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.
…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.
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.
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.
I composed this odd little quartet in 2014 for the Chamber Music Institute of So Cal, at the request of its president and founder. Specifically, she wanted something she and I could play with our electric fiddles, while two others played acoustic strings. You know how I love unusual combinations! 😉
For Acoustic Violin, Acoustic Cello, Electric 5-string Violin (with octave drop pedal), and Electric 6-string Violin (with delay and chorus pedals).
“Organic Circuitry” is a unique string quartet, pitting the acoustic violin and cello against electric 5- and 6- string violins with effects. It evokes a futuristic state of being, merging ancient instruments with new technology.
I also used the opportunity to start playing around with various combinatorial processes… You know me– I like to see how weird and yet still melodic I can get! 😀
“Dance the Dream” merges an electronic ostinato with looped parts for electric and acoustic violins, accompanied by electric bass, creating a rich tapestry of dreamy color.
This little piece was meant to be a “spiritual sibling” to the 2003 electric violin work “Personal Echo,” utilizing a electronically looped ostinato as well as repeated phrases in the string parts that layered in and out of each other over the course of a basic ternary form. It’s really a very simple concept, but out of that evolves a lot of possibility!
I especially dig the chord progressions and the rich texture that blossoms out of them…
Enjoy listening to the live single of “Dance the Dream” below!
“Dance the Dream” can be performed by an early-intermediate ensemble. There are a couple different ensemble versions of this work available:
Get the original version (with parts for 6-string (or 5-string) electric violin, 4-string acoustic violin, and electric bass, as well as the mp3 Official Backing Track created to accompany this ensemble) here.
Get the all Acoustic Version (with parts for two acoustic violins, viola [or cello], and electric bass, as well as two mp3 Official Acoustic Backing Tracks created to accompany this ensemble — one of which includes a pre-recorded bass part, and the other which is the electric ostinato only, to accompany all four parts live) here.
Here’s the video of our debut performance of my electro-acoustic work, “Organic Circuitry”! Featuring Jonathan Sun on violin, Judy Kang on cello, Kay Pech on electric 5-string, and myself on electric 6-string; performed July 20, 2014 in Cerritos CA.
Composed at the request of Kay Pech for the 2014 Chamber Music Institute of Southern California, I present my latest work: Organic Circuitry!
A highly unique quartet for two acoustic instruments (violin and cello) and two electric instruments (5-string and 6-string violins, with effects pedals)!
Attached above is a rough digital demo of the work — it’s missing of course, the classy nuance of expression that only live players can give, as well as the digital shine of some of the pedal effects I’ve written into the work for the two electric violin players.
But Aisling and I will be performing this intriguing work at its debut in concert on July 20th at 3pm, at Cerritos Park East, inside the community center. Visit CMI’s website for more info on this fabulous free concert – Don’t miss the debut performance of the one and only Organic Circuitry!