend, Alice Cooper, Sinead O’Connor, Lou Reed, and Trey Anastasio; conducted The Lion King and Annie on Broadway; composed for film (Noelle Brower’s short Everything Is Ordinary; Anika Burt’s short Begin Again; Susan Todd’s short The Mother Is the One Who Stretches (with ETHEL); Danièle Wilmouth’s feature Eleanore And The Timekeeper (with ETHEL); Jehane Noujaim’s industrial Pangea Day), for dance (Monkeyhouse), and for the stage (Aquila Theatre’s productions of A Female Philoctetes and The Tempest, Jarrett & Raja, Lawler & Fadoul, the Jerome Foundation, BRIC Arts Media, Arts Brookfield, OZ Nashville, BAM, and the NEA); arranged music for Five For Fighting (the GRAMMY®-nominated hit “Superman (It’s Not Easy)”), Dishwalla, Chantal Kreviazuk, Room 11, Pound, Dayna Kurtz, Lord Graham Russell (of Air Supply), and the University of Michigan; recorded with Paul Simon, Depeche Mode, Ivy, Fountains of Wayne, Regina Carter, Clay Aiken, Rod Stewart, Natalie Merchant, Better than Ezra, and Harry Connick, Jr.; and produced records for ETHEL and the Hevreh Ensemble.


Currently, Ralph is composing a full-length musical, a ballet based on Snow White for Pineapple Dance, performing in his new all-viola quartet Firewood with Gallim Dance in their production of Stone Skipping, touring as part of ETHEL’s production of CIRCUS – Wandering City, which premiered at The Ringling Museum of Art, and producing a series of contemporary classical recordings for composer Stanley Grill.






We live in a world governed by incidental collisions – and such incidents are greatly multiplied by the technology of the internet. How else would a poet living in South Africa and a composer sitting in his attic writing music in New Jersey ever have crossed paths and begun to share our work? Having accepted a “friend” request on Facebook from Charl, without having any idea of who he was, or where he was from, I began to read – and love – the poems he occasionally posted. Amongst all of the ignorable nonsense that people post, these stood out as gems – demanded my attention – and some seemed to cry out for music. Having set one poem, then another, from Facebook, I reached out to Charl directly to ask for more – and he sent me volumes. This collection is a beginning, as I’m sure Charl will keep on writing words – and I will continue to write notes.





The first song in this cycle, Der Nachbar, was composed for Ursula Fiedler, soprano and violinist. At the time, I had intended to set other songs for soprano and violin, but years went by without my getting around to it. Recently, finding several other wonderful poems which employ the violin as a central image, it seemed that combining these poems, each written in a different language, in a single group accompanied by the violin, conveyed something important about the nature of music as a universal language that can bond people together, despite our many differences.




Not daring to begin setting his masterpiece, The Bridge, to music, I settled instead on four lovely poems with startling imagery.




Of all poets in the English language, I always found W.B. Yeats to be the most musical. English, after all, is not a beautiful singing language – but somehow, he was able to make it so.  These 6 songs, taken from poems spanning his output, are some of my favorites.







Out of Season


sunlight out of season

in an empty crystal vase

has burst into flower


colours of the rainbow

that a short shift of time

will soundlessly erase


The Nymph


Clothed in grey

the garden nymph

stood all day

on a concrete plinth.


Dull and drab

as ashen granite

she stood, stone slab,

silent, inanimate.


Till that one

day I saw her wear,

in the dazzling sun

as she stood there,

a crimson butterfly in her grey hair.


The Owl People


They who are hidden, from afar

can hear

what no one else hears.


For longings larger than grief

theirs are wings softer than fur

sight boundless as belief.


They sit in the sunlight of stars

till a sound’s shape appears.


Then, in the spark of an eye,

seize the shape, take it apart


only to find grief’s tiny cries lie

in the tree-hollow dark of the heart.




Colder and fainter are they

than the extinguished light

of comets that burn

in the cold space of night.


No warmth pulses

in their hearts like a star.

Their shape is dust.

And yet they are.


They sometimes hover, haloed

in light from afar,

as if seeking the warmth

of something familiar


something so intimate

we almost feel

the magic of a world

that thought has made unreal.





in the hollow

of your hand  



in the depth 

of your eye


death in each 

breath taken


and time

ticks by


A Game


Down by a once and bitter sea

joy was a game we used to play.

Once was a bitter and bright day

for you and for me.


Our castles against the slow waves

stood – crumbled and were caves

again. In our laughter then we knew,

I think, that joy would always be

a game we played beside the sea.


Our Lives Grow


Our lives grow golden in our leaves,

and leaving we are moulded into earth

and air, though no one grieves

our true going for what its worth.


Grief only stays for loss beyond release.

And going, we cannot show ourselves

again to others loved, except where we’ve ceased

to live, framed on desks or shelves.


We are in their tears, blurred ghosts

speaking into dreams where they still live,

eager, ineffectual hosts

whispering love to souls to which they cannot give

a body’s substance. So as we are

we shine on, exploded, like a star.


