…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.
Based on a set of traditional Scottish tunes, this 5.5 minute long work is a sweeping journey of melody, color, and heart. Beginning somberly with a single violin, it soon opens up and begins driving forward. Each consecutive tune increases in tempo and ferocity until the set ends in a passionate, victorious rendition of the title tune, “Bonnie Prince Charlie.” Though the melodies reflect the ageless tunes on which they’re based, the chords and harmony parts are all original, bringing the classic fiddle sound into a fresh, modern light.
This work took a long time to put together, in the sense that I grew up “fiddling around” on each of these traditional tunes, and others. So I guess this medley is sort of a microcosm of my joyful foray into traditional Celtic music throughout my youth. I eventually had an opportunity to use the ending arrangement of “Bonnie Prince Charlie” with another song that I was playing with a band. And from there, it just evolved into this awesomely fun work!
There are currently two versions of the sheet music available:
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, enjoy this brand new, all-original, Irish fiddle set for solo violin, with optional parts for band, harp or piano, and string orchestra. I wrote it last year specifically for my dear friend and fellow fiddler, Lainey Elizabeth White.
At first, I felt a little lost on how to go about writing this work, since I already have so many old Celtic tunes floating around my brain, and I wanted this one to be special. 🙂 Somehow, as I got going, it unfolded, and I knew I had to add more to accompany it and give it support!
For your convenience and artistic variety, the original Celtic tune “Gleann Na Aes Sídhe (Glen of the Faeries)” is now available for solo fiddle and piano! Get the duo sheet music here, and enjoy the demo video below!
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…. 😀
Among my side-passions in the regular Journey of Life is the reading of Tarot Cards and their placement in the ancient Tree of Life. I like to take a more psychological approach and use them as a sort of “mirror for the subconscious.” I take joy in the shared symbolism we all have with the characters and stories that are found in a typical deck.
I used a total of 50 tarot cards to construct the framework for this quintet. Because there is both an element of chance (in that the process of my drawing the cards and their placement in the 5 separate tarot spreads I used, is all random) and an element of “foreordained knowledge” (or pre-compositional structure), the resulting textures of this work are rich with meaning indeed.
Essentially, each suit of the Minor Arcana (Fire, Water, Air, and Earth) was assigned to one of the melodic instruments (respectively: violin, cello, flute, clarinet), and all of the Major Arcana was assigned to the piano. Each number of the Minor Arcana was assigned an interval which, in combination with its card’s proper meaning, formed the basis on which that instrument’s featured melody was built.
For the Major Arcana, I mapped out the piano’s full range in accordance with the branches of the Tree of Life. When a Major Arcana card was drawn, that card’s typical placement on the Tree guided me to which register the piano’s line would be placed. And, as with the Minors, a card’s traditional interpretation was a key factor in the styling and mood of each part for the piano.
“The Oracle” has thus emerged as a multi-faceted, deeply layered, story-driven reflection of the human condition.
It is definitely one of my most favorite compositions to date! I really can’t wait to have it performed by real professionals someday! 🙂
Finally, I was also able to complete the proper and official version of my 2012 song, “Kandy (Your Smile, Your Eyes).” Here’s a cool little secret: I’ve decided I want to include this song in my coming fairytale rock opera… 😉 In just a week or so, I plan on recording the vocals and releasing it as its own single. So keep on the look out for that! 😀
My little performance-collective, Memories & The Gray, was asked back to perform at AMPLYFi in L.A., and you can be sure we’ll be performing both “Bonnie Prince Charlie” and “Candy” that night — you won’t want to miss it! (Plus, we’ll be passing out some gifts at the show, so be sure to get your ticket today!) 😀