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.
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.
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.
A madrigal, popular in the Renaissance and early Baroque, may be defined as a secular, polyphonic partsong, a through-composed work attempting to express the emotion contained within each line of a poem on which it is based. Loosely, a madrigal may be thought of as a linear journey across pallets of color and emotional soundscapes, and this is precisely what Wallin Huff’s 2014 so-titled work for orchestra aims to do.
This 8-minute work for small orchestra has so much charm for me; I really feel like it’s a journey across time as well as emotion. It has been performed live by the Santa Clarita Philharmonic, and it’s available on the album ESOTERICA.
Update 1/21/2017: This piece is finished, and has even been premiered live by the Santa Clarita Phil! And… I’ve just released a recording of it on the new album, ESOTERICA! 🙂
I feel like my new work, “Madrigal, for Orchestra,” is finally coming along nicely, headed in a clearer direction now. I’m so excited about it! Enjoy this brief sneak peek of the opening 5:30 minutes…. Hope to be officially finished with it within the next few weeks; I can’t wait to see where it goes from here! 🙂