Who Would Not Gladly


Who would not

gladly cast off

like a chrysalis

this obtect body

hard and stiff

with the formality

of customary years

if they could know

there was

in them all

ready rustling flights of wings.




Our first loves are fairytales.

Before we can speak words

needing to be said, before us lie worlds so frail

with wonder – magical, urgent and absurd –

that a single loss shatters them to tears:

but words we learn for love and loss

grow closer with encroaching years

as familiarity obscures the gloss

until with the futility of one last breath

love and loss are finally one in death.



Der Nachbar (Rilke)


Fremde Geige, gehst du mir nach?

In wieviel fernen Städten schon sprach

deine einsame Nacht zu meiner?

Spielen dich hunderte? Spielt dich einer?


Gibt es in allen grossen Städten

solche, die sich ohne dich

schon in den Flüssen verloren hätten?

Und warum trifft es immer mich?


Warum bin ich immer der Nachbar derer,

die dich bange zwingen zu singen

und zu sagen: Das Leben ist schwerer

als die Schwere von allen Dingen.


The Neighbor


Strange violin, are you following me?

Already, in how many distant cities

has your lonely night spoken to mine?

Are hundreds playing you? Only one?


Are there such men in all great cities,

who without you would already

have lost themselves in the rivers?

And why does it always hit me?


Why am I always the neighbor

of those who anxiously force you

to sing and to say: Life is harder

than the heaviness of all things.


Chanson d’Automne (Verlaine)


Les sanglots longs

Des violons

De l’automne

Blessent mon cœur

D’une langueur


Tout suffocant

Et blême, quand

Sonne l’heure,

Je me souviens

Des jours anciens

Et je pleure;

Et je m’en vais

Au vent mauvais

Qui m’emporte

Deçà, delà,

Pareil à la

Feuille morte. 


Autumn Song


The long tears

Of Autumn’s


Wound my heart

With a monotonous


All suffocating

And pale when

The hour strikes,

I remember

The old days

And I cry…

And I am going away

On an ill wind

That carries me

Here, there,

Just like a

Dead leaf.


Casida del llanto (Lorca)


He cerrado mi balcón

porque no quiero oír el llanto

pero por detrás de los grises muros

no se oye otra cosa que el llanto.


Hay muy pocos ángeles que canten,

hay muy pocos perros que ladren,

mil violines caben en la palma de mi mano.


Pero el llanto es un perro inmenso,

el llanto es un ángel inmenso,

el llanto es un violín inmenso,

las lágrimas amordazan al viento,

no se oye otra cosa que el llanto.       


Casida of the Weeping


I’ve closed my balcony

for I don’t want to hear the weeping,

yet out beyond the grey walls

nothing is heard but weeping.


There are very few angels singing,

there are very few dogs barking,

a thousand violins fit in the palm of my hand.


But the weeping’s a dog, immense,

the weeping’s an angel, immense,

the weeping’s a violin, immense

the tears have silenced the wind,

and nothing is heard but weeping.


Kreisler (Sandburg)


Sell me a violin, mister, of old mysterious wood.

Sell me a fiddle that has kissed dark nights

on the forehead where men kiss sisters they love.

Sell me dried wood that has ached with passion clutching

the knees and arms of a storm.

Sell me horsehair and rosin that has sucked at the breasts

of the morning sun for milk.

Sell me something crushed in the hearts blood of pain

readier than ever for one more song.


Haiku (C.F. Cilliers)


In die herfs

Huil viooltjies

In die wind     




At Melville’s Tomb


Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledge

The dice of drowned men’s bones he saw bequeath

An embassy.  Their numbers as he watched,

Beat on the dusty shore and were obscured.


And wrecks passed without sound of bells,

The calyx of death’s bounty giving back

A scattered chapter, livid hieroglyph,

The portent wound in corridors of shells.


Then in the circuit calm of one vast coil,

Its lashings charmed and malice reconciled,

Frosted eyes there were that lifted altars;

And silent answers crept across the stars.


Compass, quadrant and sextant contrive

No farther tides . . . High in the azure steeps

Monody shall not wake the mariner.

This fabulous shadow only the sea keeps.




It sheds a shy solemnity,

This lamp in our poor room.

O grey and gold amenity, --

Silence and gentle gloom!


Wide from the world, a stolen hour

We claim, and none may know

How love blooms like a tardy flower

Here in the day’s after-glow.


And even should the world break in

With jealous threat and guile,

The world, at last, must bow and win

Our pity and a smile.




My hands have not touched pleasure since your hands, --

No, -- nor my lips freed laughter since ‘farewell’,

And with the day, distance again expands

Voiceless between us, as an uncoiled shell.


Yet, love endures, though starving and alone.

A dove’s wings clung about my heart each night

With surging gentleness, and the blue stone

Set in the tryst-ring has but worn more bright.


A Name for All


Moonmoth and grasshopper that flee our page

And still wing on, untarnished of the name

We pinion to your bodies to assuage

Our envy of your freedom—we must maim


Because we are usurpers, and chagrined—

And take the wing and scar it in the hand.

