for mezzo-soprano and guitar

Composition Date: 2017
Duration: 00:20:35
Genre: Solo Voice, With Solo Instrument, , Plectral String(s)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Guitar
  • 1 x Mezzo Soprano
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Programme Note:
After-Thoughts is Gwendolyn MacEwen’s final set of poems. The poems summarize her life, depicting the Toronto of her youth, her working class neighbours, and the simple joy of seeing the late afternoon light at Sherbourne and Bloor. There are seventeen poems in the cycle and the final one ends with a letter from a cosmic city, signed “ Regards, Gwendolyn.”

I have chosen five of the poems and have re-sequenced the texts to suit changes of mood and tempo. The opening work is a theosophical meditation and is followed by a song filled with dreamlike yearning. The centerpiece depicts a quirky, local character whose imagined life is filled with surprises. 1958 is a snarky reflection of high school life in the 1950’s, and the final song ruminates on the wonders of every day life.

For three of the poems the titles are such an integral part of the of the text that I have the singer deliver it in a defined, spoken rhythm. The second piece has numerous iterations of the title within the text. For the final song, the title occurs in the penultimate line making for a suitable ending.

This song cycle was developed with mezzo-soprano Ali Garrison, whose patience, joy and determination helped me finish shaping the work. The cycle was premiered at the Canadian Music Centre September 27, 2014 and subsequently performed at Gallery 345 on May 29, 2015.

Premiere Information:
27 September 2014, Canadian Music Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Ali Garrison, mezzo-soprano; William Beauvais, guitar


  • Call Number:
  • MV 1102 B385aft
  • Genre:
  • Solo Voice, With Solo Instrument, , Plectral String(s)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • January 24, 2017
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • Score
    19 Pages
    Height: 30 cm
    Width: 23 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • I. Sunday Morning Sermon -- II. You Know Me -- III. The Man with Three Violins -- IV. 1958 -- V. Sunlight at Sherbourne and Bloor
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After-Thoughts for mezzo-soprano and guitar: Score
(downloadable PDF)
After-Thoughts for mezzo-soprano and guitar by William Beauvais (Score)
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After-Thoughts for mezzo-soprano and guitar
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Copies of this work are available for loan from: Toronto, Calgary