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KHTS’ Local Artist Spotlight: Violinist Sarah Wallin Huff

Sarah Wallin Huff, professional composer and violinist, resides in Valencia and teaches private composition at The Master’s College and is a conductor of the string ensemble.

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The classical music virtuoso has been crafting her own emotionally charged modern classical sonatas since the age of 13.  

She has had the opportunity to work with the likes of actor James Franco and has had her original pieces performed by many string quartets, including the New England string quartet.

Her most recent endeavor is to invest in releasing a compilation album featuring all her original works.

 “This album that I hope to release will include all my feature works. I’ve created a hatchfund account, which is like a kickstarter… a platform where I can fundraise in order to get my album recorded,” said Huff. “I need to raise $28,000.”

 The album she hopes to release is expected to feature her original piece, “Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine.” The work tells a story of an advanced computer program that has been given a chance to experience human emotions and dream.

 It is an ode to minimalism with strong influences from minimalist pioneers and composers Phillip Glass and Steve Reich.  

 “When you listen to ‘Anima Mechanicae,’ you’ll hear a very mechanical start and its very complicated  at first, then it goes into an emotional tirade and exploration and then into dreamlike state. It phases from mechanical to emotional as the computer program starts to experience emotion,” said Huff.

“‘Anima Mechanicae’ has been performed by the New England string quartet and myself. They completely did a fantastic job. This piece has been such a favorite for people and I’m really proud of it.”

Another standout on the album Huff hopes to release is ‘Gypsy Wanderer Sonata.’ The piece explores different rhythmic patterns and is an emotionally charged and a contemporary sonata.

“I want people to be more open to modern classical pieces. ‘Gypsy Wanderer Sonata’ is an example of a modern classical piece that features a lot of experimentation. It initially started as an assignment, each of the four movements were different exercises Dr. Carlson, my professor, posed for me and I just decided to craft a sonata later on,” said Huff. “I’m super proud of this piece. The emotion is so powerful and riveting.”

In addition to composing her own original sonatas, Huff played a part of the score for a production featuring actor James Franco in a new video installation entitled “Psycho Nacirema” at London’s Pace Gallery presented by Scottish artist Douglas Gordon.

 “An undergraduate colleague of mine knew somebody involved in Rabbit Bandini productions, James Franco’s production company, and told me they were looking for a violinist. I obviously had to take the opportunity!” said Huff.

Huff played the solo violin for the particular scene that recreated the Alfred Hitchcock shower scene from the classic film “Psycho.”

“I met James Franco at the Bates Motel lot in Universal Studios and he was dressed in drag for the film. I played for him and he pretty much reviewed my performance completely in drag [laughs].  I was hugely honored to be accepted to play for the film,” Huff said.

Along with having the opportunity to have her work featured in large-scale productions, Huff claims that her aspirations are beyond attaining that.

“I have never been one to write for fame or money or anything like that. The reason I write is because I like to experiment with the relationships between notes, harmonies and rhythms and relation to that with past cultures, present and future cultures,” said Huff.

“I just love exploring sound and the effect it has on people. Also I always like to say, like Bach, your work will get recognition 100 years after you are dead so write whatever you want!” said Huff with a laugh.

For more information about Sarah Wallin Huff and to hear her music, visit Sarah Wallin Huff’s website. To support her in raising funds for releasing her album, visit her hatchfund home page.  

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Source: Santa Clarita News

KHTS’ Local Artist Spotlight: Violinist Sarah Wallin Huff

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