Sarah Wallin Huff’s SHARDS presents a wide variety of compositions that explore life, love, death, and the philosophy and mysticism that make up the in-betweens. True to the unique identity of Wallin Huff’s admirable body of work, SHARDS is a contemplative, explorative, and comprehensive album sure to make waves with its mystical nature.
Today, Sarah is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our composers and performers. Read on to learn about her fascination with accounts of ancient civilizations, diverse mythologies, and the meditative techniques of Zen Buddhism and Jungian Philosophy…
What have been your biggest inspirations on your musical journey?
I have always been fond of artists who outwardly embrace their true selves, who remain authentic despite external judgment and therefore encourage me to discover and celebrate my own identity. One individual who particularly resonates with me is Alok Vaid-Menon, a gender non-conforming, transfeminine poet, fashion enthusiast, performer, and dedicated advocate for fostering self-acceptance within humanity. Alok stands as an embodiment of embracing one’s true self, promoting self-love instead of conforming to the societal norms that have evolved throughout history. I deeply respect and admire those like Alok, who actively break free from societal conventions and encourage others to do the same.
What advice would you give to your younger self if given the chance?
Over the past few months, I have dedicated a significant amount of energy to personal growth and self-healing, so this particular question resonates deeply with me. There are a number of things I would give my younger self: affirmations confirming her innate talents and curiosity, acknowledging her uniqueness, and assuring her that her passions and concerns hold significance.
Essentially, “What you care about does matter; in fact, you matter.”
I would want her to understand that her worth is greater than external judgments and opinions, and that her future is bright because she will find her tribe and continue to uncover her endless inner beauty.
What emotions do you hope listeners will experience after hearing your work?
I recently had the opportunity to reflect on this very question, and it prompted me to explore my thoughts more deeply on this than before. I have come to realize that I fall within the Autistic Spectrum, validating my long-standing suspicions. One inherent trait I possess is finding my emotional fulfillment through the active, creative manipulation of musical patterns. When I compose music, I am particularly captivated by the interplay of pitches and rhythms within the overall texture of a piece — any resulting emotions tend to be of secondary importance for me. This perspective highlights my greatest satisfaction: presenting a work openly to an audience without preconceived expectations, allowing each individual to establish their own emotional relationships with the music. Although my compositions generally follow a certain theme or storyline that grounds the overall experience, I am not seeking to impose specific emotions on listeners, but rather to facilitate a deeper connection with their inner selves.
How have your influences changed as you grow as a musician and composer?
As I get older, I find myself increasingly content with embracing my authentic self. Compositionally, I am more and more inclined to embrace the instinctive music that resonates within me. Instead of being preoccupied with impressing others or striving to surpass my own perceived limitations, I am more introspective and determined to discover what really lies within me that I may have previously neglected. I am less inclined to be absorbed by current music trends, and instead prioritize following my own artistic instincts. I gravitate towards music, be it contemporary or classic, that captivates my mind by its intricate patterns or clever techniques.
Where and when are you at your most creative?
I am definitely most creative in my own secluded workspace during the late afternoon and twilight hours. If it’s raining or otherwise stormy, even better!
What are your other passions besides music?
I have a deep fondness for crafting imaginative narratives. I also find great enjoyment in delving into the accounts of ancient civilizations and diverse mythologies. Among my favorites of modern mythologies are the tales of H.P. Lovecraft. In addition, I enjoy reading tarot cards as a tool for introspection, as well as engaging in meditative techniques such those found in Zen Buddhism and Jungian psychology.