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Welcome to SOUNDARTUS. Explore and listen. Here you will find serious classical music, powerful works defending our natural environment, works for family audiences and works of imaginative fantasy. Each project page (found in the sidebar menu) is designed to give you a quick 30 second impression of each work and provide the opportunity to delve deeper into its nature and history. Thank you for being here… enjoy perusing my life’s work, Christopher Kaufman
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A new review of my work, The Phantastic Zoo, (the book form) is in from Kirkus reviews!
“Kaufman gives children a fantastical experience with his collection of magical creatures… The author presents it all in heightened language that helps build a sense of awe… The siblings’ affection for each other is sweetly depicted, as well… illustrations have the colorful, flat feeling of pale Matisse paintings, emphasizing the narrative’s air of strange adventure.
A warmhearted, encouraging book about the wonders of imagination.” (Kirkus Reviews)
The Phantastic Zoo (with audio album)
This new work by Christopher Kaufman features enthralling story, colorful illustrative art, 57 minutes of cinematographic symphonic music and the voice talents of Stephanie Erb and Robert Dick.
Follow as Mary and Tim meet the Wizard Zitthoona, who performs music on his magic flute and ushers them into The Phantastic Zoo! Experience the stories the children hear from Fabulous Beasts, The Phoenix, The Mermaid and The Dragon!
The combination of story, art, symphonic music and voice is immersive, moving and unique.
It took a few extra weeks than originally planned, but the massive project is complete. String Quartet #1 – which addresses our political condition, offers homage to my mother, actress Anna Filameno and two of my mentor/teachers, composers Karel Husa and Donald Erb and ends in an emphatic rendition of our national anthem… is in the books! Thanks to the amazing Amernet Quartet who will be premiering it soon!
Now to my next project… most of the book of which I wrote while vacationing in Oregon in July… titled ‘Dancing Night Hawk’, this new interdisciplinary work is an amalgam of Native American myths wrought into an original new story… Music, Live Performance, Lots of Visuals and Stage Craft! Better get to work, the premier is set of October 29th! See you there!
This piece has been an incredible amount of work… my ‘Freedom Quartet’ for the Amernet Quartet… I’ve written through tons of material to get to that golden place… got feedback from one of my favorite ex-teachers in the midst of it… helped a lot!… Now it is getting to the completion of the first movement… the second is done… the rest is clear..!… On to the Anthem!… Wow… can’t wait for the performances…!
“The science is in! Humans perceive color… physiologically, emotionally, psychologically… therefore… All music is tonal! It is merely a matter of the range of a composer’s palette, and the techniques which get you there…”
“Personally, I experience the term ‘atonal’ as something similar to an ethnic slur”… why would anyone accept a negative term as self definition..?.. it is born of a critics insult… and I would hope that one’s definition of tonal was a bit larger than merely the diatonic variation… the classical originators thought of music in terms of tetrachords and different ones were called ‘shades’ and ‘echoes’… Classical music is about the relationship between architecture and powerful emotion… and in my concertmusic, like my new String Quartet which celebrates ‘Freedom’, I consider it a goal to create the most powerful musical impression I possibly can in order to cut through the ‘aural static’ which surrounds us on an every day basis…”
TEACHING!: Student Concerts in Three Weeks!
COMPOSING!: Fully immersed in writing String Quartet! For Amernet: to be premiered next season! Jason Calloway will perform new solo cello music!
THE PHANTASTIC THEATER!: This summer I will create a new multi platform work ‘Dancing Night Hawk!’ to be premiered October 29th at the Jalopy Theater! We will perform ‘The Musical Forest’ with the Southwest Minnesota Symphony November 21st and a new version of ‘The Phantastic Zoo’ December 10th!
See you in the Fall!
Ben Shifrel will attend Beacon!
He also MADE LAGUARDIA… but chose the more well rounded approach… but with the knowledge that Beacon has an entire floor devoted to music!
Check out his artist page here! https://soundartus.com/ben-shiffrel/
Griffin Koelbel attends the New School!
We’re very excited for Griffin! Exalted member of Dr. Kaufman’s studio for many years! In the Fall he’ll be attending the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music at the New School! The Jazz school is within the College of Performing Arts which includes drama and classical music. The New School also incorporates the Parsons School of Design and the Eugene Lang School of Liberal Arts. So there will be many great options for classes in liberal arts and design as well as music.
Greetings Friends and Benefactors! Good News to relate!
The Amernet String Quartet has engaged me to compose a new work for them for next season!… It will be titled ‘The Freedom Quartet”… and will celebrate all manner of freedoms… which I’ll explain further in the program notes… The ideas for this music were conceived during the election and this piece will end with an extremely fired up version of our National Anthem! I am deeply into the process now… and am enjoying writing a chamber work sans all tech!… :)… The cellist Jason Calloway has also asked for two solo works… one will be a new version of my Environmental music… the other a solo work created from the thematic content of the Quartet… kind of like a free spinoff… He plays recitals all over the place so I look forward to many performances of this music next year and into the future.
Then it’s back to the daytime series! I work on it now to ‘relax’ but ‘Dancing Night Hawk’ – a new book, audio album, show like The Musical Forest and The Phantastic Zoo – will be premiered October 29th at the Jalopy Theater in Brooklyn! In November Sofia and I will travel to Minnesota to premier the Live Orchestra Version of The Musical Forest and December tenth The Phantastic Zoo returns, this time at the Jalopy with new improvements and turns, especially opening up the role of the flutist Robert Dick… busy as I can be!
Friends and Supporters of The Phantastic Theater and our work! We had announced that this Friday we were to travel to Minnesota and present the world premier of the New Full Orchestral version of THE MUSICAL FOREST… with my glorious friend Daniel Rieppel leading the Southwestern Minnesota Symphony… but alas… Dan’s dear wife has had a turn for the worse in her battle with cancer and Dan had to cancel all of his activities… So let’s all take a moment to cherish our friends!The show will go on!… The orchestra was kind enough to express their desire to have the concert in November… so we will let you know then of that news…