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Stories with Kol-Kesher: Vol 1, Ch 2

Chapter 2 is now up and ready to be enjoyed! 😉

If you’ve enjoyed these so far, why not help a neighbor out and share them with those you think might like them, too? And, of course, if you can’t wait to find out what happens next to our characters, pick up the ebooks or paperbacks here!

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#NewTuneThursday: “I Know What Death Sounds Like” from Music for The Book of I

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

“You’re not really listening. Can you hear the angular melodic twists?”

“That’s what death sounds like, I know… It’s like a leitmotif; it keeps coming back to my mind.”

This track from Music for The Book of I was actually the first track I completed when working on this OST. So in this work for string orchestra and solo violin is where I birthed all that would comprise the themes of our main character, Teaston, and his trials.

I sought out a sense of haunting poignancy and drama in this work… angular in shape, mysterious, beautiful and grotesque, all at once… it’s truly a unique piece and one that speaks well to the main character, I think.

At one point, artist Liselott Johnsson also combined her striking visuals with this track and excerpts from Jorge Armenteros‘ writing to create a stunning artistic response to The Book of I.

Enjoy both the video and the audio track below!

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Listen on YouTube Music

“I Know What Death Sounds Like” can be performed by an intermediate-to-advanced ensemble. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…

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Introducing New Storytime Videos!

Welcome to the start of something new on my YouTube channel! 

☆*·゜゚·*\(^O^)/*·゜゚·*☆

Way back in 1994, I started writing a sci-fi series that would become, “The Kesher Chronicles.” About 20 years later I finally released book 1 and (a year after that) book 2 to the public.

I’m super proud of all this “Kesher-verse” has become and what it’s evolving into; there will be audiobooks on the horizon, but until then, I want to give those of you who love audiobooks something to chew on while we wait. 🙂

So, I hope you enjoy these installments of live reading from The Kesher Chronicles – complete with a bit of background music, sound effects, and accompanying pictures!! 

If you can’t wait to find out what happens next to our characters, pick up the ebooks or paperbacks here!

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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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#NewTuneThursday: Phillipy is Fragmented

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

Today’s tune is our next track from “Music for The Book of I” — Phillipy is Fragmented.

Phillipy refers to himself in the third person, as if existing as a separate entity from his very self. I find the habit interesting, a sport of sorts, a way of explaining one’s actions from a distance.
Phillipy knocks at the door…three times…
“…three times, that’s all Phillipy can take.”
He can tell when thoughts are tangled. He may speak in the third person but he is linear, he follows one thought with the next… 

In creating this track, I wanted to really feature Phillipy’s autistic obsession with precision and the number 3 in the following ways:

  • the work features a solo trio (violin, viola, and cello) against the backdrop of the string orchestra.
  • the main sections “plunk” along with pedantic and clockwork rigor
  • at around 1:58 in the recording, the accompanying harmonies are outlined with ascending triadic arpeggios… (meanwhile, the harmonic progression is descending… pretty cool, right??) ^_^
  • at two points in the recording (1:58 and 3:48), the main theme is broken up by two variant themes that move the rhythm along in 3/4 as opposed to the methodical 4/4 we started in.
  • at around 2:58 in the recording, the solo trio plucks out the dissonant “knock three times” motif that is one of Phillipy’s compulsions — and they repeat this three-note motif…three times in a row…

And finally, toward the very end of the work (around 4:04), we hear the descending glide of the violins as Phillipy “goes to meet his mother”… and we finish with a stark, triplet rendition of the main theme from “I Know What Death Sounds Like“… a theme that tends to emerge everywhere you look in this Suite… 😉

Enjoy the recording of “Phillipy is Fragmented” below — featuring Darrell Peries on solo violin; Cathy Alonzo on solo viola; and Jenna Ford on solo cello.

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This heart-wrenching little musical sonnet 🙂 can be performed by an intermediate-advanced trio. 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.