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The Cover Wars Begin Tomorrow!

The novel that begins my original, dystopian saga — “Pursuit of Truth” (Kesher Chronicles #1) — has been approved for entry in the Cover Wars at Author Shout starting tomorrow (3 April)! Voting will begin at 8 AM EST.

What are the Cover Wars?

“…show your support by voting on your favorite [book]. At the end of the week (Sunday at 8 AM EST) voting will end. The cover with the most votes becomes our book of the week in which we will promote for one week on our site, shout outs, and our newsletter.

– Vote for your favorite, but only vote once a day ( You must wait a full 24 hours to vote again or the vote will not count and no cheating)
Share cover wars with everyone so they can come and show their support
– If you really like any of the books, then show further support by clicking on the links and purchasing them

So, starting tomorrow at 5am pacific time, visit the Cover Wars site, select my book cover, “Pursuit of Truth,” to show your support… come back and do that once every 24 hours until the following Sunday morning 😉 … and encourage everyone you know to visit and vote, too!

Thank you for helping my Little Labor of Love get the chance for exposure it deserves. 🙂

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My New BAM Case

Flora has a happy new bed, as of today! I’m so excited and very, very pleased with my new BAM case! She’s as snug as a bug in a rug, and infinitely safer. 🙂

It’s the 5001SR model. I purchased it at a fabulous discount from one of my favorite online places to get strings and accessories, GoStrings.com. Tee hee, early Christmas present… ;-p

 

maxresdefaultI feel like Kaori Miyazono, with her stickered pink case, haha!

(And if you haven’t seen “Your Lie in April,” I HIGHLY recommend it! It’s a gorgeous look into the lives of several young Classical performers, what they go through and why… Just fantastic!)

 

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Music TBT: “In the Forest”

It’s time for my Music TBT, where I randomly choose a work from my repertoire and reminisce about its beginnings!

Today’s TBT Selection is…

In the Forest (Amazing Grace)

(Purchase the sheet music and official recording)

This original work by Sarah Wallin Huff creatively weaves the beloved Amazing Grace melody in and out of a second original tune titled “In the Forest,” evoking a meditative and melancholy sense of wandering and reflection, as if hidden from the outside world.

This composition for string quartet was composed in 2011 at the request of Danielle Rosaria Cummins and the organization Alternate Avenues. The piece existed originally as only an unfinished sketch for solo piano, started some years prior. When Wallin Huff was requested to compose a quick-and-dirty string quartet arrangement of the traditional tune Amazing Grace for a formal fundraising banquet being held in two days, Wallin Huff was inspired to take her old sketch of “In the Forest” and turn it into this present string quartet that was instantly well-received and continues to be sought after in performance.

Not much else I can say about this lovely tune. I’m just super-duper happy I could use that old piano sketch and turn it into this beautiful string quartet! I never get tired of listening to it or playing it… See if you can hear the “Amazing Grace” theme sneaking its way into the latter part of the “In the Forest” half, in the viola part!

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Music TBT: “Personal Echo”

It’s time for my Music TBT, where I randomly choose a work from my repertoire and reminisce about its beginnings!

Today’s TBT Selection is…

Personal Echo

(Purchase the sheet music and official recording)

 

With the instrument’s sound run through a timed digital delay effect, the soloist is able to create a “canon with herself.” Combining a haunting folk-style melody with virtuosic effects, this work is a flourish of stirring harmony and dogged rhythmic control.

I have a lot of fond memories with this piece. This little gem was written way back in 2003, during my first year at Cal Poly Pomona, after transferring from a life of scattered community colleges and performance touring.

The music department was starting up the MIDI Ensemble that year. The company they had ordered all their equipment from had thrown in a free Fender electric violin as part of the bulk purchase, and one of the teachers asked me if I’d like to play it with the group. How could I turn that down?! And so my relationship with the electric violin (and increasing its strings/range) began that year.

For our first concert, the instructor wanted each of us to show off what our instruments could do alone, to showcase the capabilities we had with the electronics. Because mine was the only non-MIDI instrument, I decided to show off what I could do in conjunction with digital delay. And, honestly, I didn’t want to just improvise something out of the blue on stage, so I took time to organize my thoughts and composed this work. I debuted it at that first MIDI Ensemble concert, and “Personal Echo” has been performed numerous times ever since, by both myself and others! Every time, it is a favorite of the listeners and performers – I love how it tends to entrance those in attendance, every time…

I even added a cool vibraphone part once to accompany this piece for the String Theory Quartet album release, “abstract,” which you can check out here on Spotify. And, of course, the original version can be heard here on Spotify, too, or purchased at various retailers found on my Discography page. 🙂

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What I’ve Been Up To: Part 1

These past several weeks have been insanely active for me, with one project after another, after another… So all good stuff, honest! And, good memories, too… These next few posts I’ll be making will share some of these awesome experiences I’ve been able to have lately…

First up… The COACHELLA Gig. ✌🏻

Yes, via a contact from college, I got the great opportunity to work with EDM DJ Deorro and his team in preparing a special appearance during his two performances at Coachella this year.

