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Rehearsal Footage from “(Per)spectives”

This past spring, the Cal Poly Pomona Music and Dance Departments were gearing up to perform modern music with dance in an exiting concert together. Unfortunately Covid-19 hit, and the concert, with everything else, was cancelled. We are hoping to one day revive this effort, though.

In the meantime, the Dance Department put together a wonderful archive of what we had accomplished before the shutdowns. Below, enjoy a rehearsal video from the session when pianist Mike Jung and I were able to join the dancers, playing the first movement of my work “Gypsy Wanderer” as they rehearsed!

A little more insight about this particular project…

Choreography – Kim Gadlin (faculty)
Music Composer and Performance by – Sarah Wallin Huff (faculty)
Music – Gypsy Wanderer: Irreverently
Performers – Francisca Chaparro, Alondra De Leon, Debbie Martin, Kara Rickman, Milan Robertson

The main theme of the dance was the feeling of being tied down, and eventually breaking free from shackles. There were ideas that the dancers were going to interact with the live musicians as they played on stage. I enjoyed how we all would learn phrases of movement and then decide amongst one another to decide who we thought performed it best or portrayed the vision precisely… All who were a part of the piece ensured an open and supportive space which allowed artistry and ideas to flow.

This piece illustrated strong performers attempting to release themselves from confinement. The choreographer had visions of the performers becoming entangled in ribbons trying to break free. The piece was packed with quick footwork and intricate floor work. The music was up-tempo, but lovely. It was very well done by a violinist and pianist; we even had the pleasure of meeting them and dancing to their piece live in the studio. I had high hopes for this piece and grew to love it. A big takeaway for me about this process was, there is beauty in the process of becoming.

Hearing this piece and being able to practice to it live was a whole new experience for all of us. Right away you could see a change in how we approached this dance and it felt amazing…The piece was so close to being finished…Hopefully we’ll be able to come back to the dance in the future since it held a strong presence.

Free-writes and reflections from (Per)spectives ensemble members
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Enjoy a Sneak Peek at a Couple of WIPs

I’ve made a couple of cool demo videos for you to take a peek at these two works I’ve got on the burner right now… 🙂

First, a look at “Ayre of Grievances” for flute, violin, and viola (a digital playback demo of just the opening section):

Second, here’s a short example of a cool sampling piece I’m putting together: “Tonal Eclipse”

Enjoy, and keep an eye out for the finished works soon!

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Starship Invasions OST (1977)

Listen to the whole sound track here.

Another rare find! The AMAZING soundtrack by Gil Mellé—a soundtrack that its film does not deserve! 😹 I feel like it belongs with some epic city crime drama…

This soundtrack from 1977 by jazz composer and artist Gil Mellé is an amazing, colorful work of art. What strikes me is how this music got involved with the 1977 Canadian sci-fi film “Starship Invasions” (starring Christopher Lee!!!).

When watching the film, it was a typical B-movie experience, except for the fact that the music continually struck me as beautiful and clever and engaging–nonetheless, the music does NOT match up with any of the vibe or story of the film! It was a surreal experience!!

When listening to the music alone, I imagine some gritty, city, detective drama. And, musically, it is a joy to listen to! So, I’ve taken the available synthetically-made stereo tracks (it feels like these were taken from the original reel-to-reel, that perhaps wasn’t stored too carefully, and then manipulated on early equipment), and I ran them through my up-to-date basic mastering system, to at least try to breathe some fullness into these tracks. 

It’s still not the greatest quality. Someday, I may track down the original mono files and just build them up from scratch… I like the music enough, I may just do that someday. But for now, I hope you’ll enjoy this symphonically jazzy soundtrack masterpiece by Gil Mellé!

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Switched-On Bach (1968)

Up now on the Internet Archive are my efforts to digitize an LP of Wendy Carlos’ seminal work for the Moog synthesizer, “Switched-On Bach”!

Without this album, the Moog synthesizer likely would not have reached such popularity. By performing these well-known keyboard classics by J. S. Bach on one of the original Moogs, Carlos dramatically transformed the views of the general public toward the instrument and its musical potential.

Visit this page to listen and download these ageless tracks!

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“Legend Seekers” Awarded Silver in the GMAs

I was thrilled to discover this morning that my April 2019 album Legend Seekers won the Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the composer/composition category of the Global Music Awards!

I am so honored (and validated)!

If you haven’t already, go take a listen to Legend Seekers today! 

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Behind the Scenes: Rehearsing “The Old Beggar-Woman”

Soprano Lauren Jorgenson and I got to get some rehearsal time in this morning, working on The Old Beggar-Woman from my upcoming Bros. Grimm Song Cycle ! Not too shabby so far…

The lesson here… when you see an old woman catch on fire, for god’s sake, put out the flames! ??

Come to our Modern Musicale on April 7 to hear us perform it!