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#NewTuneThursday— Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

Today’s tune is another really special piece to me, with lots of good memories attached to it. ^_^

“Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine” is a string quartet that I wrote in 2007, during my grad school days and toward the end of my utter obsession with Minimalism, specifically after the stylings of Philip Glass. Listening to the recording of it below, I’m sure you’ll be able to hear the similarities. :p

But this work has a story element to it, that’s near and dear to my heart. The Mechanical Star of the work is actually a character that makes her first appearance in the second book of my original Kesher Chronicles series, “Questions of Faith.”

This character, SARA (an advanced “Security Analysis and Records Archive’ malleable-Paradigm”) — over the course of the second and upcoming third books — becomes very involved in the lives of the humans around her and tries to orient herself within her constantly evolving thought-processes…

You can see why I included the following quote in the score to the quartet:

Dedicated to the computers and robots of the future, who long to dream as the humans do.

The structural details behind this almost-12 minute work include:

…moments of mechanical coldness [in the opening], gradually giving way to moments of tender and emotional beauty. Wallin Huff intentionally derived and fashioned her various rhythmic and tonal patterns throughout the work from strict mathematical relationships — to showcase that a mechanically constructed framework can give way to striking beauty on its surface, much in the way a computer program of the future might evolve into its abstract dream-state.

The sections of this single-movement work include: Mechanically, Quixotically, Pensively, With impish behavior, Tenderly, and Surreal.

I’ll never forget the opportunity I had in 2012, traveling to Boston to hear the New EnglandString Quartet record this work for PARMA Recordings. You can hear them in that very session on the album “Soul of the Machine” below:

 

Two years later, “Anima Mechanicae” got its European debut at a concert at the Exeter Phoenix Auditorium in Devon, England!

I do have sketches and outlines for a multi-movement “sister” piece for quartet …something about Consciousness… :p It would be nice to complete that one someday soon… I’ll keep you posted! 🙂

“Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine” can be performed by an advanced string quartet. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…

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The Story Behind the Stories

As you may or may not know, I began publishing my sci-fi saga “The Kesher Chronicles” Dec 2015. What you may not be aware of is what a huge, bold step personally it was for me.

I always loved writing stories as a kid — I was especially into the mysteries of Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and The Three Investigators. In my teens I read Michael Crichton’s stories voraciously. I actually won a regional prize for a 7-page sci-fi story I wrote in elementary school; it was typed on a typewriter (!) and was called, “Journey to the Edge of the Universe”… or something like that. Not long after, I created my own version of a Nancy Drew mystery. Sort of a young “fan-fic” if you will; handwritten, too. 😉

When I hit 12 years of age, I found myself so in love with creating stories and worlds and characters that I wrote my first mystery story. It was definitely a knock-off of the Nancy Drew stories I grew up with, but with my own dramatic spin. I don’t recall how many words or pages it wound up being, but it was at least 10 (short-ish) chapters — definitely my most “serious” work up to that point. I enjoyed the process so much, I wrote a second mystery story, based on the lives of those same young characters.

Then, in 1994, inspiration struck, and I dreamed or somehow envisioned the opening chapter of what is now “Pursuit of Truth (The Kesher Chronicles #1).” That haunting scene stuck with me throughout the days following, and I rapidly built an adventure-mystery around it. Once I completed that first book, I knew there had to be a sequel.

And as I worked on the second book, I knew there was more to tell. I envisioned for a long time that Janice’s story would be a trilogy…. But now, as I’ve matured and really seen the vastness of this fictional Universe, I realize there will likely be at least couple more book in the series. All the more fun!! 🙂

But, thinking back on just the past 2 or 3 years, I realize how close I came to completely giving up on my dreams of seeing this massive story become a reality, and it makes me shudder.

Continue reading The Story Behind the Stories

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Kesher Chronicles #2, “Questions of Faith,” Now Available!

