Keith Kramer

..he can write music that sounds like that of no one else.
- David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare
Emerge is an exciting and absorbing journey into the mind of a master artist. TOP PICK.
- LMNOP, babysue.com
...he has an instinct for orchestration which is imaginative and individual
- Carla Rees, MusicWeb International
Exciting News!

Beyond Sonic Boundaries Live! 2010After Keith Kramer's two groundbreaking releases on the Navona label, Emerge and Causal Dualism, the film Beyond Sonic Boundaries Live! 2010 chronicles a New York performance of the composer's most innovative works, featuring riveting and powerful performances by some of today's best musicians, including David LaVorgna, flute, Jessica Hanel Satava, soprano, Joseph Satava, piano, Gottfried Stoger, soprano saxophone, Sebastian Stoger-DeMayo, violoncello, David Taylor, bass trombone and the Azimuth String Quartet. Bonus features on this DVD include a performance by the harp and saxophone duo Pictures on Silence, as well as complete biographies and exclusive behind the scenes rehearsal photos. The DVD is now available at Amazon and CD Baby! Please click below to order this exciting new release.

                        

Here is what the critics are saying about Keith Kramer's music:

"The titles of Kramer’s music imply a fundamentally existential component. Hearing it underscores that fact. This is music of states of being—of living in the moment and savoring it. Despite its sometimes rapidly moving notes, it is, in the end, music of great tranquility, and its generally non-tonal underpinning gives it a sense of having neither beginning nor end." - William Zagorski, Fanfare, Mar/Apr 2012
"Kramer achieves originality through his personal harmonic and rhythmic language, and not because he is seeking it as an end in itself. Kramer proves that, even in this more 'difficult' style, he can write music that sounds like that of no one else. The composer gravitates in the work between conflict and agreement between his protagonists, a device that helps sustain interest in a work that defies easy formal analysis." - David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare, Jul/Aug, 2013



The 2-CD set Emerge is now available!. This exciting Navona release features over two hours of never-before released music and enhanced content featuring complete scores, concert footage and biographies of the performers featured in the recordings. It is available at many fine music distributors including Amazon, Arkiv Music, CD Universe and iTunes. Works include:

  • Spatial Extremes for solo piano, performed by Joseph Satava
  • Insurmountable for flute and piano, performed by David LaVorgna and Joseph Satava
  • Brink for soprano saxophone and harp, performed Jeremiah Baker and Jacqueline Pollauf
  • Finite... for woodwind quintet, performed by the Capitol Hill Chamber Players,
    featuring David LaVorgna, Wes Nichols, Cheryl Hill, Maude Fish and Beth Graham
  • Wink of an Eye for four clarinets and percussion, performed by Sonora Ensemble,
    featuring Edna Huang, Lynda Dembowski, Carolyn Agria, Denis Maloy and Greg Herron, conducted by Keith Kramer
  • Compact Disparity for chamber orchestra, performed by the Beyond Sonic Boundaries Orchestra,
    featuring David LaVorgna, Gottfried Stoger, David Taylor and Jade Strings: Lisa Lee, Wei Tan, Ching Chen Juhl and Clara Lee, conducted by Keith Kramer
  • Emerge (Symphony No. 1) performed by the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kirk Trevor
  • In Double Quadruplicate for chamber orchestra, performed by the Beyond Sonic Boundaries Orchestra
    featuring David LaVorgna, Gottfried Stoger, Joseph Satava, David Taylor and Azimuth Quartet: Nicholas Currie, James Tung, Alice Tung and Adam Gonzalez
  • Cathartic for soprano and chamber orchestra, performed by the Beyond Sonic Boundaries Orchestra
    featuring Jessica Hanel Satava, David LaVorgna, Joseph Satava, and Azimuth Quartet: James Tung, Nicholas Currie, Alice Tung and Adam Gonzalez
  • Inexplicable for flute and string quartet, performed by David LaVorgna and the Mariner String Quartet: Phanos Dymiotis, Nicholas Currie, Michael Strauss and Adam Gonzalez
  • Uncertainty Principle for soprano saxophone and piano, performed by George Weremchuk and Alan Ngim
  • Inside (original version) for solo piano, performed by Hye-Jung Hong
  • Snow for electronic media, realized by Keith Kramer
  • Amalgam for electronic media, realized by Keith Kramer
  • Left Behind (bonus track) for soprano and piano, performed by Helen Garner and Charles Richardson



Emerge Salessheet in .pdf Format



MementosKeith's orchestral work Emerge, performed by the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra, led by Kirk Trevor, can also be found on the Navona release Mementos, which also includes the orchestral works Raining In Autumn by Stephen Yip, Conjecture by Jason Barabba and City Columns by Shawn Crouch. This release is available through the Navona Records website, Amazon.com and iTunes.

