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#NewTuneThursday: “The Elusive Everyman and Her Majesty” from Music for The Book of I

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

“The Elusive Everyman and Her Majesty” represents our main character, forced to live everyday with his mental illness, unsure who is real and who is not… Though that’s not entirely true– all the characters are very real to him.

Here’s how I put the work together; it’s really my most formulaic of the whole suite, which I think suits the mental state of our character…

This track represents one part of the two-fold heart of the main character’s ultimate saga, in my musical interpretation of it. Essentially, this track is comprised of an increasing hodge-podge of melodic fragments — ripped violently from the original works in which they are first found (from “I Know What Death Sounds Like,” “Faces in Foam,” and The Everyman and Her Majesty themes at the beginning of this present track) — that swirl into an angry and frustrating mass of sound and angular textures, up until the very end, when they merge together into The Whiteness of Teaston’s mind. My next track will strive to illuminate musically the flip-side of Teaston’s disjointed thoughts, and the ways in which he attempts to come to terms with his schizophrenia….

Technique-wise, I assembled these fragments by first labeling them both alphabetically and numerically, then, taking seven of Teaston’s own chaotic fragments of thought from random places in the book (“Ever will I?”; “Can I?”; “Consumption”; “Hello Blood”; “The Cliff, Thanks”; “And the Water”; “Even My Face”), I used the letters and syllables of these phrase-lets to “spell” out and overlay the musical phrases.

How many of the phrases from these earlier tracks can you recognize, rushing and overtaking Teaston’s poor troubled mind?

I am fascinated with this work but I have yet to be happy with a performance of it… it’s just such a wickedly tricky work!

There are two versions you can listen to at this point: a live version that’s not entirely accurate but has a lot of heart, and a digital rendition that is spot on as far as accuracy goes but is missing a little bit of the humanness to it… See what you think! 😉

Listen on Amazon Music
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Listen on Amazon Music (Live Version)
Listen on YouTube Music (Live version)

“The Elusive Everyman and Her Majesty” can be performed by an advanced ensemble. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our new work…

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#NewTuneThursday: Greek Dance

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

“Greek Dance” is one of my earliest pieces; I believe this is one of those tunes I wrote while sitting on the bus during my tour years, like “Face in the Moonlight“…

Composed in 2002, this charming and enthusiastic work for string quartet makes playful use of the various rhythmic textures able to be derived from odd-beat patterns. Though it stands, in its spontaneity and brevity, as one of Wallin Huff’s earlier works, it remains a favorite among those who have tackled its deceptively simple intricacies.

It seems so simple, yet it’s such a challenge and a blast to play!

Earlier this year, Ryan M. Luévano invited me to include a short piece for string orchestra of my own during the debut concert of the Neue World Orchestra Project, so I decided to arrange this old quartet for the group. I really love the extra layers of color and texture it provides!

Below, you can hear the original quartet recording, as well as see the video from NWOP’s performance of the string orchestra version. Enjoy!

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“Greek Dance” can be performed by groups of intermediate to advanced ability. Get the sheet music for the quartet here, and the string orchestra music here! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…

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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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“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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#NewTuneThursday: “I Am Water” from Music for The Book of I

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

“I Am Water” represents the final scene in the novel, the moment when Teaston finally accesses peace by joining the prior Faces in Foam in the Water…

Throughout the movement you’ll hear passing snippets of previous themes, most impactfully that of Her Majesty (from The Elusive Everyman…)

I am in love with how rich and haunting this work is!! Enjoy the recording below!

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“I Am Water” can be performed by an intermediate ensemble. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…

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#NewTuneThursday: Gleann Na Aes Sídhe (Glen of the Faeries)

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

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!

So, not only can you get the original sheet music for the fiddle part (with chords, for guitar, for example), but you can also get the optional string and harp/piano sheet music, the custom made backing track to fiddle along with on your own, as well as a version of the tune for violin and piano!

Enjoy this lovely song below! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…

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#NewTuneThursday: Faces in Foam

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

Today’s tune is our next track from “Music for The Book of I” — Faces in Foam, which is actually the opening track for the whole “Book of I” experience.

The woman sits at the edge of the cliff looking out to the sea…a daughter of North Africa perhaps. Her cheeks reflect olive light. She looks at me, carving her face in my memory…the step towards the rocky edge…I listen to the lines forming her face…I return to the melody still dancing in the air…
Lucio…had a delicate face…sharp angles, oblong eyes, and a classic Greek nose. I saw his face before the rocks disfigured him…he has the face of the forgotten… I try to paint him… I take a Renaissance approach, depicting him in a diaphanous light, like an angel…
I know those faces are…around me… They joined the sea because they had no other choice. Their faces are washed of past concerns. …If I…attempt to render them as ex-living people in my canvas, the white foam is quick to reclaim them. That is why all my canvases turn white–the frothy sea swallows them.

