…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.
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.
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.
Hey guess what? My string quartet, “Anima Mechanicae,” is going to have 3 performances by the Axiom Quartet, in October and in November!!! I’m so grateful and flattered that they thought it would be a great fit for their concerts! I’ll share details as I learn them; go support them if you can! 😀
Check out this beautiful preview video for my new album – to be released August 12 – “Soul of the Machine,” shared by Parma Recordings! Featuring clips from Courage Triptych’s Image 1: A Garden Prayer, Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine, and Adoré.
I’ve also had the opportunity to chat with the producer for this recording, Mason Daring (who wrote and recorded the score for the movie, “Music of the Heart,” among other things); I really enjoyed getting to know him and look forward to working with him on the 28th!
And our engineer for the session will be the highly knowledgable and experienced Tom Stephenson.
Second, I have been asked to compose a full album to go with, and in response to… a novel…! I’m really thrilled about this project! Psychiatrist Jorge Armenteros of Florida has written a creative novel entitled, The Book of I, about a French artist struggling with fragmented personality scenarios–with lots of symbolism and intrigue, from what I hear… I’ll be diving into Jorge’s manuscript very soon, and I’ve already got ideas floating around my brain for new compositions related to this project…
And third… I got a pleasant surprise in my inbox the other day, when Simon Belshaw wrote me and said that he plans on including my string quartet “Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine” in a modern music concert in the UK that he is in the process of curating. I’m not sure of any of the details at this point, but I am entirely thrilled and flattered that my little work aims to be performed there soon!
Greetings! I thought everyone might be interested in a single post where demos of the five compositions that will be included on my upcoming PARMA album could be found… so that you can take a listen to just a small sample of the awesome-ness that we are producing and that YOU are a vital part of!
In no particular order, the new works to fill this exciting album are:
Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine for string quartet, performed by the New England String Quartet (this sample track is a clip from the recording of the NESQ)[audio https://sarahwallinhuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/01-anima-mechanicae_-soul-of-the-machine_proclip.mp3]
Adoré for string orchestra, performed by the Moravian Philharmonic (this sample track performed by the Aineo Christian Orchestra) [audio https://sarahwallinhuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/14_adorc3a9_clip.mp3]
Gypsy Wanderer sonata for violin and piano (sample midi demos below)
Courage Triptych for violin duo, piano, soprano saxophone, and string orchestra, performed by the Moravian Philharmonic (sample midi demos below)
I. A Garden Prayer:
II. Broken Innocence
As a professional composer, there is nothing like having the opportunity to hear your work performed by top musicians from around the world. To have that performance then recorded by the finest engineers on the finest equipment, and then edited to perfection and presented on a beautiful recording with full artwork, backed by active promotion in-stores, online, and on radio, with all licensing/publishing, with reviews and full exposure to the Classical community… That is a dream-come-true for any composer. This is exactly what PARMA Recordings in New Hampshire offers to composers they have chosen to work with. I have been deeply honored to have them choose my string quartet “Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine” to be placed on their compilation album “ALLUSIONS,” which was recently released September 2013. Now we are in the process of creating an entire hour-long album of my works exclusively! This collaboration I am cultivating with PARMA is a major driving force in my creative life — it gives me a reason to continue writing and honing my craft, because I know there is an audience waiting to hear my work as it was meant to be heard.
This Selected Works of Sarah Wallin Huff album (official title TBD) will include the following original works of my repertoire: “Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine” for string quartet (performed by the New England String Quartet); “Adoré” for string orchestra (performed by the Moravian Philharmonic); “Counterpoint Invariable” for violin trio (to be recorded this December/January in Boston); “Gypsy Wanderer” for violin and piano (to be recorded this December/January in Boston); and “Courage Triptych” for violin duo, piano, soprano saxophone, and string orchestra (to be recorded this November in the Czech Republic by the Moravian Philharmonic).
PARMA will take care good care of my works and present them in the best light possible for $28,000. This minimum amount is the amount they’ve asked from me, to secure 11 hours of recording time with these top musicians and all of the process of development and release for the album. If we overfund this project, I will be able to fly myself (and possibly my husband) out to Boston for the December/January sessions of “Gypsy Wanderer” and “Counterpoint Invariable.”
I come to you all now, in the hope that you would see the value of this opportunity, not only for me but for Modern Classical Music as a whole, and join with me to support PARMA in making this opportunity a reality.
This final campaign is my appeal to those of you who are fans of my work and would support me in this endeavor to release these five works with PARMA. We’ve received close to $700 already, which has gone directly toward funding the most recent recording of “Adoré.”
Now, with the three largest and most complex of my works to be recorded over these next four months or so, I humbly ask you to visit my USA Projects page to consider making a donation toward this cause. It was an honor for me to be chosen as an approved artist on USA Projects!
Your contribution is Tax Deductible through USA Projects, and you can choose from a refined list of exclusive perks. There is a deadline — If we do not reach the minimum $28,000 goal by Sat. November 23, funding will be revoked and you will not be charged. And I’ll be in the hole for that money.
The same landmark study that brought the financial plight of America’s artists to light also confirmed this shocking statistic: Although 96% of Americans value ART in their communities and lives, only 27% value ARTISTS. So the need is clear — in order to close the gap between the love of art and the ambivalence toward those who create it, artists need champions. Artists need advocates. Artists need you. Artists need USA. —United States Artists
Learn more about how special USA Projects is for the professional artist community (compared to other crowdfunding sites) and how they are working to close the gap between Artist and Audience!
Will you support Modern Music and your “friendly neighborhood composer” today?