…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.
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.
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.
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.
A special thanks to Pierce for this following helpful link, and for his very kind words! 🙂
…since I have been working on creating some new music resources for K-12 students, your page was a great source of information.
As a thank you, I thought I would pass along this additional resource I have been using as well in case you were looking to add more to your page. I have been using material from this page, http://www.guidetoonlineschools.com/library/music-resources. It has a ton of great music resources that you and your users may find helpful!
I especially enjoyed the link that led me to Beethoven-Haus-Bonn – an all-Beethoven digital site. Everything from a digital Archive of the Great Master’s music, sketches, pictures, instruments, written documents, and more! Plus, I think I’ve just spent at least the last two hours on the “Hello, Beethoven!” for kids link! The wealth of information, and the fun way it’s presented, is absolutely engaging for young and young at heart!
I recently received a lovely email from a student in Canterbury, UK:
I’m conducting some research on Penderecki and his use of “emotive” titles for some of his works, taking Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima as a key example…I’m particularly interested to know exactly when Penderecki changed the title of this work and why, so any further pointers would be really helpful…
I learned some interesting factoids in my bit o’ research for my response, and I thought it prudent to add it as a side note to my original Threnody… outline. Here’s what I found out (and how I responded):
I have one more essay (of which I am VERY proud) – an in-depth study on Leonard Bernstein’s Second Symphony Age of Anxiety – and several more outlines on various works by Bernstein and Aaron Copland. Look for those to come soon! In the meantime, I hope that these additions will be of some use to others in their ongoing search for knowledge…
Imagine having entire collections of history’s greatest music right on your computer, instead of taking up valuable space in your home or studio! Imagine being able to print out unlimited copies (formatted for Adobe Reader) for you, your colleagues, and your students! And imagine being able to find exactly what you’re looking for, easily and without headache!
The biggest news in my life currently is that, after a recent audition, I am now an official member of the Orange County Symphony! I am sincerely looking forward to growing under the current music director, and working with the orchestra on the fantastic selection of music they have planned for the coming year. Stay tuned for details on concerts as they come up!
In other (smaller) news, I have just signed on with a new database for composers and performers called MusMap.com. It is easy-to-use, a great tool for searching out musicians for your events and other needs, and a great place for networking with fellow professionals. View my composer’s profile and find all sorts of info about me, including some of my works with program notes and sound samples. Or view my performer’s profile, and find all sorts of info about me :), including upcoming performance events and sound samples. If you are a professional (or aspiring to be such) composer or performer, consider contacting MusMap.com for an invite to join!
And, finally, if you notice at the very top of my right-hand sidebar, I have added a “My Upcoming Events” section, where I will be updating a list of upcoming events and concerts. Clicking on the link of the name of the event will open a page with more info on that specific event; be sure to check back often!
Did the concerto genre and the expectations associated with it—especially that of virtuosic writing for the solo instrument—affect your customary compositional process in any ways that you can single out?
I think it did affect it a lot. I was very slow to come to the concerto form. In fact, even after finishing this work, I’m not entirely sure I’m comfortable with the form itself.
First off, I am excited to announce that Music Program Notes, a community-shared database for performance program notes, has moved and become simply Program Notes, “to accommodate program notes for both music and stage productions”. The new look is really fabulous – clean, easy to navigate, and available to a much wider contributing-audience!
I fully endorse this idea; what better way to enlighten listening audiences, and to aid students of music and other stage productions? So, don’t hesitate – check it out, spread the word, and contribute what you can!
Check out my recent article about my brand new work, My Tribute!