Peter Kramer was born in Portland, Oregon (b.1989) where he studied composition, piano and violin with Dr. Marshall Tuttle at Mount Hood Community College. He has recently graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory with a double major in Composition and Harpsichord Performance. He will be attending CUNY for a PhD in Composition studying with Jason Eckardt. His principal teachers also include Dr. Lewis Nielson and Webb William Wiggins. Peter’s music focuses on “musical parasites” i.e. residual and musical anomalies/artifacts resulting from performance paired with the resonant sound-world of 16th and 17th century music, particularly keyboard and choral repertoires, as well as the sound world of American folk and blues traditions.
LISTEN: Waxen for Viola, Cello, Flute and Piano
Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble (CME)
05/06/15 – Oberlin, OH – Oberlin Conservatory, Warner Concert Hall
Aram Mun, flute
Natalia Badziak, viola
Eliot Haas, cello
Annie I-Lin Tsai, piano
Timothy Weiss, conductor
Waxen retains material from a previously composed duet of mine for violin and viola entitled Cantus. Both the sound world and technique of arpeggiating over the open strings is here composed in a more rigorous manner transformed from a formerly improvised texture to one that is more controlled. Waxen also strives to rework the form of the baroque minuet; the traditional form: I, II, I, III, I da capo is reconstructed by way of misplaced repetitions and eliding material. This scheme is additionally interrupted by an interlude and bagatelle. This “trite” dance form consisted of quick steps and jumps performed at court, and was often found at the tail-end of baroque dance suites as a sort of palate cleanser. The transformation of this dance in Waxen engenders (I hope) a more current and personal expression of the minuet form.
Brossard Dictionary (1703) Minuet definition:
“…a kind of dance, the steps whereof are extremely quick and short, it consists of a coupe, a high step and a balance; it begins with a beat, and its motion is triple…”