The second installment of the epic “Kesher Chronicles” is now Available, in both Kindle eBook and paperback formats! Pick up your copy today & enjoy! (*^@^*)

Twenty-three years after surviving the Scandal of 2241, Janice Parc lives out her adulthood in pleasant normalcy with her husband and three children. The family gets the chance to visit the village of Hiskitan in northernmost Artemisia. Janice knows she must face her memories with courage if her heart is to move on. So she agrees to the journey for the sake of her family and for her own growth.

Unfortunately, the depth of the Artemisians’ pain is too great to ignore. The last living relative of Agent David Rifadoft will not allow her suffering, nor that of her people, to go unanswered. By her guidance, the adventure that began with such hope will escalate into a cycle of tragedy. In the effort to rescue Janice and her family, Special Officer Steven Roberts abandons his post at the Experimental Colony on Ares. He returns to Earth, and the darker truths behind their past begin to unfold.

 

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Exclusive Excerpt for “Questions of Faith”!

I am so thrilled at all the progress I’ve been able to make lately with Kesher Chronicles installment #2! It’s very, very close to the final editing and polishing phase, when I can give a better estimate for when I’ll officially be able to release it. 🙂 I’m telling ya, I just have such a special place in my heart for this saga, more and more so as I see it unfold in my mind’s eye…

kesher-homepageWell, I want to share a part of tsjwallin-72dpi-1500x2000his second book with you! You can read it here.

I’ve also got a really cool surprise related to this release that I can’t wait to share with you… Let’s just say that, seeing how our main characters are going to be spending so much time on the Island of Artemisia in this book, the die-hard fans are gonna be able to start figuring out how the native language of Artemisian works with the help of this little surprise, tee hee…

Enjoy the teaser excerpt and stay tuned!

 

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Kesher #1’s first review!

Thank you, thank you to my dear and knowledgeable friend, Morgan Lazo, for the kind, stellar review of “Pursuit of Truth“!

In an America of the distant future, Janice Smith is a fairly ordinary thirteen year old girl with a decent life. Not too rich, not too poor, lives with her mother, with whom she is very close, and while not exceedingly popular, is comfortable socially. Her mother is a political activist who speaks out against the government’s monumental levels of control over the people. Social levels and travel restrictions mean that only the most wealthy and influential have any true free will or options for their lives. Unfortunately, this has gotten the attention of the wrong people. Janice comes home from school to find armed unknowns spiriting her mother away, and Janice must flee for her life and her freedom through a world where everything is monitored and it is unknown who can be trusted.

Janice’s journey is very exciting and without giving spoilers, all I can say is that the manner in which events progress is extremely well-orchestrated. Sarah Wallin-Huff has provided something that this book-lover finds only too rarely: a unique experience. That may not sound like the highest praise, but it is. Her world is very well-developed. The future tech is innovative and conceivable. This book is highly recommended, and I cannot wait for the next one to be released.

If you’ve read and enjoyed this book leave a review at Amazon and help spread the news about this little work of mine. 🙂

And, if you haven’t read it yet, consider getting a copy and giving it a try!

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The Cover Wars Begin Tomorrow!

The novel that begins my original, dystopian saga — “Pursuit of Truth” (Kesher Chronicles #1) — has been approved for entry in the Cover Wars at Author Shout starting tomorrow (3 April)! Voting will begin at 8 AM EST.

What are the Cover Wars?

“…show your support by voting on your favorite [book]. At the end of the week (Sunday at 8 AM EST) voting will end. The cover with the most votes becomes our book of the week in which we will promote for one week on our site, shout outs, and our newsletter.

– Vote for your favorite, but only vote once a day ( You must wait a full 24 hours to vote again or the vote will not count and no cheating)
Share cover wars with everyone so they can come and show their support
– If you really like any of the books, then show further support by clicking on the links and purchasing them

So, starting tomorrow at 5am pacific time, visit the Cover Wars site, select my book cover, “Pursuit of Truth,” to show your support… come back and do that once every 24 hours until the following Sunday morning 😉 … and encourage everyone you know to visit and vote, too!

Thank you for helping my Little Labor of Love get the chance for exposure it deserves. 🙂