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Samuel Huff

  • Samuel Huff, Academic TransferSamuelHuff_web

    Samuel's provocative essay, "Echoes," was published in Volume 14. A transplant from Colorado, Samuel found encouragement from an SCC English teacher to write about his love of music and to seek publication for his finished piece in Illuminations.

    Illuminations spoke with Samuel about the role that music and writing play in his life.

    Illuminations: Your published essay, "Echoes," describes the importance of music during the difficult times of your life. What role does music play in your life now?

    Samuel: Music still is, and always will be, an absolute euphoric experience. It is a place I can go unconditionally and reflect. The amount of growth I've made as a person since moving to Nebraska is something I'm very proud of. Music has played a major role in that progress, acting as a gateway for self-analysis and expression for lost words, all of which has led me to who I am today!

    I: What connections do you see between music and writing?

    S: Being that I have not written lyrics to my pieces, I view that connection abstractly. When I'm writing, I don't particularly see myself connecting to a string of words together. Instead, I find a meaning or purpose for what's written, and the inspiration takes over. It's the same for music. Each line is a reaction. A reaction to anything: past, future, feeling, or thought. Every word or melody is chosen to represent an ideal.

    I: What other writing have you done? Why do you enjoy it?

    S: Most of my favorite papers deal with objective point of views or creative writing. I love thinking about topics in new ways and new perspectives. I enjoy applying this creativity in the same way it feels to record music that has never existed before. I don't always understand where my music is going, and the same applies to my view of life. I enjoy every bit, even if it's not according to plan. Most importantly I try to infuse these ideas with my interactions with other people. Each individual has their own point of view; some I don't understand, and most I cannot predict, but each is unique and therefore important because that combination has never existed before.

    I: Who have been your artistic influences, both musical and literary?

    S: I have to think that everything in my life has been an artistic influence. Be it my siblings or my teachers, they push for "one better," and it has been instilled on many levels. Rachel Hruza was my English professor who supported my continued work on the essay, "Echoes." The notion of submitting it to Illuminations was immensely flattering and beyond my expectations, let alone actually being published. Musically I've found myself admiring Dallas Green, the acoustic guitarist and vocalist of "City and Colour." I also enjoy Mumford & Sons' different style, among many others.

    I: What did being published in Illuminations mean to you?

    S: The meaning went beyond seeing a paper I wrote in a book. When I was first working on "Echoes," I explained that the inspiration behind the paper was the thought of having a positive impact on at least one person. When at first the paper was not published, I sent an email to Rachel Hruza expressing that the next volume of Illuminations, which did not contain my submission, represented an entire book filled with inspirations from other people. I also felt that my paper's meaning was fulfilled by impacting at least one person because of the amount of encouragement and optimism I received from her. Now that it has been published, I am beyond grateful and hope it has inspired many others.

    I: What advice would you give others who are interested in writing?

    S: Find your passion and embrace it. Let it engulf you, support you, and guide you. Be who you are and find those who see "you." Let your presence ring and inspire others to do the same. You are one of a kind, a result of everything behind you. Learn to carry those experiences and not let them drag to slow you down. Anything that follows, be it writing or not, should be done with a head held high and a drive to help those around you.

    I: What's going on in your life now?

    S: Staying busy with work and school. Enjoying being in Lincoln with my brother, sister, and her family. I get to watch my nieces grow up too fast, and in the process, remind myself to be an uncle they can look up to. I'm also in the process of writing more music, trying to change the style every time to keep me on my toes. At the moment, the next song is going to be rock inspired. The ones before this have been jazz, indie acoustic, oriental, and orchestral inspired along with few side projects. Although the more recent ones are a bit more polished, haha. I'm also trying to add violin to the list of instruments with drums, guitar, and piano.

    Listen to Samuel's latest musical composition by clicking this link:

    From "Echoes"
    by Samuel Huff

    Music expresses my words, even though I am an instrumentalist and not a singer. Our perception of events, emotions, or memories constantly changes as a composition progresses. In a way, we have a complex conversation within ourselves when listening to music. As we immerse ourselves in sound, our thoughts undergo the domino effect. Each idea falls onto another, creating a pathway of experiences with each domino containing a snapshot of that time in our lives. Music goes beyond human expression; it's a way of connecting with an otherwise untapped form of communication that helps people reflect or relate with emotions. Music is a part of the human existence, and each culture has its own interpretations yet, it is a Rosetta stone among us. Music evokes emotions in all of us. Sometimes, music is the only means of getting through to someone, as if our emotions are a kind of echo to the sounds, as well.