An Illinois College music professor has compiled his music into an international album release. Timothy Kramer released “Sentinels” on June 12th, which features some of his work from the past 30 years. The album was released on the Navona Records imprint of PARMA Recordings.
Kramer says the album is a capstone of work that he’s produced during his years on the hill top. “I have pieces wrote on it that are as old as 1986, and I think the most recent piece on the CD is a piece I wrote for the Jacksonville Symphony Society’s 50th Anniversary of the Jacksonville Symphony, which was in 2013. It’s a range of music, and kind of a range of styles, too. There are a couple pieces that are for community orchestra and a couple of pieces that were written for professional orchestras.”
Kramer said the recording process for the album was unique as he watched members of the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra in Ostrava, Czech Republic come in and play their parts after having only read sheet music for the pieces. He said it was simply hours in a sound booth editing and directing each piece. “I went [to the Czech Republic] last September for about a week. It was actually a 3-day recording session, but the trip took about a week to get there and get back. You know, you just go into the studio for 8 hours a day and record the music. I never knew the group before. I never knew the conductor. It was all [set up] through the record label.”
Kramer says the album is available on all streaming services right away. Physical copies are also available at all major retailers currently. Kramer says that there are plans in the distant future to put another recording together of more choral-based music. “There are [more] plans, but it’s going to take a couple of years because they are really complicated to put together. I would at least, through my sixties, and put together through my catalog of works, a possible choral CD that I’d like to do. I have enough choral music to now go on a CD, and I have a group in Cleveland, Ohio that’s been doing a number of pieces of mine and another group out in San Francisco. I was a composer, not in residence, with a group of San Francisco choral artists last year, and I wrote a number of pieces for them. I might be interested in that kind of a CD, rather than all orchestral CD. It’s definitely in the back of my mind, but it’s a long-term process. It’s at least 3 years away.”
Kramer joined the IC faculty in 2010. He will retire from IC at the end of June. He says that he plans on doing more composing over the next decade during retirement.