Kaufman's MUSIC FROM EARTH - (11/'07) for Alto Saxophone Soloist,
CDTape of Western/Eastern Orchestral, Electronic and Natural Sounds
and Visual Projections.
MUSIC FROM EARTH the composer writes:
From Earth represents a new evolution in my work in terms of how music
is put together and presented. I came to computers recently and now
am enjoying working with film artists and for those projects modern
technology is paramount. It was with great pleasure that I discovered
the possibilities for the combination of live and electronic music.
I use my western orchestral sounds and electronic instruments in original
ways born of my long experience with live music and orchestral composition.
Add to these the eastern orchestra, electronic instruments and natural
sounds and you have a very fulfilling orchestral ‘universe’.
resultant sound world and presentation is unique and versatile, infinitely
diverse and able to monumentalize inspiration and compositional planning.
MUSIC FROM EARTH is often presented with lighting and visual projections
of natural images - which can seem as abstract images, sometimes of
recognizable creatures or forms..."
for whom Music From Earth was
written. Demetrius premiered the work in Tashkent Uzbekistan 11/'07
Opening Rift - the work begins at the ‘mid-atlantic
rift’. Earth Rhythm - The music progresses with war-like rhythms
through the ocean. Whale-song is part of the texture, mixed with symphonic
textures and powerful thematic melodies in the saxophone. Air - Expressive
solos interweave sounds of tree crickets, polyphonic owls, woodpecker,
harp, piccolo, marimba and other sounds. Interlude. Ritual Snake Dance
- You’ll hear saxophone, eastern percussion, piano, mutedtrumpet,
bass, electronic brass and rattle-snake sounds. UrthStorm - the final
movement features lightning strokes, complex driving rhythms, live ‘cuica’
and the central message of MUSIC FROM EARTH.
FROM EARTH: - for Alto Saxophone Soloist and Tape of Western/Eastern
Orchestra, Electronic and Natural Sounds::
FROM EARTH was composed during the last two
weeks of August, 2007 for Saxophonist and New Music Champion Demetrius
Spaneas. It is part of a series of works inspired by Environmental Awareness,
the leadership of Al Gore and others, my own sense of these issues and
my love of the sounds involved. Demetrius has premiered the work in
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (11/08) and performed it at the DOM Cultural Center
in Moscow. He continued to tour the work with a number of other pieces
of American music (including his own) in locations such as Kyrgyzstan,
the Ukraine, Bulgaria, St. Petersburg and Riga, Latvia. Now we will
perform it in America. When possible the performances include a film
of natural imagery. This film, which I created, uses microscopic images
and images of familiar forms close up so as to appear abstract as well
as recognizable natural images such as creatures and geographical forms.
VERSION - Music With Video
- composer for film and concert stage / virtuoso performer (saxophone,
clarinet, flute) - world traveling new music champion - read more
about him and listen to his music by visiting his site.
"...such zest, such fire, such
a gleeful explosivenesss... had it been just one percent more intense,
it would have necessitated scraping the audience off the walls."
- BOSTON GLOBE
Chris Kaufman's MUSIC FROM EARTH tells a story - the projected imagery
and the aural backdrop provided by the taped music which accompanies
the soloist, bring the audience along a clear path. The work uses geography
to define the overall form of this story - in fact, the composer often
felt as if, in this music, our planet was speaking through him.
1. Opening Rift
begins in the center of the ocean - the mid-Atlantic rift. The video
shows images of deep ocean volcanic vents, lava and expressive ocean
waves. The titles have double meanings and this one refers to the 'rift'
between humanity and nature.
rhythmic backdrop ensues - Images of microscopic life move to formations
of coral and undersea creatures such as jellyfish, dolphins and whales
as the story progresses to the surface of the sea. Whalesong is part
of the taped music. It ends with music which sounds like the 'Earth
and sounds from the Earth's surface. You hear music composed from the
sounds of tree crickets, woodpeckers, polyphonic owls, a june-bug flying
into a microphone, orchestral sounds, and beautiful melodic work for
and Ritual Snake Dance
the screen goes black and we listen. The music here is based on a piano
improvisation which Kaufman orchestrated and developed. Rattlesnake
sounds of are part of the music. Slowly images return - showing the
galaxy and moving gradually to Earth. The music grows to a seven part
rhythmic layering featuring Eastern percussion. The sax plays evocative
solos which grow to a fevered pitch. There is a spiritual quality to
of storms are matched in the music as the Sax performs harmonic riffs
depicting lightning strokes. Live 'cuica' and thunder and wind sounds
are interwoven with a texture of powerful and complex rhythmic music.
Whalesong returns in an atmosphere of forboding and warning...