Music TBT: “Gypsy Wanderer”

It’s time for my Music TBT, where I randomly choose a work from my repertoire and reminisce about its beginnings!

Today’s TBT Selection is…

Gypsy Wanderer

(Purchase the sheet music; Purchase the official recording)

An original Sonata for Violin and Piano. Completed in April of 2013, the originating sketches for this four-movement work existed as early as 2008, and were a part of Wallin Huff’s first graduate lessons in composition, while studying under Dr. Mark Carlson. “Gypsy Wanderer” is a unique addition to Wallin Huff’s repertoire in that it is an early exploration of patterns, color, and formula. The nature of the four movements can be described in affect as follows: I. dance-like and fluid; II. surreal and sublime; III. diligent and determined; IV. passionate yet controlled. The work is riveting and soulful in its earthy and irreverent, rhythmic and harmonic wanderings.

I originally began work on this piece during my first semester of graduate studies, under the instruction of Dr. Mark Carlson. He taught me so many valuable techniques to open up my creativity! So, by the end of 2006, I had movement 2 of this sonata completed and movement 3 almost finished. For movement 1, I had several of the phrases sketched out, and movement 4 had only rough ideas of incomplete motives scrawled out on a page.

It sat that way for years as I finished my degree under another teacher. It wasn’t until I began teaching at The Master’s College in 2012 that I finally began looking again at this unfinished sonata of mine. I told myself, I have to finish this! It would be a crime not to! The problem was, I had written so many diverse other works in the meantime, of differing influences and sounds. I didn’t want this sonata to feel as though it was written 6 years apart, as if it was two different pieces entirely. So I spent a lot of time trying to understand my old sketches from my earlier frame of mind. I was able to merge these with all the newfound knowledge I had gained in the past 6 years to create something really colorful and unique.

Finally, in 2013 this four movement sonata was born! It holds a special place in my heart. I’ve had the opportunity to perform this (in completion and in parts) twice now. It is such a kick to play! It really keeps me on my toes, and every time I attempt it, it gets better and better…

I hope you enjoy this trippy, irreverent, angular, and passionate work, “Gypsy Wanderer”! 😀

My New BAM Case

Flora has a happy new bed, as of today! I’m so excited and very, very pleased with my new BAM case! She’s as snug as a bug in a rug, and infinitely safer. :)

It’s the 5001SR model. I purchased it at a fabulous discount from one of my favorite online places to get strings and accessories, GoStrings.com. Tee hee, early Christmas present… ;-p

 

maxresdefaultI feel like Kaori Miyazono, with her stickered pink case, haha!

(And if you haven’t seen “Your Lie in April,” I HIGHLY recommend it! It’s a gorgeous look into the lives of several young Classical performers, what they go through and why… Just fantastic!)

Music TBT: “In the Forest”

It’s time for my Music TBT, where I randomly choose a work from my repertoire and reminisce about its beginnings!

Today’s TBT Selection is…

In the Forest (Amazing Grace)

(Purchase the sheet music; Purchase the official recording)

This original work by Sarah Wallin Huff creatively weaves the beloved Amazing Grace melody in and out of a second original tune titled “In the Forest,” evoking a meditative and melancholy sense of wandering and reflection, as if hidden from the outside world.

This composition for string quartet was composed in 2011 at the request of Danielle Rosaria Cummins and the organization Alternate Avenues. The piece existed originally as only an unfinished sketch for solo piano, started some years prior. When Wallin Huff was requested to compose a quick-and-dirty string quartet arrangement of the traditional tune Amazing Grace for a formal fundraising banquet being held in two days, Wallin Huff was inspired to take her old sketch of “In the Forest” and turn it into this present string quartet that was instantly well-received and continues to be sought after in performance.

Not much else I can say about this lovely tune. I’m just super-duper happy I could use that old piano sketch and turn it into this beautiful string quartet! I never get tired of listening to it or playing it… See if you can hear the “Amazing Grace” theme sneaking its way into the latter part of the “In the Forest” half, in the viola part!

Me & Mrs. Lincoln

I was just checking up on one of my favorite groups of people – the musicians of Arizona’s atomic folk band, Mrs. Lincoln – and I was so delighted to find these photos from my last gig with them out in Flagstaff, AZ at the Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass and Acoustic Festival a year or two ago.

I miss playing with these guys… I’ll have to make it a point to join them again for another gig sometime! 😉

Music TBT: “Personal Echo”

It’s time for my Music TBT, where I randomly choose a work from my repertoire and reminisce about its beginnings!

Today’s TBT Selection is…

Personal Echo

(Purchase the sheet music; Purchase the official recording)

With the instrument’s sound run through a timed digital delay effect, the soloist is able to create a “canon with herself.” Combining a haunting folk-style melody with virtuosic effects, this work is a flourish of stirring harmony and dogged rhythmic control.

I have a lot of fond memories with this piece. This little gem was written way back in 2003, during my first year at Cal Poly Pomona, after transferring from a life of scattered community colleges and performance touring.

The music department was starting up the MIDI Ensemble that year. The company they had ordered all their equipment from had thrown in a free Fender electric violin as part of the bulk purchase, and one of the teachers asked me if I’d like to play it with the group. How could I turn that down?! And so my relationship with the electric violin (and increasing its strings/range) began that year.

For our first concert, the instructor wanted each of us to show off what our instruments could do alone, to showcase the capabilities we had with the electronics. Because mine was the only non-MIDI instrument, I decided to show off what I could do in conjunction with digital delay. And, honestly, I didn’t want to just improvise something out of the blue on stage, so I took time to organize my thoughts and composed this work. I debuted it at that first MIDI Ensemble concert, and “Personal Echo” has been performed numerous times ever since, by both myself and others! Every time, it is a favorite of the listeners and performers – I love how it tends to entrance those in attendance, every time…

I even added a cool vibraphone part once to accompany this piece for the String Theory Quartet album release, “abstract,” which you can check out here on Spotify. And, of course, the original version can be heard here on Spotify, too, or purchased at various retailers found on my Discography page. :)

New Sheet Music Added: INTREPID

At last, the sheet music – both the Score alone, and the Score & Parts – for “INTREPID: A Fantasy for Oboe/English Horn Soloist and Chamber Ensemble” is available!

Check out my Sheet Music Store for this and other available works for a large variety of instrumental and vocal combinations!

New EP Coming Soon…

As I’ve mentioned briefly before, I have a new EP in the works! It should be available in just another week or two.

For now, please enjoy these clips from three (out of four total) tracks that will be appearing on the new EP – SONATA MODERNA!