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Behind-the-Scenes “Legend Seekers” Media

These past few months have been indescribably fulfilling, yet chaotic, as these things usually go, lol. 😉 I’m nearly through my first semester as a music professor for Cal Poly Pomona; I’ve spent nearly every waking moment setting up and teaching my new classes! I’ve really been enjoying this adventure, and I look forward to each following experience with this wonderful school.

Naturally, as the semester draws toward a close, I’ve been itching to get back to composing and completing my upcoming album, “Legend Seekers” – I’ll be able to start getting back to these projects in just another few weeks, yay! In the meantime, I’ve been meaning to set up this blog post to showcase some of the photos and videos documenting our recording sessions for “Intrepid” and some of the other works that will appear on this upcoming album… Enjoy the gallery and impromptu videos below!

Don’t forget… if you’d like to be a Backstage Supporter of this and other future projects, visit the Backstage Community to see what perks are available–like autographed copies of scores and albums as well as your name listed on the albums you support!

A very special thanks to everybody who has patiently worked with me to make this become a reality!! <3

Strings recording Intrepid
Strings recording Intrepid
Winds and brass recording Intrepid
Strings recording Intrepid
Tina recording “DodecaFunky”
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“Gleann Na Aes SĂ­dhe” Now Available for Violin and Piano

For your convenience and artistic variety, the original Celtic tune “Gleann Na Aes SĂ­dhe (Glen of the Faeries)” is now available for solo fiddle and piano! Get the duo sheet music here, and enjoy the demo video below!

And don’t forget, you can get the original recording of the full version for band, string orchestra, and harp as well as the sheet music and official backing track.

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#NewTuneThursday: Gypsy Wanderer

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

Today’s tune holds a special place in my heart. 🙂

“Gypsy Wanderer” is an original, 4-movement sonata for solo violin and piano.

[C]ompleted 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. Irreverently: dance-like and fluid; II. Grave: surreal and sublime; III. Con brio: diligent and determined; IV. Rapide: passionate yet controlled. The work is riveting and soulful in its earthy and irreverent, rhythmic and harmonic wanderings.

I have had the privilege of playing this sonata, in whole and in part, several times, and each time I play it I discover something new about it as a violinist. The unexpected dichotomy of approaching a piece (especially one of my later works) as a musician versus a composer continues to fascinate me. 🙂

I am immensely grateful to sisters Maria Wozniakiewicz and Karolina Rojahn for their excellent and pristine performance of this work on the Navona album, “Soul of the Machine.” And, of course, many thanks to Parma Recordings and all others who contributed to make this album possible!

Enjoy Maria’s and Karolina’s performance of “Gypsy Wanderer” below!

“Gypsy Wanderer” can be performed by anyone with advanced ability. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our featured work next week…

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Stream-of-Consciousness Composition

I recall the final question posed to me in my Graduate Oral Exam: “Where do you see yourself as a composer in the long history of composers before you?” (Or, something to that effect.)

Honestly, I hated the question. At that point in my life, I’d been composing music professionally for fifteen years, and — though I was indeed still trying to figure that out — I ultimately didn’t care about finding an answer. I was (and still am) a proponent of such ideas as this one, expressed by Andy Warhol:

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

Now, having been a bonafide Friendly Neighborhood Composer for twenty-four years, I still don’t know how to categorize myself! And I actually consider that a good thing overall.

Lately, though, I have noticed a trend in my writing habits. I have decided to dub it “Stream-of-Consciousness Composition.”

Continue reading Stream-of-Consciousness Composition

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5 Days Left for Discounted Tickets!

Come to Silverlake Lounge on May 19, 7pm and join Lainey White and myself for a set of all-original compositions and arrangements featuring acoustic fiddle and 6-string electric violin, with electronics, percussion, guitar and more!

** DISCOUNT CODE! Enter code SARAH492 on check-out by APRIL 30 and get $2 off **

With just 5 days left to take advantage of this discount, I am offering a special gift to all who pre-order tickets before the April 30 deadline — with every discounted ticket purchase, you can choose one album from my discography list for FREE!

Not only do you save money with this promo code and receive your free gift – but you ALSO help us ensure the show goes on, by buying Tickets in advance versus paying the higher door price.

Visit the Events page for this show for more info. See you there!

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New Electro-Acoustic Quartet Finished!

Composed at the request of Kay Pech for the 2014 Chamber Music Institute of Southern California, I present my latest work: Organic Circuitry!

 

A highly unique quartet for two acoustic instruments (violin and cello) and two electric instruments (5-string and 6-string violins, with effects pedals)!

Attached above is a rough digital demo of the work — it’s missing of course, the classy nuance of expression that only live players can give, as well as the digital shine of some of the pedal effects I’ve written into the work for the two electric violin players.

But Aisling and I will be performing this intriguing work at its debut in concert on July 20th at 3pm, at Cerritos Park East, inside the community center. Visit CMI’s website for more info on this fabulous free concert – Don’t miss the debut performance of the one and only Organic Circuitry!

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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…
    • Upon hearing several of my tracks and demos, Jorge was especially fond of my works Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine, Counterpoint Invariable, Leviathan of the Ancient Deep, and Oppression— he has expressed a desire to hear new tracks along the lines of these, featuring strings and the solo violin. Needless to say, I was very pleased to hear that, because that’s right up my alley! Stay tuned for details as this intriguing creative project unfolds over the next few months!…
  • 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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Analysis…

Analysis must concern itself with the final result: that is, with the work as part of history… The composer’s thinking remains his marvellous secret.

–Jean BarraquĂ©, “Debussy ou la naissance d’une forme ouvert”, quoted in François Nicolas, “Le souci du dĂ©veloppment chez BarraquĂ©”, Entretemps, 5 (1987), 13.