Using 50 tarot cards to create the framework, there is both an element of chance (in that the process of drawing the cards and their placement in the 5 separate tarot spreads, is all random) and an element of “foreordained knowledge” (or pre-compositional structure).
“The Oracle” has thus emerged as a multi-faceted, deeply layered, story-driven reflection of the human condition.
I totally dig the intersection of free-will or chance and structural formula at which Art’s uniqueness can emerge… 😉
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, enjoy this brand new, all-original, Irish fiddle set for solo violin, with optional parts for band, harp or piano, and string orchestra. I wrote it last year specifically for my dear friend and fellow fiddler, Lainey Elizabeth White.
At first, I felt a little lost on how to go about writing this work, since I already have so many old Celtic tunes floating around my brain, and I wanted this one to be special. 🙂 Somehow, as I got going, it unfolded, and I knew I had to add more to accompany it and give it support!
This work for violin, guitar, and piano holds such a special place in my heart. <3
I originally finished writing it in 2006, my last year at Cal Poly Pomona. When I had first sketched out my ideas for “Pegasus” it was right after one of my Middle Eastern Music classes (I loved my ethnomusicology classes!!!). During this particular class we had gotten just a taste of certain Middle East drumming patterns and practices, one of them being the 10/8 pattern the piano part outlines at the beginning of this work. In the table below, imagine the lower row is a deeper pitched drum while the upper row is a higher pitched drum; it goes a little something like this:
Can you hear it? I’ve always thought it was pretty cool! :p
The thing is, once I’d written about the first minute-and-a-half, for only violin and piano at the time, I got stuck. At some point afterward I began taking composition lessons on the side of my normal studies with Dr. Peter Yates. Of course, being a phenomenal guitarist, he suggested I add a guitar part to the ensemble–I’m so glad I did. 🙂 Then he helped me think through the rest of the work–and we even debuted “Pegasus” on the Cal Poly stage one evening concert!
Since then, I didn’t get to record this work definitively until one of my fellow Cal Poly alums offered to record a few works for me in the studio. So, we got together more fellow alums–John-Paul Trotter on guitar and Mike Jung on piano–to have a giant reunion-style recording session! It was a blast!
“Pegasus” can be performed by an intermediate-advanced trio. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…
Today’s tune was composed in 2017 for my friend, violinist Payman Eliahoo, and his son, who (at the time) was a beginning clarinet student. As I was putting it together I built the entire work off of the opening feel of the piano part and simply let it unfold from there. It pretty much wrote itself once I had the opening bars down. 🙂 Upon listening back to the work in completion, I dug around a little and came across the Italian story of Aradia, daughter of the moon goddess Diana and Queen of the Old Religion. I was so struck by the charming nature of this feminine messiah figure that I felt like the legend and this new work fit together perfectly.
The original request was for a piece for clarinet and violin, something that Payman could play with his son. But I felt like a flute would actually go really nicely with the clarinet part. So the original instrumentation is for Flute (opt. Violin) and Clarinet, with Piano. Of course, though, as opportunities came to play this sweet little work, for ease of programming, I created a string version of the work, too — for Violin, Viola (or opt. Second Violin), with Piano.
For your convenience and artistic variety, the original Celtic tune “Gleann Na Aes Sídhe (Glen of the Faeries)” is now available for solo fiddle and piano! Get the duo sheet music here, and enjoy the demo video below!
Check out the awesome little concert I’ll be doing with pianist, Lydia Wu, Friday night, Jan 5, 2018! We’re so looking forward to playing this charming music for you… Featuring musical sweets from Fauré, Elgar, Amy Beach…and even Yours Truly… ?
[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…
This little song for mezzo-soprano, string quartet, and piano was written back in 2002. I recall originally composing its melody and words by hand while on one of my music tours (“Pittsburgh Melody” was another such song, written while we were, quite literally, driving through Pittsburgh…).
In 2003 I took a chance and entered “Face in the Moonlight” into that year’s BMI John Lennon Song Writing Contest and surprised and thrilled to find that it was selected as a State Finalist Winner! It was certainly a boost of encouragement to me. 🙂 Likewise, some years later, a friend of mine who was acting as a missionary in Israel wrote me a note to let me know that she had introduced her congregation to this song, and that it had become a favorite.
I hope you also find enjoyment, listening to this charming tune. 🙂
“Face in the Moonlight” can be performed by anyone with intermediate ability. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our featured work next week…
This week’s tune is a bit of a “blast from the past.” Back in 1998, one of the earliest “commissions” I did was a short string trio (violin, viola, and cello) for a colleague’s students. Back in those days, I composed everything I did by hand, with only staff paper and pencil. This little trio was called, “The Dove,” and it had been performed by a couple student groups over the years.
Later, in 2001, I wrote out (also by hand) a darling little piano tune I called, “The Old Music Box.” I was so in love with it that I’d play it any chance that I got to be near a piano — these were definitely the years of my Yanni and George Winston phase. XD
As time went on, I decided to couple the two works together, utilizing all of the instruments involved to reinforce and add color to the whole thing. Thus, “Falada” was born!
Together, this work for piano and string trio evokes the mood of a storyteller weaving ancient tales that remind the listener of humankind’s shared history.
This charming melody can be played by anyone with intermediate ability. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our featured work next week…