It all started with the idea of adding live string players to the performance during two songs; the only hitch

At rehearsal, haunting drummer Travis Barker in the shot. http://t.co/4fQ0gdslM9
At rehearsal, haunting drummer Travis Barker in the shot. http://t.co/4fQ0gdslM9

was that – since it’s all about the #PandaFunk – the musicians needed to be wearing panda heads. Which means, actual live playing on-stage becomes very much impossible (just trust me on that).

So what I was able to do, was compose an all-original string trio (2 violins and a viola) part to accompany Deorro’s two songs, “Feeling Pretty Good” and “Tell Me Lies.” I then had a BLAST visiting the Long Beach recording studio of “sound ninja” Remo Portman – Independent Puppy Recording – where I recorded and overdubbed myself playing all three trio parts to the original mixes. It was SO much fun, and a very successful day!

That taken care of, I enlisted the aid of four of my wonderful college students to don their tuxedos and Panda Heads, and go on-stage to bring the recorded tracks to life for the audience! I am so proud of them; they totally rocked the house! 🙂

Enjoy a few of these shots I’ve grabbed here and there of our Panda Guys; I’m sure there must be more floating around the internet… Try to catch ’em all! 😂

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What’s your Fav Geeky Music? Tell Me What to Play!

UPDATE (as of 3/16/2015): This event has been moved to a date to be determined in May… Keep your eye out for news on that!

_______________________________________

I’ve been asked to perform at the awesome and fun, upcoming Geek Girls’ Night Out at Brave New World Comics!

Naturally, I have a list of some of my own favorite geeky themes I’ve performed in events past – themes from tv, film, video games, anime, etc. – but I want to know…

What are YOUR favorite geeky themes that you want me to include on my live performance-list for this event??

If I play your request, I’ll personally dedicate it to you by name! 😀

I’m looking forward to getting your requests and refreshing my performance playlist with awesome new music!

Violinist is all clear...
Violinist is all clear…
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“Teaston – I Think I Am”: The Video for The Book of I

Artist Liselott Johnsson has combined her striking visuals and the track from my original OST – “I Know What Death Sounds Like” – with excerpts from Jorge Armenteros‘ writing to create a stunning and haunting artistic response to The Book of I.

Enjoy this beautiful video below, and be sure to check out the entire project: the novel that started it all, with Liselott’s accompanying original artwork, and my full album of music!

(Note: This video contains original, high modern art; some of the visuals may be more suited to mature audiences. Some discretion is advised.)

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New E-Press Kit Available

I’ve finally gotten around to updating and polishing off my official Works List and Resume, so I thought it’d be smart to create a full-on, official electronic press kit for interested parties to download.

Consequently, I’ve also fully updated my Bio and Repertoire pages to reflect necessary professional additions, such as performance histories and timings for my works, and the important mention of my brief-but-cool Grammy opportunity. 🙂

My Press Kit will be kept available in my sidebar as well as on my Bio and More page.

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Helpful Notion 5 “Hacks”

PRE-notion_5_boxAs I’ve gotten to know Notion 5 better and better, I’m more and more in love with it. The interface is super clean and (mostly) highly intuitive. As with any system I’ve used, some things are clearer than others during the course of writing a composition, depending on the scope and nature of the work, and on the occasions I get stuck, if I can’t find the answer in a manual somewhere, there’s always the Internet and its forums to rummage through for answers. So I’ve never had a cause to worry in the years of my experience working with Finale, Sibelius, MuseScore, and, now, Notion. Out of all of these, though, purely based on my own preferences and work style, I by-and-far prefer the look and feel (and – oh.em.gee – the sound!) of Notion 5.

Having just completed my first large-ish orchestral composition in a long while, certainly my first of such scores on Notion, and having just finished polishing up each of the twenty individual parts for the work, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the handy work-arounds and tips I’d discovered during the course of it. My biggest excitement is the clean and elegant creation of parts for my doubling musicians (Flute II/Piccolo and Oboe II/English Horn); you can jump to the bottom of the article to view my advice on working with those specific and potentially tricky parts.

Continue reading Helpful Notion 5 “Hacks”

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“Music for The Book of I” – Now Available!

Now on CD Baby, iTunes, and very soon at other online retailers, Book of I OST coverartyou can purchase your own copy of my OST for Jorge Armenteros’ novel, The Book of I!

…the 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…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. (Barbra Dillon)