Composer Highlight: Peter Kramer / by and Play


We are beyond thrilled to present a new batch of composers to you for our upcoming String Theories concert on March 22nd @ 8 PM at Roulette presented by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn (SOB)! First up is Peter Kramer, an Oberlin grad just like ourselves and a current doctoral candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center. Carrie Frey, violist, friend, and member of Chartreuse introduced us to Peter's piece, Cantus Fractabilis, and we knew that if would be a great piece for this program. We hope to see you at the show so that you can hear this great piece and the amazing scordatura that goes along with it!

What is something you would like the audience to know about your piece?

The piece is partly improvised, inspired by the chaconne and passacaglia forms of the renaissance, the players are tasked to repeat a sequence of chords (a sort of phasing canon) with different techniques and variation at each repetition, an ever-changing scordatura also becomes a feature as the piece progresses, altering the original pitch material. 


What was your inspiration/mind set when writing your piece?

Having studied harpsichord as an undergraduate at Oberlin, I wanted to utilize a sound world and gestural idioms in this piece that reflected the repertoire I was immersed in as a keyboardist.


Do you have any non-music related traditions that you do to get your creativity flowing?

Shower, shave, and a good breakfast!


What is your favorite car/travel snack?

Wasabi almonds!


If you had to live the rest of your life without cheese or chocolate which would you choose?

Cheese and champagne is my #1 favorite food, hotdogs come in second, chocolate is not included on this list... but I eat it with pleasure.


Check out more from Peter at his website and come to the show on Tuesday to hear Cantus Fractabilis!