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#NewTuneThursday: The Oracle

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

Today’s tune for flute/piccolo, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano is “An Experiment in Aleatorism & Formula” from 2016.

Using 50 tarot cards to create the framework, there is both an element of chance (in that the process of drawing the cards and their placement in the 5 separate tarot spreads, is all random) and an element of “foreordained knowledge” (or pre-compositional structure).

“The Oracle” has thus emerged as a multi-faceted, deeply layered, story-driven reflection of the human condition.

I totally dig the intersection of free-will or chance and structural formula at which Art’s uniqueness can emerge… 😉

You can read more about my inner processes at this post.

Enjoy a recording below, as well as a demo “music video” after that. 🙂

Purchase this recording at http://cbttf.com/albums/parokeths-veil

“The Oracle” can be performed by an advanced ensemble. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…

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#NewTuneThursday: Aradia, La Bella Pellegrina

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

Today’s tune was composed in 2017 for my friend, violinist Payman Eliahoo, and his son, who (at the time) was a beginning clarinet student. As I was putting it together I built the entire work off of the opening feel of the piano part and simply let it unfold from there. It pretty much wrote itself once I had the opening bars down. 🙂 Upon listening back to the work in completion, I dug around a little and came across the Italian story of Aradia, daughter of the moon goddess Diana and Queen of the Old Religion. I was so struck by the charming nature of this feminine messiah figure that I felt like the legend and this new work fit together perfectly.

The original request was for a piece for clarinet and violin, something that Payman could play with his son. But I felt like a flute would actually go really nicely with the clarinet part. So the original instrumentation is for Flute (opt. Violin) and Clarinet, with Piano. Of course, though, as opportunities came to play this sweet little work, for ease of programming, I created a string version of the work, too — for Violin, Viola (or opt. Second Violin), with Piano.

It’s a really charming work for students of late beginner to intermediate ability! Get the sheet music for the original woodwind/string version here, and the all-string version here. And enjoy the recording below…

(This recording is currently only available via CBTTF Records.)

Purchase this recording at http://cbttf.com/albums/parokeths-veil
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#NewTuneThursday: Cradle Song (of Mary’s Beloved)

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

Today’s tune kicks off the Christmasy-slash-Holidays edition of these four Thursdays in December.

Sadly I have yet to hear this lovely little song for SATB and solo instrument performed with real musicians; I can only give you a tase of its beauty with the midi demo below… But, hopefully, one day, a choir will be willing to bring “Cradle Song” to life….

“Cradle Song (of Mary’s Beloved)” is a 3-minute-long work for SATB choir with either brass or woodwind instrumental solo (the solo part is available for either the original Bb Trumpet or C Flute, Bb Clarinet, or F Horn).

The text, adapted from the 1901 poem of the same name by Patrick K. O’Horan, is a sweet lullaby sung by Mary, mother of Jesus, to her “beloved little One” of the “Holy, Immortal, Ineffable Name.”

The minute I stumbled on this sweet poem in 2015, I knew I had to set it to music!

As you listen to the demo, try keeping the lyrics in mind:

Sleep, O my little one, quietly sleep,
Angels shall guard thee slumbering deep.
White wings about thee
Enfolding that flame,
Holy, Immortal
Ineffable Name.

Sleep, O my little one, quietly sleep,
Heaven’s high hosts around thee shall creep.
All love and glory,
Beauty and grace —
With kiss of a mother–
rest on thy face.

Sleep, my beloved, my little one sleep;
No crying be heard: O stir not nor weep.
A bright Star is shining
Above thy dear head,
And to this poor shelter
The great Kings are led.

Sleep then, my Kingly one, gently and still.
See how thine angels watch on each hill.
Here is thy mother
Close, dearest heart:
I shall be with thee
When shepherds depart.

Sleep, O my little Lord, darling one, sleep.

“Cradle Song (of Mary’s Beloved)” can be performed by a choir with advanced ability. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our work of “Holiday Frivolity” next week…

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You’re Invited… The Official Album Release of “Paroketh’s Veil”!

