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Presenting, “Nevermore”!

The first new work for 2019!

Running at just over 4 minutes, this dramatic, challenging chamber work for solo viola and piano recounts the emotions that course through Edgar Allen Poe’s classic poem, “The Raven,” with modern, neoromantic flair.

As of right now, I only have a midi demo; please take it with a grain of salt. 🙂 Soon, however, I should have at least a video of its live debut performance…

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#NewTuneThursday: “The Elusive Everyman and Her Majesty” from Music for The Book of I

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

“The Elusive Everyman and Her Majesty” represents our main character, forced to live everyday with his mental illness, unsure who is real and who is not… Though that’s not entirely true– all the characters are very real to him.

Here’s how I put the work together; it’s really my most formulaic of the whole suite, which I think suits the mental state of our character…

This track represents one part of the two-fold heart of the main character’s ultimate saga, in my musical interpretation of it. Essentially, this track is comprised of an increasing hodge-podge of melodic fragments — ripped violently from the original works in which they are first found (from “I Know What Death Sounds Like,” “Faces in Foam,” and The Everyman and Her Majesty themes at the beginning of this present track) — that swirl into an angry and frustrating mass of sound and angular textures, up until the very end, when they merge together into The Whiteness of Teaston’s mind. My next track will strive to illuminate musically the flip-side of Teaston’s disjointed thoughts, and the ways in which he attempts to come to terms with his schizophrenia….

Technique-wise, I assembled these fragments by first labeling them both alphabetically and numerically, then, taking seven of Teaston’s own chaotic fragments of thought from random places in the book (“Ever will I?”; “Can I?”; “Consumption”; “Hello Blood”; “The Cliff, Thanks”; “And the Water”; “Even My Face”), I used the letters and syllables of these phrase-lets to “spell” out and overlay the musical phrases.

How many of the phrases from these earlier tracks can you recognize, rushing and overtaking Teaston’s poor troubled mind?

I am fascinated with this work but I have yet to be happy with a performance of it… it’s just such a wickedly tricky work!

There are two versions you can listen to at this point: a live version that’s not entirely accurate but has a lot of heart, and a digital rendition that is spot on as far as accuracy goes but is missing a little bit of the humanness to it… See what you think! 😉

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Listen on Amazon Music (Live Version)
Listen on YouTube Music (Live version)

“The Elusive Everyman and Her Majesty” can be performed by an advanced ensemble. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our new work…

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#NewTuneThursday: Greek Dance

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

“Greek Dance” is one of my earliest pieces; I believe this is one of those tunes I wrote while sitting on the bus during my tour years, like “Face in the Moonlight“…

Composed in 2002, this charming and enthusiastic work for string quartet makes playful use of the various rhythmic textures able to be derived from odd-beat patterns. Though it stands, in its spontaneity and brevity, as one of Wallin Huff’s earlier works, it remains a favorite among those who have tackled its deceptively simple intricacies.

It seems so simple, yet it’s such a challenge and a blast to play!

Earlier this year, Ryan M. Luévano invited me to include a short piece for string orchestra of my own during the debut concert of the Neue World Orchestra Project, so I decided to arrange this old quartet for the group. I really love the extra layers of color and texture it provides!

Below, you can hear the original quartet recording, as well as see the video from NWOP’s performance of the string orchestra version. Enjoy!

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“Greek Dance” can be performed by groups of intermediate to advanced ability. Get the sheet music for the quartet here, and the string orchestra music here! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…

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#NewTuneThursday: The Reluctant Carnie

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

This piano miniature was composed just last year, in 2017. I originally wrote it as part of a larger set of background music for a bingo game app developer. While the rest of the album consists of electronic tunes, I just had a hankering for pulling out this little song for piano in an almost spoofed, pastiche-ed way.

I mean, just look at this opening tempo marking; it has so much attitude, full of dramatic imagery!…

By the time it was all done, it had a weird charm that I absolutely fell in love with. I just always grin when I hear it… ? Pianist extraordinaire Mike Jung has played it live, and had a super awesome compliment for it: it’s fun as hell to play! ?

Enjoy this digital representation below (hopefully I’ll get the chance to record Mike’s rendition of it someday!):

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“The Reluctant Carnie” can be performed by an advanced soloist. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…

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#NewTuneThursday: Organic Circuitry

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

I composed this odd little quartet in 2014 for the Chamber Music Institute of So Cal, at the request of its president and founder. Specifically, she wanted something she and I could play with our electric fiddles, while two others played acoustic strings. You know how I love unusual combinations! 😉

For Acoustic Violin, Acoustic Cello, Electric 5-string Violin (with octave drop pedal), and Electric 6-string Violin (with delay and chorus pedals).

