…the [Book of I] soundtrack composed by Sarah Wallin Huff stands out as both a powerful album, taking its listener on an emotional journey of beauty, despair, and hope, as well as a fascinating study of the composer’s visceral and intellectual connection to the source material. Featuring the stellar work of musicians Darrell Peries, Caleb Barnes, Cathy Alonzo, Jenna Ford, Lainey Elizabeth White, Brett Bird, Jonatas Mostacato, Ayla Draper, and [Wallin] Huff herself, the album is a stunning collection of gorgeous, orchestral selections comprised mostly of string instruments that are, at times, vividly haunting but always entirely engrossing. [Wallin] Huff, who previously released her own album, Soul of the Machine, earlier this year, clearly has a passion and a gift for sharing every ounce of her mind, body, and soul with the listener, as if providing a warm invitation for the listener to share the same in response.
Sometimes the idea behind the music is just as interesting as the music itself…the music on this album “…explores the relationships between mechanical structures, organic beauty, and identity.” …Wallin Huff presents three unusual compositions that tackle some intriguing ideas and topics… Her music is quite complex and unusual and yet…very easy to absorb and appreciate. There’s a lot to take in here… Our favorite is the wonderfully moody and subtle “Gypsy Wanderer”…nothing short of breathtaking.
It is the third piece “The Oracle” that is the crème de la for me with its incredible depth and creative complexity. Dynamics take deep hold here with sudden bursts and calming moments. I really hear the room when flute and clarinet parts elevate along with the brilliant staccato keyboard hits. There are moments when time seems to fall apart and then strings back together in a wonderful interplay among the musicians.
Sarah’s music has a classy, understated sound, yet it is baroque and ornate, tipping the hat off to genius composers like Debussy, but also tipping the hat off experimental ideas and cinematic scores. Opening number “Intrepid” is a very dynamic composition with a unique color, almost echoing the work of modern composers like Yann Tiersen.
Weeping Willow, featuring “Michael Jung,” is one of our favorite tracks on this release. I love the romantic, dramatic high notes of the string section, as well as the timeless sound of the sparse piano melodies, almost flirting with shades of Tango, in the vein of Astor Piazzolla. A true masterpiece, with so many nuances. The album is also home to a suite extending over 3 tracks, “Leviathan of the Ancient Deep.” These songs also features ambient samples, as well as electronic elements and ornate percussions, making for a really diverse set of colors.
Coming up soon in these next couple of months, we’ll be recording the epic Fantasy for Oboe/English Horn Soloist and Chamber Orchestra, “Intrepid“! It will be an amazing compliment to the Leviathan E-Violin Concerto on the upcoming album! <3
To prep the upcoming strings-only session — to make the process as easy as possible on my dear friends helping to make this possible — I decided to record myself playing the 2 violin parts and viola part ahead of time. It’ll give me a lot more flexibility in mixing the tracks, and give my players a really solid footing when reading through this together.
One of the things I love about a process such as this, is getting to hear a larger piece broken up into its basic layers–getting to hear what components interact to create the overall effect–and it never ceases to amaze and thrill me! I love music that weaves in and out of itself like a sonic tapestry…
You can get a sense for the intricacy of this work by listening to the following two segments of this prep-recording. Enjoy! 🙂
Want to contribute to this recording? There are several ways you can help:
If you’ve enjoyed these so far, why not help a neighbor out and share them with those you think might like them, too? And, of course, if you can’t wait to find out what happens next to our characters, pick up the ebooks or paperbacks here!
Way back in 1994, I started writing a sci-fi series that would become, “The Kesher Chronicles.” About 20 years later I finally released book 1 and (a year after that) book 2 to the public.
I’m super proud of all this “Kesher-verse” has become and what it’s evolving into; there will be audiobooks on the horizon, but until then, I want to give those of you who love audiobooks something to chew on while we wait. 🙂
So, I hope you enjoy these installments of live reading from The Kesher Chronicles – complete with a bit of background music, sound effects, and accompanying pictures!!
If you can’t wait to find out what happens next to our characters, pick up the ebooks or paperbacks here!
Backstage members got to hear the newly mixed opening from our recent “DodecaFunky” recording session! Join the Backstage Team to support local music and indie artists, and get all the behind-the-scenes news and perks — Be the first to get my new recordings and lots of other great rewards!
Satellites that study the Earth are passing through space continuously, collecting data on everything from hurricanes to the effects of drought. What if you could make contact with these orbiting spacecraft, and bring them “down to Earth?” Visitors can do exactly that [at] NASA’s Orbit Pavilion… [Orbit is] an innovative “soundscape” experience representing the movement of the International Space Station and 19 Earth Science satellites. Inside the large, shell-shaped sculpture, distinctive sounds are emitted as each satellite passes overhead…
I have always loved the sounds of space, ever since I first heard the “interstellar music” of the complete Voyager sound recordings in the ’90s. So, when I experienced the Orbit exhibit first-hand, I can’t tell you the total joy and enthrallment I felt encountering it… I tried to capture just a taste of what I was experiencing with this short video you can view below… I hope you enjoy it! ^_^
Only a few days ago, an amp I’ve been drooling over for a long time finally arrived! And I just had to share all the fun I’m having with it ?
All the effects that you hear in the video below are built-in. I’m sure they can also be combined, I just haven’t gotten the chance to play more with that yet… This amp also has the option of being battery powered, for those busking outings. And, speaking of busking, I was surprised to find how light and easy to carry it is!
I can control the output to save on power depending on the situation:
Output power is adjustable in three levels—Max (50 W), Normal (25 W), and Eco (10 W)—letting you optimize battery life for different performing situations.
One of the reasons I fell in love with this amp was the full power it offered (50 W)!! As an electric violinist, I’ve often found that I need a lot of wattage to be heard over orchestras and bands.
It has 4 independent channels, and there’s an 1/8 inch jack in which I can plug my iPhone to play with backing tracks or directly record into apps like (one of my currently favorite on-the-go recording apps) Spire.
Above all, I love how warm and natural the sound is as well as all the EQ control I have (as you can imagine, balancing the sound of 6 strings can be tricky). Enjoy taking a listen to my fooling around with the just-out-of-the-box Cube Street EX!
Composed for Ryan M. Luévano and the Neue World Orchestra Project, the 2002 string quartet “Greek Dance” has found new life as a driving work for string orchestra!!! I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to revisit this old little gem of a work! 🙂
Enjoy the digital demo below, and check out NWOP’s first concert on March 10 to hear the debut performance!
This week’s tune is a bit of a “blast from the past.” Back in 1998, one of the earliest “commissions” I did was a short string trio (violin, viola, and cello) for a colleague’s students. Back in those days, I composed everything I did by hand, with only staff paper and pencil. This little trio was called, “The Dove,” and it had been performed by a couple student groups over the years.
Later, in 2001, I wrote out (also by hand) a darling little piano tune I called, “The Old Music Box.” I was so in love with it that I’d play it any chance that I got to be near a piano — these were definitely the years of my Yanni and George Winston phase. XD
As time went on, I decided to couple the two works together, utilizing all of the instruments involved to reinforce and add color to the whole thing. Thus, “Falada” was born!
Together, this work for piano and string trio evokes the mood of a storyteller weaving ancient tales that remind the listener of humankind’s shared history.
This charming melody can be played by anyone with intermediate ability. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our featured work next week…