Hartwick's Kratochvíl Records CD Underground

October 6, 2009

Hartwick Associate Professor and Chair of Music Dr. Jirka Kratochvíl has completed a new CD, "Echoes in Stone," which was recorded underground in nearby Howe Caverns. The recording is completely original work and is played on various types of native American flutes.

"There are two other outstanding features in the recording--water and percussions," Kratochvíl said.

The CD was recorded over a period of several months and in different parts of the cave.

"Each section of the cave created a completely different atmosphere, different types of 'echoes,' and therefore different feelings," he continued. "Even recording in the same location more than once resulted in different sounds. Much of this depended on the amount of water running through the cave."

Howe Caverns, located in Howes Cave, NY is a living, limestone cave created by water.

Kratochvíl also incorporated percussive elements, predominantly gong, but also sounds of dropping water "to unify the recording," he said. Recording in the cave was "a magical experience. Unlike a recording studio, this was more of a play with space and sound than a calculated composition. In fact, all tracks are improvised. There is not even one predetermined note."

"Musicians have long appreciated the acoustics in the caverns including our founder, Lester Howe, who played the fiddle in the cave. The new work Dr. Kratochvil has created is a musical treasure," said Howe Caverns general manager Robert Holt.

The recording is sold exclusively at the Howe Caverns Gift Shop. For more information, visit

Kratochvíl is Director of Choral Music at Hartwick, where he also has taught Music Theory, Diction, and Choral Conducting. He serves as Director of the Hartwick Choral Festival and Institute.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick’s expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030