Recent reviews of the orchestral work Emerge:

"...imaginative orchestral colours, fascinating textures and evocative harmonies." - Carla Rees, MusicWeb International (the full review can be found at arkivmusic.com)

Keith Kramer’s Emerge [has] fine sonic colours to offer. Actually, "Emerge" stands out of the lot, thanks to its breadth, assurance, and unpretentiousness. - Monsieur Délire (the full review can be found at monsieurdelire.com)

Keith Kramer’s Emerge uses microtonal slides, builds sonic pyramids, and often uses time intervals for specific sections of the piece (an example is the 15 seconds where the players play random key clicks, mouthpiece taps, or random notes col legno). Tension is paramount in Emerge; and the numerous trills, glissandos, flutter tongues, and growls intensify the mood. - Kraig Lamper, American Record Guide

Keith Kramer’s Emerge does just that; emerges from the primordial winds. Each mini episode emerges from the next. Stravinskian sharp rhythms, Pendereckian swirling glissandi but these are sandstorms. It builds, adding tubular bells, contrasting chords, constant tension and release. - Steve Koenig, AcousticLevitation.org (the full review can be found at AcousticLevitation.org)



Causal Dualism
Causal Dualism, an exciting CD of Keith's work, includes Duality (scored for soprano saxophone, bass trombone and string quartet), and Causality (scored for string orchestra, piano and percussion). It is aurally and visually an awesome release and is highly recommended. The disc features the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vit Micka, bass trombonist David Taylor, soprano saxophonist Gottfried Stoger and Jade Strings, featuring violinists Lisa Lee and Wei Tan, violist Ching Chen Juhl and violoncellist Clara Lee. Causal Dualism is a Navona release.



Recent reviews of Causal Dualism:
Causality is an exceptionally strong work and an important contribution to the chamber orchestra literature of our day. - David DeBoor Canfield (Issue 36:6 (July/Aug 2013) of Fanfare Magazine
[Causality] is a fascinating work, with an ever-evolving sound world. Kramer’s orchestration is imaginative and there are some exhilarating moments, not least the widespread use of harmonic glissandi and tremolo effects at the end of the first movement. The second movement begins with some wonderfully static dissonances under sweeping melodic phrases. The piano has a chance to shine and serves as a link between other parts of the ensemble. A solo violin line is expressively played, providing yet another moment of colour in this fascinating work. The third movement is almost balletic in its dance-like flowing rhythms, enigmatically dark and deeply enticing. The piano opens the final movement with repeated pulsating chords, reminiscent of the Rite of Spring against dark string accompaniment figures. The mood breaks way into, briefly, the feel of a gritty piano concerto, before being taken over by ominously dark chordal harmonies once again. The piano continues to have a prominent role, and soon high string clusters are heard over glisses from the inside of the piano. The piece ends quietly with col legno strings disappearing off into the distance. This piece gave much more of a sense of Kramer’s talents as a composer. Having never heard any of his works before, this disc makes me interested to seek out more. Despite being challenging works, both harmonically and philosophically, his thematic ideas are strong and memorable, and he has an instinct for orchestration which is imaginative and individual. - Carla Rees, MusicWeb International
A beautiful production! Sensitively crafted and wonderful performances! - John Van der Slice, composer
Repeated rhythmical patterns also play a part, weaving outwardly different material together and sometimes disappearing all together, leaving pieces hanging in a suspended state for a while, until the groove kicks back in. And then, of course, there is the inclusion of sudden outbursts of tremendous vitality in a Jazz idiom, a stream of consciousness pouring forth from the fabric of the pieces like a sudden streak of genius. Kramer has not made things easy for himself. To make these different aspects come together without them sounding comical must have represented some hardships and so must the task of making them come alive in an emotional way. The thought that he must have both loved and hated the implications of this decision is nicely dualistic, but I doubt it will have helped him much in accomplishing this rich and rewarding work. - Tobias Fischer from http://www.tokafi.com/ (read the whole review from www.tokafi.com here).

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