“Organic Circuitry” is a unique string quartet, pitting the acoustic violin and cello against electric 5- and 6- string violins with effects. It evokes a futuristic state of being, merging ancient instruments with new technology.

I also used the opportunity to start playing around with various combinatorial processes… You know me– I like to see how weird and yet still melodic I can get! 😀

See what you think of it below!

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“Organic Circuitry” can be performed by an intermediate-to-advanced ensemble. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…

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#NewTuneThursday: Madrigal, for Orchestra

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

A madrigal, popular in the Renaissance and early Baroque, may be defined as a secular, polyphonic partsong, a through-composed work attempting to express the emotion contained within each line of a poem on which it is based. Loosely, a madrigal may be thought of as a linear journey across pallets of color and emotional soundscapes, and this is precisely what Wallin Huff’s 2014 so-titled work for orchestra aims to do.

This 8-minute work for small orchestra has so much charm for me; I really feel like it’s a journey across time as well as emotion. It has been performed live by the Santa Clarita Philharmonic, and it’s available on the album ESOTERICA.

Enjoy the recording below!

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“Madrigal, for Orchestra” can be performed by an intermediate-to-advanced ensemble. Get the score here, and the parts here! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…

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#NewTuneThursday: “I Know What Death Sounds Like” from Music for The Book of I

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

“You’re not really listening. Can you hear the angular melodic twists?”

“That’s what death sounds like, I know… It’s like a leitmotif; it keeps coming back to my mind.”

This track from Music for The Book of I was actually the first track I completed when working on this OST. So in this work for string orchestra and solo violin is where I birthed all that would comprise the themes of our main character, Teaston, and his trials.

I sought out a sense of haunting poignancy and drama in this work… angular in shape, mysterious, beautiful and grotesque, all at once… it’s truly a unique piece and one that speaks well to the main character, I think.

At one point, artist Liselott Johnsson also combined her striking visuals with this track and excerpts from Jorge Armenteros‘ writing to create a stunning artistic response to The Book of I.

Enjoy both the video and the audio track below!

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“I Know What Death Sounds Like” can be performed by an intermediate-to-advanced ensemble. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…

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#NewTuneThursday: Bonnie Prince Charlie

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

This has always been such a fun medley to play!

Based on a set of traditional Scottish tunes, this 5.5 minute long work is a sweeping journey of melody, color, and heart. Beginning somberly with a single violin, it soon opens up and begins driving forward. Each consecutive tune increases in tempo and ferocity until the set ends in a passionate, victorious rendition of the title tune, “Bonnie Prince Charlie.” Though the melodies reflect the ageless tunes on which they’re based, the chords and harmony parts are all original, bringing the classic fiddle sound into a fresh, modern light.

This work took a long time to put together, in the sense that I grew up “fiddling around” on each of these traditional tunes, and others. So I guess this medley is sort of a microcosm of my joyful foray into traditional Celtic music throughout my youth. I eventually had an opportunity to use the ending arrangement of “Bonnie Prince Charlie” with another song that I was playing with a band. And from there, it just evolved into this awesomely fun work!

There are currently two versions of the sheet music available:

In the recording below, you’ll hear the version for string trio (2 fiddles and viola). Enjoy!

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“Bonnie Prince Charlie” can be performed by an early-intermediate ensemble. Stay tuned for our new work of next week…

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#NewTuneThursday: Dance the Dream

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

“Dance the Dream” merges an electronic ostinato with looped parts for electric and acoustic violins, accompanied by electric bass, creating a rich tapestry of dreamy color.

This little piece was meant to be a “spiritual sibling” to the 2003 electric violin work “Personal Echo,” utilizing a electronically looped ostinato as well as repeated phrases in the string parts that layered in and out of each other over the course of a basic ternary form. It’s really a very simple concept, but out of that evolves a lot of possibility!

I especially dig the chord progressions and the rich texture that blossoms out of them…

Enjoy listening to the live single of “Dance the Dream” below!

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“Dance the Dream” can be performed by an early-intermediate ensemble. There are a couple different ensemble versions of this work available:

  • Get the original version (with parts for 6-string (or 5-string) electric violin, 4-string acoustic violin, and electric bass, as well as the mp3 Official Backing Track created to accompany this ensemble) here.
  • Get the all Acoustic Version (with parts for two acoustic violins, viola [or cello], and electric bass, as well as two mp3 Official Acoustic Backing Tracks created to accompany this ensemble — one of which includes a pre-recorded bass part, and the other which is the electric ostinato only, to accompany all four parts live) here.

And stay tuned for our new work of next week…