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.
In the course of teaching my “History of Technology in Music” class at Cal Poly Pomona, I was alerted to the fact that the music department actually has an old Musicwriter typewriter lying around!! Many thanks to our department technician who retrieved it for me!
Now enjoy a small walk down History Lane and check out this cool bit of mid-20th century music tech!
(PS: if you like the background music, it’s track #3 on this album.)
In a world where adventure calls and the intrepid answer… where the daring explore a mystifying world of Dream and Thought… where heartbreak twists into furious desperation… where virtuosic fits of funkiness stare brazenly into the face of danger… where forgetfulness drives discovery and hope…
In this world, Leviathan — a creature that haunts the Ancient Depths — lies in wait to strike upon those that seek its legendary might!
Who will win this contest of wills? The stirring waves bear witness to this eternal struggle…
Get an exclusive sneak peek at all the tracks on the upcoming “Legend Seekers” album below! If you like what you hear, pre-order the album on Bandcamp to receive two tracks NOW ahead of release as well as several extra goodies, like exclusive Leviathan artwork and liner notes! Coming soon, there’ll also be a Spotify […]
The year old film, was produced for the LA 48 Hour Film Project to write, produce and finish a film in only 48 hours. In addition, several parameters were given: A character named Austin or Ashley Cheevers who is a winemaker, a wallet for a prop, and the line of dialog “We only have a few minutes” must be included. The genres were drawn at random from a hat, the team drew “Martial Arts/Buddy Film” and we could combine them or use one or the other. (Source)
This adorable short film, a frequent Audience Favorite at screenings, was a crazy, fun project I was brought in to create the music for… in only 6 or so hours…!!! Read more about the experience here.
I’m super excited to have finally organized my thoughts regarding the unifying elements of my upcoming album into an effective album description.
“The word Paroketh (PRKTh) refers to the Four Elements: Peh (Water), Resh (Air), Kaph (Fire), and Tau (Earth). It is the Veil of the Temple before the Holy of Holies… a veil made up of the four classical elements of the human body” (Dan Sewell Ward, Feb 2007). In the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, the “Veil of Paroketh” lies between the middle branches of intention, or consciousness, and the lowest branches of our physical reality. Everything “above” Paroketh’s Veil emerges from our conscious decisions and beyond… from the past stories and experiences that help shape our intentions to act as we choose in the world.
A vintage aura of story and myth envelops this intimate collection of chamber music. For example, “Falada” — Portuguese for “speaking” or “discourse” — brings to mind the role storytellers of old played in their communities, passing down vital history and life lessons to the young. “Weeping Willow” recalls emotional whirlwinds of despair, hope, and passion — emotions common to us all. “Forgotten Melody” seeks deep within the soul to uncover that which was once hidden. And the three diverse works — “Of Roses and Lilies,” “Aradia, La Bella Pellegrina,” and “The Oracle” — tell the stories of their respective characters: ancient tales that continue to impact our modern culture.
May we embrace our past stories to uncover the commonality inherent to all humanity.
Due to a large and involved soundtrack project I recently took on (featuring my music that will appear in the background of an upcoming bingo game app), I am now able to share these fresh electronic tunes with you all as it’s own full album!
With smooth and comfortable underpinnings reminiscent of Brahms stepping out to jazz, or Zappa gently walking through a garden with a favorite melody, “simplicity” provides a meditative setting while rewarding close listening. The treasures are in the details […]
Share your enthusiasm for “Leviathan” with this beautiful, custom tee or sticker! This lovely t-shirt (courtesy of Teespring) features an artistic rendering of Sarah Wallin-Huff’s own 6-string, dragon-shaped, electric violin, on which she has performed her Leviathan Concerto, and lots of other music and styles! Click to view slideshow. All funds raised go directly toward the recording…
Now, the beautiful art-book and epic poem that completes the Leviathan Experience is available on Amazon! It’s an imaginative way to get a deeper understanding of the music’s story, and to make a solid connection between the changes in the Concerto and the scenes of the story they represent.
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. 😉
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.”