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.
…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.
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.
Coming up soon in these next couple of months, we’ll be recording the epic Fantasy for Oboe/English Horn Soloist and Chamber Orchestra, “Intrepid“! It will be an amazing compliment to the Leviathan E-Violin Concerto on the upcoming album! <3
To prep the upcoming strings-only session — to make the process as easy as possible on my dear friends helping to make this possible — I decided to record myself playing the 2 violin parts and viola part ahead of time. It’ll give me a lot more flexibility in mixing the tracks, and give my players a really solid footing when reading through this together.
One of the things I love about a process such as this, is getting to hear a larger piece broken up into its basic layers–getting to hear what components interact to create the overall effect–and it never ceases to amaze and thrill me! I love music that weaves in and out of itself like a sonic tapestry…
You can get a sense for the intricacy of this work by listening to the following two segments of this prep-recording. Enjoy! 🙂
Want to contribute to this recording? There are several ways you can help:
…Ask performers within your network if they might be interested in playing at the concert you’re setting up… For clarity, and because it is good practice, you should draw up a written agreement… Your next challenge is to find a venue for your project… Your work is 30 min in duration, which is not enough for a full concert, so you get to select other compositions to complement your own work and complete the programme. Skillful curating is an art form in itself… Any performance is an achievement, so make the most of it!…
Lots more details are available at the article. Get your work out there, and enjoy the ride! 🙂
This season is bringing with it a most amazing opportunity to record some of my more challenging pieces with live musicians. I have always said that I would rather hear my work done by even mediocre live players than by a computer. To be fair, of course I want to present my work accurately, too. 😉 But there’s something raw, visceral, and alivethat human players bring to the mix that a computer just cannot equal.
A couple Saturdays ago, I and four of my talented friends got together in a gorgeous, echoey church sanctuary to record the live performance of my “tarot quintet,” The Oracle.
It was a most wonderful session! There’s something about the colors and nuances of each unique instrument in the player’s hands, when it melds and mixes and (sometimes) clashes with the others, that just can’t be duplicated by a computer.
A central lesson of acoustics is that, the more instruments you have, the less the lack-of-human-nuance is noticeable in digital playback. Take my “Madrigal, for Orchestra,” for example. This recording was made with my own digital playback, with the few solo lines in the middle and at the end recorded live by myself. When a piece is written for full orchestra, the individual player’s nuance disappears into the mass of sound. So a computer can recreate this wash of sound better than it can for any kind of a chamber group, where there is only one player per part. With chamber music, everything is so open and exposed that our ears can tell when it’s not a live player on the recording.
And, wouldn’t you know it, my most favorite forces to write for are various chamber groups!! Good thing I have wonderful friends I can call upon to play my music! 🙂
Coming up next in this adventure toward a new Summer 2017 album is the April recording of my neo-Romantic work, “Of Roses and Lilies.” It calls for full string orchestra, soprano recorder, english horn, piano, small women’s choir, and soprano soloist. It’s pretty epic–it’ll be so wonderful to have an official recording of this work done! Then in May, we’ll record three final chamber works…
Lots to look forward to! Whenever you get the chance to support live musicians, please consider doing so. We do what we do because we couldn’t imagine not making music. 😉
So, May is shaping up to be a really exciting month of debuts and unique concerts! First up…
This is shaping up to be a really fun gig of Modern Music with a Twist! Lainey and I will be joined by four of our talented friends and guest musicians to play instrumental music that is a unique blend of folk, rock, and electronic — you won’t want to miss this!
The only way we’re guaranteed the chance to perform for you – both this show and future shows – is if we can show the venue and booking company that we have fans who are dedicated to showing up and enjoying our music. How does that happen? By purchasing your tickets for May 19 NOW!
**Afton has just given our fans a new discount code!!! Enter MEMORIES956 before May 11 and save $2 — I am also continuing my FREE MERCH offer with this promotion! Order your ticket before May 11 and choose any one of my albums for free! **
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.