Join us for Sarah Wallin-Huff’s new album release, live music, great wine, and lots of fun!

This special album will feature an amazing Surround Sound playback for both BluRay and DVD discs, and Stereo for digital download capability. For this special event, we’re featuring a reduced cost for our premium format from our regular retail cost, and you can have your new album autographed by the Artist, herself!

We’ll be featuring several musicians from the CBTTF label, starting at 6pm, continuing until the music dies! Many performances to enjoy with your wine.

Come and join us for a fantastic Saturday night of tunes and be part of the landmark first album release by CBTTF Records!

Visit the Event Page for more info.

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Photos and Demos: New Album in the Works!

On Feb. 11, I had the great joy of working with my talented friends, Anne Sherrill (cello), Wan-Chin Chang (piano), Virginia Figueiredo (clarinet), Tina Huynh (flute/piccolo), and James Rael (CBTTF Records) recording my complicated and epic quintet, “The Oracle“!

Enjoy some photos from the session below!…

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Additionally, I have two more pieces to share, works that will also be included on this new album, expected to come out this Summer…

Aradia, La Bell Pellegrina, for Flute (or Violin), Easy Clarinet, and Piano, is a brand new piece I wrote for a friend and his son (who is studying clarinet performance). A mysterious and haunting duo, it’s based on the Italian legend of Aradia, daughter of the moon goddess Diana and Queen of the Old Religion.

https://soundcloud.com/sarah-wallin-huff/aradia-la-bella-pellegrina-for-flute-clarinet-piano

Falada, for Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano. Falada (which is Portuguese for “Spoken”) is a compilation-piece derived from two of my earliest works: The Dove (1998) and The Old Music Box (2001). Together, this work for piano and string trio (violin, viola, and cello) evokes the mood of a storyteller weaving ancient tales that remind the listener of humankind’s shared history.

https://soundcloud.com/sarah-wallin-huff/falada-demo-for-violin-viola-cello-piano

 

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“The Oracle” Demo Music Video

Presenting a music video for my 2016 work for flute/piccolo, Bb clarinet, violin, cello, and piano.

Using 50 tarot cards to create the framework, there is both an element of chance (in that the process of drawing the cards and their placement in the 5 separate tarot spreads, is all random) and an element of “foreordained knowledge” (or pre-compositional structure). “The Oracle” has thus emerged as a multi-faceted, deeply layered, story-driven reflection of the human condition.
This video comprises the mythical elements and characters found in the tarot cards that make up this piece. What story do you see unfolding?

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Lots of New Stuff Going On…

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, but I wanted to take a moment to share all the excitement with you! ^_^

Firstly, if you recall my last post detailing my processes of writing “The Oracle,” I’m very proud to announce that I did finish (and by the deadline).

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! 🙂

For now, you can enjoy the digital demo below.

https://soundcloud.com/sarah-wallin-huff/the-oracle-official-demo

Another demo recording I’ve finally finished was that for “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” a set of traditional Scottish tunes I wrote for two fiddles and band in 2011.

https://soundcloud.com/sarah-wallin-huff/bonnie-prince-charlie-official-demo

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!) 😀

Come see us at AMPLYFi in Sunday July 10, 6:30pm!

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“The Oracle” – An Experiment in Aleatorism & Formula

I’m in the middle of composing a real neat piece right now for a July 1 deadline… I’m calling it “The Oracle,” and it’s for flute/piccolo, Bb clarinet, violin, cello, and piano.

matrixoracleWhat I’ve done is set up a complex set of “rules” that guide my writing based on the random drawing of tarot cards… But it’s turned out to be both an aleatoric and a highly flexible process that leaves me with a lot of artistic possibilities, though I’m being guided in the overall structure by the cards I draw and their placement in the spread I’ve chosen.

As you might imagine, knowing me, I’m having a ton of fun with this. There’s something thrilling about the mixture of using both a pre-compositional process that prevents me from fully anticipating the outcome of a work combined with that process allowing for a vast amount of contextual freedom!

Enjoy a sample of the work at the end of this post…

Continue reading “The Oracle” – An Experiment in Aleatorism & Formula