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.
…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.
Guess what? As of last night, there are now two versions of my popular “Christmas Wayfarer” available for performance this upcoming holiday season!
The original, first composed last Christmastime, is for symphony orchestra.
But now there is an official concert band version, too!
Believe me, I know that although it’s not even September yet, musicians and organizers have to start planning now for their holiday music events… I hope you might consider making “Christmas Wayfarer” a part of your festivities!
Presenting a music video for my 2016 work for flute/piccolo, Bb clarinet, violin, cello, and piano.
Using 50 tarot cards to create the framework, there is both an element of chance (in that the process of drawing the cards and their placement in the 5 separate tarot spreads, is all random) and an element of “foreordained knowledge” (or pre-compositional structure). “The Oracle” has thus emerged as a multi-faceted, deeply layered, story-driven reflection of the human condition.
This video comprises the mythical elements and characters found in the tarot cards that make up this piece. What story do you see unfolding?
I’m in the middle of composing a real neat piece right now for a July 1 deadline… I’m calling it “The Oracle,” and it’s for flute/piccolo, Bb clarinet, violin, cello, and piano.
What I’ve done is set up a complex set of “rules” that guide my writing based on the random drawing of tarot cards… But it’s turned out to be both an aleatoric and a highly flexible process that leaves me with a lot of artistic possibilities, though I’m being guided in the overall structure by the cards I draw and their placement in the spread I’ve chosen.
As you might imagine, knowing me, I’m having a ton of fun with this. There’s something thrilling about the mixture of using both a pre-compositional process that prevents me from fully anticipating the outcome of a work combined with that process allowing for a vast amount of contextual freedom!
Enjoy a sample of the work at the end of this post…
Next, the Diamond Ranch High School strings debuted a wonderful medley of John Lennon tunes that I had such a blast composing for them! <3
Finally, I just HAVE to share this little clip from the Santa Clarita Phil’s performance of Haydn’s “Farewell Symphony” (if you don’t know the history behind why Haydn wrote this ending the way he did, you should check it out at the link; Haydn was such a clever guy!)… which closed our program… Super fun group, I’m tellin’ ya! XD
It’s been a huge opportunity of personal growth for me to keep up with this humble saga of mine for so long, battling my own demons, so to speak… And now, with this exciting release, I am finally prepared to go all the way with the rest of the saga! I aim to release The Kesher Chronicles #2, Questions of Love by mid-August 2016…
By the way, included in this release of Kesher #1 is a sneak peak of Kesher #2: the whole opening chapter from Questions of Love!
By visiting The Kesher Chronicles home page, you can purchase your copy directly from me (via Gumroad), download a free sample, and find links to purchase it on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and B&N.
I’ve compiled a new album for you all! Introducing… Memories & The Gray: The Electronic Collection
It’s a re-compilation of all my electronically sequenced works, PLUS two brand new works I’d written for a couple previous video opportunities. I wanted to be able to share them, even though their originally anticipated use fell through… 🙂
Besides being available directly at my Store, this album is streaming now at Spotify and will be up on iTunes shortly… Enjoy!
Presenting… Cradle Song (of Mary’s Beloved)for SATB Choir and Bb Trumpet.
I just finished writing this for a new Christmas Carol Contest deadline! 🙂
I’ve adapted the lyrics from the 1901 poem of the same name by Patrick K. O’Horan. Per the rules of the contest, this work is for SATB choir, 3 minutes long, and adds a part for solo Bb trumpet (I’m planning on rewriting this part for optional, different solo instruments as well: like solo horn, solo trombone, solo euphonium….)
Sleep, O my little one, quietly sleep,
Angels shall guard thee slumbering deep.
White wings about thee
Enfolding that flame,
Sleep, my beloved, my little one sleep;
No crying be heard: O stir not nor weep.
A bright Star is shining
Above thy dear head,
And to this poor shelter
The great Kings are led.
Sleep then, my Kingly one, gently and still.
See how thine angels watch on each hill.
Here is thy mother
Close, dearest heart:
I shall be with thee
When shepherds depart.
Sleep, O my little Lord, darling one, sleep.
I really love how it turned out! And, now I finally have an official choir piece in my oeuvre. 🙂
Maybe it’ll be chosen for live performance! Regardless, I’ll eventually have at least a demo version with live voices for you to enjoy. But, for now, enjoy this little digital demo…
It’s officially available now! Go check out my new EP, “SONATA MODERNA“!
This EP features all new Classical music, as well as the return of a recent favorite, composed and performed by Sarah Wallin Huff. SONATA MODERNA is a sonic journey of movement — of nostalgia and anticipation.
The title track, “Sonata Moderna,” is based on an ancient piece from the 17th century (“Sonata sopra la Monica” by Biagio Marini). Featuring two violins and cello with rock rhythm and chords, the past is united with the present in this driving work. Featuring: Sarah Wallin Huff (violins), Anne Sherrill (cello), Paul Hoover (electric guitar), Emily Gibb (electric bass), and Dave Gruchacz (drum set).
“Sweet Camila” returns (re-recorded) from its debut in the soundtrack album, “Music for The Book of I.” Based on Camila, a feature character in Jorge Armenteros’ novel, “The Book of I,” this work for string quartet looks back at good times with nostalgia while encouraging our main character to move forward with hope. Featuring: Brett Bird and Lainey White (violins), Sarah Wallin Huff (viola), and Anne Sherrill (cello).
“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. Featuring: Sarah Wallin Huff (acoustic and electric violins) and Anne Sherrill (cello).
As a bonus, the newest composition from Wallin Huff, “Intrepid: A Fantasy for Oboe/English Horn Soloist and Chamber Ensemble,” has been included in this release. “Intrepid” is a dramatic expression of Life’s Journey, of migration and personal metamorphosis. Featuring: Allison McKay (solo Oboe/English Horn), Asuncion Ojeda and Tiffany Gibb (flutes/piccolo), Russell Vittrup (clarinet), Clayton Slusser (bassoon), Jeff Boultinghouse (horns), Daniel Chandler and Phil Alimoren (trombones), Lyle Michaud (piano), Sarah Wallin Huff (percussion), and the strings — Violins: Mel Bolosan, Josh LeMaster, Corinne Olsen, Abby Olson, Lainey White (concertmaster), Tim Yao; Viola: Sean Lyons; Cello: Emily Rader; Bass: John Hester. Conducted by Sarah Wallin Huff.
All tracks recorded, produced, and mastered by Tyler Bailey at The Master’s College, Santa Clarita (CA), except for “Sweet Camila,” which was recorded, produced, and mastered by Mauricio Gasca at Scott Frankfurt Studio, Los Angeles (CA).
And many thanks to those who graciously gave their amazing talents to make this happen: Tyler J Bailey, Mauricio Gasca Music, Scott Frankfurt Studio, TMC Music, Anne Tribble Sherrill, Brett Bird, Lainey Elizabeth White, Emily Gibb, Paul Hoover, Dave Gruchacz, Allison McKay, Asuncion Ojeda, Tiffany Gibb, Russell Vittrup, Clayton Slusser, Jeff Boultinghouse, Daniel Chandler, Philip Alimoren, Lyle Michaud, Mel Bolosan, Joshua LeMaster, Corinne Olsen, Abby Olson, Tim Yao, Sean Lyons, Emily Rader, John Hester.
Oh! And THANK YOU to José Marques for the way-excellent album artwork!
It’ll show up on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc.. in just a few more days…
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”! 😀