…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.
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.
I don’t know if you happened to catch a glimpse of a certain Super Bowl promotional video that aired about an hour and a half before the start of the game. But if you did, you might have caught a glimpse of me playing with the CMG Music Recording orchestra on site at Warner Bros. Studio, at the famous Eastwood Scoring Stage, where all the famous composers of the Golden Age of film recorded their music!
It was a unique experience and I am so honored to have been asked to participate. 🙂
Check out the full video below, and enjoy not only the video screenshots but a few backstage shots as well!
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
Get a glimpse into the world of the Leviathan E-Violin Concerto with this new music video featuring a 10-minute sample from the epic, exclusive recording of “Leviathan of the Ancient Deep” and images taken from the accompanying, interactive picture-book!
UPDATE: We were selected by the audience to go on to the second round of screenings for the Audience Award!!!! Check out the details here!
Presenting the trailer for “Shady Oaks Takedown”, the super fun, collaborative bonding experience that comes from creating a short film from scratch in 48 hours!! I had the immense honor of being asked to create the music for our buddy-comedy, martial arts genre film… That is, 5 minutes of music, created on the fly in only about 8 straight hours, watching the film for the first time and composing music for each scene and hit at the same time, all starting in the wee hours of the morning before dawn, haha!
The Music Nerds Video #2 is out! Join me in exploring how and why we calculate intervals and why the relationship between two notes is so important to a music’s flow.
And, on Sunday Nov 6 at 3pm in Santa Clarita, the Santa Clarita Phil will be playing a FREE concert of American composers — including the debut of my fantasy for oboe/english horn soloist, “Intrepid”! Visit this link for details – hope to see you there!
I’ve had several colleagues tell me that I should have an ongoing music theory video series. Well, after starting work on the framework for a current violin duet project, I decided to kick this idea off, once and for all! 🙂
Enjoy the first installment of The Music Nerds!– “Pitch-Class Basics”: What is a pitch class and why might anybody have any use for this system of analysis now?… Find out in the video below! 😉
This year I’ll get to perform with a student and regular “viola-ringer” of The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, as well as my good friend, Keith Buerger, joining us on percussion! We’ll be doing an arrangement of mine of Millennial Fair‘s version of Bart‘s musical theme from the game, “Xenogears.”
Come support us, and other great chamber music, at the ASTA Chamber Festival on January 11th. We’ll be going on stage shortly after 4pm, so don’t miss our awesome performance of “Balto”!
Omg! I completely forgot to share our three videos from Mike’s and my Seal Beach gig! Included is the DEBUT of my recent work, “Gypsy Wanderer“! It’s a little rough around the edges, but not half-bad for the first official run — and Mike and I are hoping to perform this new Sonata again in January at University of Redlands!