Cal Poly Pomona music lecturer Sarah Wallin Huff has been nominated for the Roger Taylor award for Best Original Score in the short film, “I Spy A Foodie,” in the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema, taking place March 9 –15.
From an alumna (’06, music education) to a lecturer, Wallin Huff teaches a general education course, “History of Music Technology,” and is always ready to take part in any department events with her enthusiastic spirits, as testified by the music department Chair Peter Yates.
“She’s a great team player, so it’s always a pleasure working with her,” Yates said. “It’s not a surprise to us that she was nominated because she is a talented composer.
“Nonetheless, it’s big, welcoming news for the faculty and the department as a whole.”
Outside of campus, Wallin Huff continues to exhibit her musical talents with some of her most notable achievements being a silver medal winner for composition at the Global Music Awards, nominee for the 2015 Grammy Awards for Best Small Ensemble Performance and her solo debut album, “Soul of the Machine,” with Navona Records.
Directed by Thresa Richardson, “I Spy A Foodie” is an eight-minute dark comedy film created as part of an anthology produced by the Tequila Mockingbird Production.
This production will be the second time Wallin Huff has collaborated with Richardson — the first being the short film, “Shady Oaks Takedown,” released in 2017.
When Wallin Huff first received the proposal to join the team during the summer of 2019, she was in the process of writing a textbook for her class.
Though she decided to fully commit to the film after completing the textbook, she began conceptualizing with a few music samples Richardson sent her, which Wallin Huff described to be a “combination of Quentin Tarantino and the Beatles.”
As a musician who is more accustomed to composing “serious pieces” as she states, it was a challenge to balance the fun, quirky tunes that the film needed while staying true to her personal music style.
“Thresa usually has me doing things that are unusual for me, so it’s always a fun challenge to work with her,” the CPP composer said.
Wallin Huff said she tends to be a spontaneous writer and likes to play around with multiple sounds until she finds the composition that sounds right to her.
She used PreSonus Studio One, which is a digital application used to record and mix audio, as a foundation of her composing process.
Using some of the built-in sounds from several applications, she created three soundtracks that combine the sounds of the flute, piano, bass and gentle string instruments.
“(The nomination) is very impressive, but I didn’t expect anything less from her,” said Efrain Flores, a fourth-year economics student who was in her class. “I mean, her work was nominated for a Grammy before!”
“I Spy A Foodie” is not currently available for public viewing. Wallin Huff estimates the free video to be uploaded on the Tequila Mockingbird Production website early next year.
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