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"Legend Seekers" - interview with composer and violinist Sarah Wallin Huff

Sarah Wallin Huff is a composer and violinist, and she just released an epic, “homegrown” instrumental album featuring her concerto for 6-string electric violin. We have conducted an interview with her.

Why do you named this album "Legend Seekers"?

I called this album “Legend Seekers” because of the title of the first movement of “Leviathan of the Ancient Deep”: “Seekers of the Legend”. This album was meant to feature that concerto for 6-string violin, and its opening movement seemed to set the stage for everything nicely. As I decided on the other works that would complete the album, I realized that each told their own story of someone seeking their own legend in their own way.

How long have you been working on this album? What was the greatest challenge?

It’s been a long road making this album. I completed “Leviathan of the Ancient Deep” in 2008, and for the last four or five years I’d been trying to get funding to make a representative recording of this massive work. I finally attained the knowledge, equipment, and courage to begin recording this concerto on my own about two years ago. So the recording, mixing, and mastering of everything has taken about two years. The most difficult part for me was being patient and keeping my hopes up! I had to be patient with myself and with the artistic process... It was well worth the wait!

The next is going to be a difficult question, in this album, which is your personal favorite track?

That is a hard question!! I really love “Intrepid,” but I think my most favorite is movement 3 (“The Hunt”) from “Leviathan” (although movement 2 is a close second place!). I love the driving, interlocking rhythms, the hard core percussion, and the almost irreverent feeling of the whole thing. It’s small but mighty, and it makes me smile every time I hear it.

Who or what inspires your musical style with the 6-string electric violin for the first time? What happened and what led on from that?

I first started playing the electric violin in 2003, and from there I kept adding strings until I got to 6. I fell in love with the huge range and all the possibilities available on that instrument. I knew for a long while that I wanted to create some epic work for the instrument, because there’s not a lot of challenging concert music available for it, especially not the 6-string. The opportunity came up when it was time to write my thesis work for my graduate degree; I figured it’s now or never! I love mythology and fantastic creatures of antiquity, so I thought that the range and unusual, slithering nature of the 6-string electric violin would depict the legend of the sea dragon Leviathan quite well. I wanted to create a sound environment that embraced both the acoustic nature of the orchestra and the electric possibilities and “strangeness” of the electric violin, synthesizer, and electric wind instrument. I’m very happy with the results, and I’m just thrilled that I finally have a recording of it.

What would be one piece of advice you'd give to a new yet up and coming electric violinist?

Something I’ve learned over the years is, first, to be true to yourself. Really get to know and embrace your personal sound. Everyone of us is unique, and variety is a beautiful thing. Second, be willing to go out on a limb to challenge yourself. Never be satisfied where you are; constantly explore, learn, experiment, and grow.

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"Legend Seekers" - interview with composer and violinist Sarah Wallin Huff Reviewed by JaamZIN on 8:04:00 PM Rating: 5
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