I knew several things when I started writing this track: I wanted to feature “the Olive Woman” with a pseudo-African or -Egyptian feel; I wanted to also feature the little, angelic, Greek boy Lucio; and tying it all together with the rest of the album, I wanted to create a Herrmann-esque wave of crashing drama that called forward to the central track, “I Know What Death Sounds Like.”

I love the “African” drive of the first part of the work. But I very much love the latter part–Lucio’s part. I tried to create an open, early Greek aesthetic with the intertwining lines of muted and plucked strings. And then, “Lucio himself” sings (in this recording it’s the wonderful voice of countertenor Caleb Barnes); it’s a haunting setting of the Alma Redemptoris Mater:

Sweet Mother of the Redeemer, the passage to the heavens,

The gate of the spirits of the dead, and the star of the sea, aid the falling.

Mother of Him who cares for the people, have pity on us sinners.

This final cry by Lucio just sums up the whole work beautifully as the “Faces” Teaston encounters get swallowed by the “Foam”… and we move forward into the rest of the story

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This haunting work can be performed by an intermediate-advanced string orchestra with soloists and some percussion. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…

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New Sheet Music for String Orchestra & New Merch!

Composed for Ryan M. Luévano and the Neue World Orchestra Project, the 2002 string quartet “Greek Dance” has found new life as a driving work for string orchestra!!! I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to revisit this old little gem of a work! 🙂

Enjoy the digital demo below, and check out NWOP’s first concert on March 10 to hear the debut performance!

(Want to check out the original string quartet version? Listen to a recording here, or watch a video here…)


New in the Leviathan Merch Store a lovely necklace pendant has been added — featuring the exclusive album artwork for the early release of “Leviathan of the Ancient Deep”! Check it out and support the upcoming “Legends” (official title still pending) album (*wink, wink*) that will accompany this epic concerto for 6-string electric violin!

Check back often–Zazzle runs sales all the time! 🙂

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#NewTuneThursday: Of Roses and Lilies

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

Our first new composition of the new year is a 2013 work for solo soprano, women’s choir, piano, and string orchestra, with english horn and soprano recorder.

Completed in 2013, Of Roses and Lilies is “A Romantic Expression Based on King Solomon’s Song of Songs.” Flirting with musical and dramatic elements from Medieval Europe to the ancient Middle East and Greek Theatre, this work features the solo soprano in the role of The Woman. She expresses her love, devotion, and delight toward her Lover while the Daughters of Jerusalem — as with that of the collective commentary of a Greek chorus — listen and engage with The Woman in her tales touting the glories of her Beloved.

The work is in three major sections following the expressive and fluid introduction: the first in A Minor, introducing the characters and their vivid emotions; the second in A Major, during which The Woman shares a tale of her Lover calling her to escape with him into the night… “For the winter is past and the rain gone…” —when for a moment she hesitates, she wonders if she is too late, only to find that he is still there waiting for her, encouraging her with the sweet words of his continued adoration toward her; the third section returns to the original themes in A Minor, yet gains an expression of great power and fervency as The Woman’s love for her Beloved utterly transforms her.

Here’s some cool background trivia for you: I actually originally created this work (for piano and all the voices without the strings and winds) several years prior… Maybe as far back as 2003-ish?? And this was during the time I was still writing everything by hand, with pencil on paper! After it sat around for 10 more years or so, I took another look at it and decided to polish it up… It was just too charming to allow it to disappear into obscurity. And then, as I worked on it, I decided I needed more instruments to really flesh it out the way it was meant to be… 😉

You can hear it below, featuring one of my former composition students, Ayla Draper-Lippincott, on the solo voice part.

“Of Roses and Lilies” can be performed by an intermediate-advanced ensemble. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our new work of next week…

Purchase this recording at http://cbttf.com/albums/parokeths-veil

(This recording is currently only available via CBTTF Records.)

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Presenting… “Music for The Book of I (The Existential Edition)”!

At long last, the 2014 soundtrack to the novel by Jorge Armenteros, “The Book of I,” is available in all its re-mastered and re-recorded glory!

You can purchase it directly from me in either digital or physical formats, purchase it on Bandcamp, or listen to it via any of the other popular places music resides online!

I hope you enjoy this artistic, stirring journey into the human condition…