Anna Kaufman
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Anna Kaufman

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Anna Kaufman: Rising Musical Artist

Anna Kaufman’s music reflects and embodies her environment and life experiences as surely as a self-portrait by Frida Kahlo or Vincent Van Gogh reflects and embodies theirs. She has packed a tremendous amount of living into her 23 years, just as she fills her original compositions with lyrics designed to uplift and inspire.

Anna’s brand new pop/rock CD, called “Twilight,” gathers 13 memorable tracks crafted to enable listeners to be moved by her message. She says it took a year to put together and contains elements of rock/pop, trip hop, and classical. Quoting her grandfather, Isaac Kaufman (who appears on one of the album’s tracks), “My work is love made audible/visible.” She continues, “I hope people get images when they hear my music. It’s people’s birthright to be happy and music can inspire them to attain that.”

Some might view such a statement as trite coming from someone of Anna’s relative youth, that is until they learn what lies behind it. Today, Anna inhabits a space that was far from easy to arrive at, and she holds tremendous hopes for the future.

Born and raised in an upscale, residential community – Rye, NY – there were early signs that Anna’s life would depart from the quiet, upwardly mobile, suburban norm. When she was 10, her mother suddenly left the family for California. By 16, Anna developed a debilitating case of anorexia and withdrew from high school.

At 19, she moved to Great Barrington, MA to work as a chef and lost weight until she dropped to just 90 lbs. At 21, she decided she needed to sing and write music to get better, so she moved to her grandparents’ home in New York City. There, her grandmother Sonia Kaufman, noticed Anna’s increasingly self-destructive behavior. She got Anna into a hospital where they prevented her from taking her life. “My grandmother saved me,” she says simply.

Anna’s connections to singing and composing followed an up-down-up trajectory similar to her life. At 6 or 7, she climbed up on a dining table at summer camp and performed as the kids gathered around. “I loved seeing people happy .” At 11, she decided to be both a singer and a songwriter, During the time of her illness, Anna’s physical and emotional condition deteriorated, as did her connection to music. It was only after she left the hospital that she reforged her bond with melody and song and started to study voice with Atara Hazzan of the Metropolitan Opera. This was Anna’s only formal training, she’s a self-taught musician. Happily, this rigorous training process equipped her with both the will to pursue her career and the strength to be healed of her eating disorder.

“W
hen you’re a child and suffering from many setbacks, you need music, or feeling things, in your life. That wasn’t encouraged by my parents. When you learn to hide things, you become very closed. My training opened me to focus on the good memories and dreams, to look to the future. It ignited a spiritual spark that helped with my creativity and built an inner strength. It drew out the spirit, the natural inclination to share. This is not easy to do for people who have felt the need to hide things.”

“Twilight” consists entirely of songs written by Anna and her collborators. She starts her process by composing on piano and then transposes to guitar. As far as musical influences go, Anna’s range widely – from Fiona Apple, Jeff Buckley to Maria Callas, from Madonna to Barbara Hendricks, from the Beatles to Brahms, Mozart, and Bach. Once songs are basically set, Anna moves to the studio to make recordings with the Super Buddha Production Team of Barbara Morrisson and Charles Nieland. Judging from the results this collaboration, her trio makes a brilliant combination. “Twilight’s” music powerfully fills the ear and is remarkably well-realized for a first album. There’s a nice buzz around Anna, one that’s been helped by recent performances at NYC’s famed Nuyorican Poet’s Café and Lailia Lounge.

Anna’s ambitious 10-point program for the future reflects her confidence and emerging personal power.

1. Get my music onto TV and film; write theme songs for films
2. inspiration for the nation
3. Play chamber music with my grandfather Isaac
4. Compose songs with my 12-year-old sister Leora, a gifted poet
5. Do a mixture of social work and music therapy, predominantly with anorexic girls.
6. Collaborate with artists of various different genres
7. Do demo singing work or play with a touring band

Just like the artists mentioned at the beginning of this short bio, Anna Kaufman possesses both a powerful personal vision and consummate tools with which to express it. Keep your eyes and ears open, Anna’s on her way and nothing’s going stop her now. “Despite my battles, I want to be remembered for my positive outlook on life.”