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.
…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.
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.
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.
If you’ve enjoyed these so far, why not help a neighbor out and share them with those you think might like them, too? And, of course, if you can’t wait to find out what happens next to our characters, pick up the ebooks or paperbacks here!
Way back in 1994, I started writing a sci-fi series that would become, “The Kesher Chronicles.” About 20 years later I finally released book 1 and (a year after that) book 2 to the public.
I’m super proud of all this “Kesher-verse” has become and what it’s evolving into; there will be audiobooks on the horizon, but until then, I want to give those of you who love audiobooks something to chew on while we wait. 🙂
So, I hope you enjoy these installments of live reading from The Kesher Chronicles – complete with a bit of background music, sound effects, and accompanying pictures!!
If you can’t wait to find out what happens next to our characters, pick up the ebooks or paperbacks here!
Today’s tune is our next track from “Music for The Book of I” — Faces in Foam, which is actually the opening track for the whole “Book of I” experience.
The woman sits at the edge of the cliff looking out to the sea…a daughter of North Africa perhaps. Her cheeks reflect olive light. She looks at me, carving her face in my memory…the step towards the rocky edge…I listen to the lines forming her face…I return to the melody still dancing in the air… Lucio…had a delicate face…sharp angles, oblong eyes, and a classic Greek nose. I saw his face before the rocks disfigured him…he has the face of the forgotten… I try to paint him… I take a Renaissance approach, depicting him in a diaphanous light, like an angel… I know those faces are…around me… They joined the sea because they had no other choice. Their faces are washed of past concerns. …If I…attempt to render them as ex-living people in my canvas, the white foam is quick to reclaim them. That is why all my canvases turn white–the frothy sea swallows them.
I knew several things when I started writing this track: I wanted to feature “the Olive Woman” with a pseudo-African or -Egyptian feel; I wanted to also feature the little, angelic, Greek boy Lucio; and tying it all together with the rest of the album, I wanted to create a Herrmann-esque wave of crashing drama that called forward to the central track, “I Know What Death Sounds Like.”
I love the “African” drive of the first part of the work. But I very much love the latter part–Lucio’s part. I tried to create an open, early Greek aesthetic with the intertwining lines of muted and plucked strings. And then, “Lucio himself” sings (in this recording it’s the wonderful voice of countertenor Caleb Barnes); it’s a haunting setting of the Alma Redemptoris Mater:
Sweet Mother of the Redeemer, the passage to the heavens,
The gate of the spirits of the dead, and the star of the sea, aid the falling.
Mother of Him who cares for the people, have pity on us sinners.
This final cry by Lucio just sums up the whole work beautifully as the “Faces” Teaston encounters get swallowed by the “Foam”… and we move forward into the rest of the story…
Today’s tune is another really special piece to me, with lots of good memories attached to it. ^_^
“Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine” is a string quartet that I wrote in 2007, during my grad school days and toward the end of my utter obsession with Minimalism, specifically after the stylings of Philip Glass. Listening to the recording of it below, I’m sure you’ll be able to hear the similarities. :p
But this work has a story element to it, that’s near and dear to my heart. The Mechanical Star of the work is actually a character that makes her first appearance in the second book of my original Kesher Chronicles series, “Questions of Faith.”
This character, SARA (an advanced “Security Analysis and Records Archive’ malleable-Paradigm”) — over the course of the second and upcoming third books — becomes very involved in the lives of the humans around her and tries to orient herself within her constantly evolving thought-processes…
You can see why I included the following quote in the score to the quartet:
Dedicated to the computers and robots of the future, who long to dream as the humans do.
The structural details behind this almost-12 minute work include:
…moments of mechanical coldness [in the opening], gradually giving way to moments of tender and emotional beauty. Wallin Huff intentionally derived and fashioned her various rhythmic and tonal patterns throughout the work from strict mathematical relationships — to showcase that a mechanically constructed framework can give way to striking beauty on its surface, much in the way a computer program of the future might evolve into its abstract dream-state.
The sections of this single-movement work include: Mechanically, Quixotically, Pensively, With impish behavior, Tenderly, and Surreal.
Consisting of all my fun soundtrack commissions from this past summer, plus two rocking, original Celtic tunes — one from several years ago, and one just fresh off the presses for a dear friend. 🙂
Explore new music created to be partnered with other art-forms! From retro-style video games to short indie films, this collection covers instrumental and electronic moods from chip tune to romance, comedy, and contemporary Celtic. This download includes mp3s as well as 5 album art extras!
That brand new Celtic tune I mentioned? The sheet music is ready for purchase!
This original picture-book and poem by Sarah Wallin-Huff features the three movements and subsections found within her 2008 concerto for 6-string electric violin, EWI, synth, and orchestra, “Leviathan of the Ancient Deep,” allowing the reader to dive into the mythology that built the musical work.
You know what else this means?… As I finish up the Leviathan recording, once and for all, I have some really exciting projects in the pipeline, ready to start taking shape in the coming months…. 😀
Now, the beautiful art-book and epic poem that completes the Leviathan Experience is available on Amazon! It’s an imaginative way to get a deeper understanding of the music’s story, and to make a solid connection between the changes in the Concerto and the scenes of the story they represent.
Twenty-three years after surviving the Scandal of 2241, Janice Parc lives out her adulthood in pleasant normalcy with her husband and three children. The family gets the chance to visit the village of Hiskitan in northernmost Artemisia. Janice knows she must face her memories with courage if her heart is to move on. So she agrees to the journey for the sake of her family and for her own growth.
Unfortunately, the depth of the Artemisians’ pain is too great to ignore. The last living relative of Agent David Rifadoft will not allow her suffering, nor that of her people, to go unanswered. By her guidance, the adventure that began with such hope will escalate into a cycle of tragedy. In the effort to rescue Janice and her family, Special Officer Steven Roberts abandons his post at the Experimental Colony on Ares. He returns to Earth, and the darker truths behind their past begin to unfold.