Names we have, even, to clap on the wind;

But we must die, as you, to understand.


I dreamed that all men dropped their names, and sang

As only they can praise, who build their days

With fin and hoof, with wing and sweetened fang

Struck free and holy in one Name always.





The Rose of the World


Who dreamed that beauty passes like a dream?

For these red lips, with all their mournful pride,

Mournful that no new wonder may betide,

Troy passed away in one high funeral gleam,

And Usna’s children died.

We and the labouring world are passing by:

Amid men’s souls, that waver and give place

Like the pale waters in their wintry race,

Under the passing stars, foam of the sky,

Lives on this lonely face.

Bow down, archangels, in your dim abode:

Before you were, or any hearts to beat,

Weary and kind one lingered by His seat;

He made the world to be a grassy road

Before her wandering feet.



The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water


I heard the old, old men say,

‘Everything alters,

And one by one we drop away.’

They had hands like claws, and their knees

Were twisted like the old thorn-trees

By the waters.

I heard the old, old men say,

‘All that’s beautiful drifts away

Like the waters.’



He Hears the Cry of the Sedge


I wander by the edge

Of this desolate lake

Where wind cries in the sedge:


Until the axle break

That keeps the stars in their round,

And hands hurl in the deep

The banners of East and West,

And the girdle of light is unhound,

Your breast will not lie by the breast

Of your beloved in sleep.



Two Songs of a Fool




A speckled cat and a tame hare

Eat at my hearthstone

And sleep there;

And both look up to me alone

For learning and defence

As I look up to Providence.


I start out of my sleep to think

Some day I may forget

Their food and drink;

Or, the house door left unshut,

The hare may run till it’s found

The horn’s sweet note and the tooth of the hound.


I bear a burden that might well try

Men that do all by rule,

And what can I

That am a wandering-witted fool

But pray to God that He ease

My great responsibilities?




I slept on my three-legged stool by the fire,

The speckled cat slept on my knee;

We never thought to enquire

Where the brown hare might be,

And whether the door were shut.

Who knows how she drank the wind

Stretched up on two legs from the mat,

Before she had settled her mind

To drum with her heel and to leap?

Had I but awakened from sleep

And called her name, she had heard,

It may be, and not have stirred,

That now, it may be, has found

The horn’s sweet note and the tooth of the hound.


The Cat and the Moon


The cat went here and there

And the moon spun round like a top,

And the nearest kin of the moon,

The creeping cat, looked up.

Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,

For, wander and wail as he would,

The pure cold light in the sky

Troubled his animal blood.

Minnaloushe runs in the grass

Lifting his delicate feet.

Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?

When two close kindred meet.

What better than call a dance?

Maybe the moon may learn,

Tired of that courtly fashion,

A new dance turn.

Minnaloushe creeps through the grass

From moonlit place to place,

The sacred moon overhead

Has taken a new phase.

Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils

Will pass from change to change,

And that from round to crescent,

From crescent to round they range?

Minnaloushe creeps through the grass

Alone, important and wise,

And lifts to the changing moon

His changing eyes.




Produced by Ralph Farris

Recorded by Ryan Streber at Octaven audiO, Mount Vernon, NY.

Edited and mixed by Ryan Streber and Charles Mueller

Additional editing by Corin Lee

Mastered by Randy Crafton, Kaleidoscope Sound, Union City, NJ.


Stan Grill’s Publishing: SG Music Publications

ASCAP: #572328152


Poems by C.F. Cilliers are by permission of the author.  

Poems by R.M. Rilke, W.B. Yeats, Hart Crane, Carl Sandburg, Verlaine and Lorca are in the public domain.


Photo Credits:

Lundy: Masataka Suemitsu

Gosling: Michael Benabib

Farris: Peter Gannushkin


Stan Grill gratefully acknowledges those who helped make this recording possible:

Ralph Farris, Nancy Allen Lundy, Stephen Gosling, Philip Blackburn, Chris Campbell, Renee Alberts, Christine LeBeau, and everyone I know of loving and kind spirit who kindles my faith in music.


On the Web:


Innova is supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation

Philip Blackburn, director, design

Chris Campbell, operations director

Tim Igel, publicist




To a Child (W.B. Yeats) soprano & string quartet, 1987

Crazy Jane Sings (W.B. Yeats) soprano, strings, piano, flute, 1999

Two Sad Songs (W.B. Yeats) soprano, string orchestra, 2002

Thinking of You (John MacKenzie) soprano, cello, harp, 2005

Love’s Little Pleasures (various) soprano, string orchestra, 2008

5 Rilke Songs (R.M. Rilke) soprano, viola d’amore, cello, 2009

Mystical Songs (Fernando Rielo) soprano, viola, string orchestra, 2009

Song of Loss and Remembrance (R.M. Rilke) soprano, viola d’amore, viola, cello, 2012

Sonnets to Orpheus (R.M. Rilke) tenor, piano, 2012

Rozmowa z kamieniem (Szymborska) soprano, 2 violins, cello, 2013

La selva de los relojes (Garcia Lorca) mezzo, cello, piano, 2018