…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.
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.
This piano miniature was composed just last year, in 2017. I originally wrote it as part of a larger set of background music for a bingo game app developer. While the rest of the album consists of electronic tunes, I just had a hankering for pulling out this little song for piano in an almost spoofed, pastiche-ed way.
I mean, just look at this opening tempo marking; it has so much attitude, full of dramatic imagery!…
By the time it was all done, it had a weird charm that I absolutely fell in love with. I just always grin when I hear it… ? Pianist extraordinaire Mike Jung has played it live, and had a super awesome compliment for it: it’s fun as hell to play! ?
Enjoy this digital representation below (hopefully I’ll get the chance to record Mike’s rendition of it someday!):
I came across some recordings from the final concert I did with TMC’s String Orchestra – a concert where I was ballsy enough to do a sort of “pops” concert and feature some really hip and fun music. ^_^
I made a fun video of one of my two favorites from that show, our closer for the night – Sing, Sing, Sing! Enjoy this rocking performance below!
In other rockin’ news, I FINALLY completed my commissioned saxophone choir arrangement of (one of my most favoritest songs of all time): Bohemian Rhapsody! Seriously, working on this project and getting to dig in deep and see all the musical nuances in this piece just made me love the work more… It’s just pure genius!! 😀
Enjoy this little digital recreation of my newest arrangement – the sheet music for this arrangement should be available soon… 🙂
On Friday, May 29, I’ll be performing my own work for violin and classical guitar – “Solitude’s Hypocrisy” from The Book of I OST – at this alumni event with excellent guitarist, John Paul Trotter! And, I’ll get to fiddle around with the jazz band, too! 😉
The Cal Poly Pomona Music Department’s Annual Year-End Celebration “Celebrate Me Home” includes a Mixer at 6:30PM on the recital hall patio and an Alumni Concert at 8:00pm in the recital hall.
The Mixer is a fun time for students, faculty, staff, and alum to get together, reconnect and make new friends. Music at the Mixer will be provided by M.U.S.E. (Music Uniting Student Entertainers) club members. Light food and beverages included.
Music alum from the last four decades will take the stage at 8:00pm and perform to benefit a new Alumni Scholarship.