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.
…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.
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.
Running at just over 4 minutes, this dramatic, challenging chamber work for solo viola and piano recounts the emotions that course through Edgar Allen Poe’s classic poem, “The Raven,” with modern, neoromantic flair.
As of right now, I only have a midi demo; please take it with a grain of salt. 🙂 Soon, however, I should have at least a video of its live debut performance…
This piano miniature was composed just last year, in 2017. I originally wrote it as part of a larger set of background music for a bingo game app developer. While the rest of the album consists of electronic tunes, I just had a hankering for pulling out this little song for piano in an almost spoofed, pastiche-ed way.
I mean, just look at this opening tempo marking; it has so much attitude, full of dramatic imagery!…
By the time it was all done, it had a weird charm that I absolutely fell in love with. I just always grin when I hear it… ? Pianist extraordinaire Mike Jung has played it live, and had a super awesome compliment for it: it’s fun as hell to play! ?
Enjoy this digital representation below (hopefully I’ll get the chance to record Mike’s rendition of it someday!):
“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.
I cannot tell you how many violists have come up to me over the years, asking me for a feature solo for viola. Well, the wait is finally over!!
It took the contagious enthusiasm of a sweet and talented violist I’ve had the pleasure of working with many times to give me the kick-in-the-pants I needed to complete this unique challenge!
This brand new, unaccompanied solo for viola offers the daring artist a “fever pitch” of drama, melody, and virtuosity! For approximately six minutes, the violist is set free to explore a mystifying world of Dream and Thought, flitting between the sounds of Celtic melancholy, J.S. Bach, and George Gershwin with simply their imagination and instincts to guide them.
Right now on the product page, I’ve posted a little, raw recording of me playing the opening of this work, but it gets challenging after that point, and, while I can play it, it’s a little messy right now, haha! I’d rather wait until I’m (or a certain marvelous violist is) ready to properly record this for you all. 🙂
It’s a ton of fun to play in the meantime, though! Enjoy!
Hooray! I just finished writing my cadenza for Leviathan‘s 3rd movement! Funny story about that…
When I first wrote this work for my Master’s degree thesis back in 2008, I had been working so much on the first two movements that my deadline was getting down to the wire and I wasn’t sure if I’d even get to have a third movement at all. But I was determined, and in a fit of desperate inspiration I created movement three in only two weeks! I just love it! The convenient catch was, I wanted to have a cadenza in there, and that meant I could get away with not having to actually write 3 minutes of music, hee hee….! So, my poor concerto sat there for almost a decade without a cadenza…
Well, no longer! I will be releasing soon a special edition of the solo part with my suggested bowings, fingerings, and the new cadenza! Let it be known, however, that I still encourage soloists who are daring enough to tackle this work in the future to create their own cadenza! 🙂