A SYMPHONIC FANTASY FOR ORCHESTRA
• A ‘Cinematographic Ballet for the Imagination’
• A Modern Tone Poem
• A Journey of Discovery
All of these can effectively describe Chris Kaufman’s new work for orchestra – MYTHAGOS.
MYTHAGOS is a ‘cinematographic ballet for the imagination’ depicting the story below as well as being a modern symphonic work. MYTHAGOS is an example from Kaufman’s ‘Young Ulysses’ series of pieces where the composer allows his imagination to roam in mythological territory free of a specific story.
MYTHAGOS FOREST is the place where all myths roam free. Young Ulysses is lost and fleeing shadowy forms. He happens upon a Forest Glade, the home of a Dryad Girl. They dance and she, with the power of her magic, returns him to his Island Home.
A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY: for the composer this was finding his wife Maryclare. This is depicted as the piece reaches final climax and conclusion and the music states her name twice. MYTHAGOS was written a few months after their marriage, in the spring after a dark winter. The bright rays of Spring sunlight strongly influenced the exuberant energy of this music. The couple now lives in Brooklyn, where they are happily raising their beautiful and brilliant daughter Sofia Rose.
INTRODUCTION: The shadowy world of MYTHAGOS is presented in music. You can hear a place in the music featuring high trumpet notes which depicts the Dryad Girl stretching in the Sun. THE EPISODES: active imaginative music depicts Young Ulysses’s adventure through MYTHAGOS. THE FOREST GLADE: the music introduces the magical world of the Dryad Girl’s forest home. Ulysses approaches her and they dance as the music works to a powerful and positive conclusion.
THE COMPOSER WRITES:
“…The story aspect is more poetic than programmatic. When young I used to listen to music and allow my mind to freely explore imginative adventures… This work, and others like it, grow from these early experiences. The story also helps listeners ‘hear’ music which might otherwise be more abstract to their ears upon first listening. I sincerely hope that my music will inspire the imagination of the listener, that they would then apply this way of looking at things to everyday life. This is one of the ways in which works of art can enhance the life experience of people – if one applies imagination to life anything is possible… dreams can be revived, new possibilities envisioned… new relationships formed, a fuller sense of general feeling and a greater confidence to overcome obstacles achieved…”