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Music TBT: “Gypsy Wanderer”

It’s time for my Music TBT, where I randomly choose a work from my repertoire and reminisce about its beginnings!

Today’s TBT Selection is…

Gypsy Wanderer

(Purchase the sheet music and official recording)

An original Sonata for Violin and Piano. Completed in April of 2013, the originating sketches for this four-movement work existed as early as 2008, and were a part of Wallin Huff’s first graduate lessons in composition, while studying under Dr. Mark Carlson. “Gypsy Wanderer” is a unique addition to Wallin Huff’s repertoire in that it is an early exploration of patterns, color, and formula. The nature of the four movements can be described in affect as follows: I. dance-like and fluid; II. surreal and sublime; III. diligent and determined; IV. passionate yet controlled. The work is riveting and soulful in its earthy and irreverent, rhythmic and harmonic wanderings.

I originally began work on this piece during my first semester of graduate studies, under the instruction of Dr. Mark Carlson. He taught me so many valuable techniques to open up my creativity! So, by the end of 2006, I had movement 2 of this sonata completed and movement 3 almost finished. For movement 1, I had several of the phrases sketched out, and movement 4 had only rough ideas of incomplete motives scrawled out on a page.

It sat that way for years as I finished my degree under another teacher. It wasn’t until I began teaching at The Master’s College in 2012 that I finally began looking again at this unfinished sonata of mine. I told myself, I have to finish this! It would be a crime not to! The problem was, I had written so many diverse other works in the meantime, of differing influences and sounds. I didn’t want this sonata to feel as though it was written 6 years apart, as if it was two different pieces entirely. So I spent a lot of time trying to understand my old sketches from my earlier frame of mind. I was able to merge these with all the newfound knowledge I had gained in the past 6 years to create something really colorful and unique.

Finally, in 2013 this four movement sonata was born! It holds a special place in my heart. I’ve had the opportunity to perform this (in completion and in parts) twice now. It is such a kick to play! It really keeps me on my toes, and every time I attempt it, it gets better and better…

I hope you enjoy this trippy, irreverent, angular, and passionate work, “Gypsy Wanderer”! 😀

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Live Performance of Gypsy Wanderer

On May 1, Ken Mays (piano) and I got the opportunity to tackle the two hardest movements of my violin sonata, “Gypsy Wanderer” – Movement 1 “Irreverently” and Movement 4 “Rapide”!

It was a valiant effort, to be sure – and loads of fun! Enjoy these two videos from our performance below…

Purchase the sheet music or professional recording.

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Debut Event Next Week!!!

Don’t miss it! Enjoy LIVE performances of:

  • Anima Mechanicae – featuring: Christina Burbano-Jeffery and Lainey White (violins), Sarah Wallin Huff (viola), and Jenna Ford (cello).
  • Gypsy Wanderer, movement 3 – featuring: Sarah Wallin Huff (violin) and Lyle Michaud (piano).
  • A Garden Prayer (from “Courage Triptych”) – featuring: Sarah Wallin Huff and Christina Burbano-Jeffrey (violins), and Lyle Michaud (piano)

Get your custom tees ordered ahead of time, here.

See you at the one and only Brave New World Comics!

debut party flier

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Soul of the Machine – NOW Available!

My debut album with Navona Records – SOUL OF THE MACHINE – is now officially available!!

You can purchase it at your favorite retailers, such as:

Go get yourself a copy and spread the word! 😉


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New Preview Video for “Soul of the Machine” Album

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.

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FREE Chamber Performance this Friday!

Come enjoy an evening of chamber music for the violin and piano at the Hillcrest Bretheren Homes in La Verne, CA! Featuring Sarah Wallin Huff on violin accompanied by the beautiful and talented Ayla Draper on piano! We’ll be performing some original compositions of Sarah’s as well as long-time favorites by the Classical masters. FREE event! (Find the Facebook Event page here!)


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On the Horizon

I have a couple of exciting things on the horizon….

  • First, the FINAL RECORDING SESSION for my new album with PARMA is fast approaching! On December 28th, at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport,
    This place is freaking beautiful!!!!
    This place is freaking beautiful!!!!

    MA, my two chamber works, Counterpoint Invariable for violin trio and Gypsy Wanderer for violin and piano, will be recorded by these marvelously talented ladies:

    • On Gypsy Wanderer: sisters Maria Wozniakiewicz (violin) and Karolina Rojahn (piano).
    • On Counterpoint Invariable: Klaudia Szlachta (violin 1), Julia Okrusko (violin 2 — Julia is the featured first violinist with the New England String Quartet and recorded the definitive recording of my quartet, “Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine“!), and Maria Wozniakiewicz (violin 3).
    • 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!
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Videos from Seal Beach Duo Gig

Omg! I completely forgot to share our three videos from Mike’s and my Seal Beach gig! Included is the DEBUT of my recent work, “Gypsy Wanderer“! It’s a little rough around the edges, but not half-bad for the first official run — and Mike and I are hoping to perform this new Sonata again in January at University of Redlands!

For now, enjoy these videos from the performance!

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Works to be Featured on New Album

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! :mrgreen:

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]
  • Adoré for string orchestra, performed by the Moravian Philharmonic (this sample track performed by the Aineo Christian Orchestra)
  • Counterpoint Invariable for violin trio (sample midi track below)
  • Gypsy Wanderer sonata for violin and piano (sample midi demos below)
    Movement 1:
    Movement 2:
    Movement 3:
    Movement 4:
  • 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
    III. Valiance

Spread the word! Let’s get this project funded!

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My Unique Opportunity and My Appeal…

Letter from Sarah:

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!

USAProjects Header

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?