PARMA recordings is just about ready to start manufacturing of “Prisma Vol. 3”—the orchestral compilation album that my “Dark Glass Sinfonia” will appear on! I love the little blurb they came up for it in the liner notes; so perfect!
”Next comes Dark Glass Sinfonia by Sarah Wallin Huff, in which crumpled dissonances flower into exuberant tonality, capitalizing on the full dynamic range of the orchestra.” (PARMA Recordings)
Completed in 2011 for the Rosé Violin Trio of Los Angeles, this complex and experimental work consists of three movements:
I. Intervallic Structure (Andante con moto)
II. Tone and Color (Meno mosso)
III. Urban Rhythm (Allegro ma non troppo)
Based upon a strict and unvarying formula of patterns that are passed equally between the three violin parts, all three movements utilize this same precise structure of “A, B, C, and Ostinato” phrases, which were developed and plotted out meticulously by Wallin Huff prior to the actual composition of any one note. Each movement, however, while still based upon the same formulaic set of patterns, is then varied by the compositional material of the four phrases themselves. The phrases’ material is each based upon very different scalar patterns, depending on the particular movement’s character: Intervallic Structure is an exploration of pitting certain intervals against each other; Tone and Color is a wash of purely tonal and consonant patterns; Urban Rhythm strictly focuses on the pitting of rhythmic patterns of two’s versus three’s against one another in a “sterile” pentatonic tonal environment.
Counterpoint Invariable is a successful thought-experiment, turned to driving and evocative emotional artwork, highlighting Wallin Huff’s ongoing fascination with the logic of mechanical structure giving way to outward beauty. It is a true, fulfilling reward to perform and explore this work in its entirety.
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.
…All this begs the question: If I have the capability of cheaply producing good quality albums on my own, why do I need to fund-raise for this Ultimate Leviathan Project? Why not go it on my own? Simply put…
This piece is just too big for me to produce all on my own.
Come visit my brand new, self-hosted fundraising site for current recording projects – iSupportNewMusic.com!
Currently, I’m raising money for the Ultimate Leviathan Recording Project. It’s going to be my next major album release with PARMA, featuring my largest and most complicated (and most unique) composition to date – my 2008 concerto for 6-string electric violin, synth, EWI, and orchestra, “Leviathan of the Ancient Deep”!
While I’m able to collaborate with friends to release a lot of my music independently, “Leviathan…” is such a large and fickle work that I really only trust PARMA to get it done right, to bring my ultimate vision of the work to life. 🙂 And, for that, I need your help. Go visit my new website for details!
I anticipate bringing new content to the site regularly, adding news, engaging stories, contests, and more!
“Leviathan of the Ancient Deep” is a three-movement, 25-minute concerto for 6-string electric violin, EWI, Synth, and orchestra. Written in 2008 and not premiered live until 2016, it is indeed a monster of a work:
“…it’s a fantastic piece – imaginative, engaging, and pretty wild” (Sam Renshaw)
Collaborating with PARMA Recordings and the Moravian Philharmonic of the Czech Republic, we are working to create a definitive recording of this challenging, cinematic work so that its dramatic sonic experience can be shared widely with others.
When it comes to fundraising, personal connection and building meaningful relationships are key.
So, do you know any potentially interested sponsors – corporate and private – in your personal sphere of influence? If so, would you be so kind as to send me a message introducing them to me? I’d be happy to send them a Sponsorship Packet and discuss the opportunity to sponsor this recording personally with them!
Never underestimate the power of your simply sharing this adventure with others… Thank you so much for your help!!
Sometimes the idea behind the music is just as interesting as the music itself. According to the press release that accompanied this disc, the music on this album “…explores the relationships between mechanical structures, organic beauty, and identity.” Now that might sound a bit complex and heady, but after hearing the music on Soul of the Machine…you’ll get it. Sarah Wallin Huff presents three unusual compositions that tackle some intriguing ideas and topics. [Wallin] Huff is a violinist and Professor of Composition (and conductor of the Chamber Ensemble) at the Master’s College in Santa Clarita, California. Her music is quite complex and unusual and yet…very easy to absorb and appreciate. There’s a lot to take in here. These three compositions clock in at over sixty-two minutes and incorporate a wide variety of sounds and ideas. Our favorite is the wonderfully moody and subtle “Gypsy Wanderer” which is divided into four sections (“Irreverently,” “Grave,” Con Brio,” and “Rapide”). This piece features Maria Wozniakiewicz on violin and Karolina Rojahn on piano and is nothing short of breathtaking. Another exceptionally slick release from the fine folks at Navona.
It’s really, really nice to hear when my music has reached somebody in such powerful ways. I enjoy it (duh!), but it’s so gratifying to hear when others are touched positively by it, too. 🙂
I just received a fantastic email from PARMA Recordings earlier today.
My composition for violin trio, “Counterpoint Invariable” (one of the works featured on my new album from PARMA, Soul of the Machine— and one of my favorite works I’ve done, in fact) was officially submitted as a potential 2014 Grammy nominee! The submission is for “Best Small Ensemble Performance.”
The nominees will be announced December 5. Keep your fingers crossed for me! 🙂