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Composer and virtuosic percussionist Eli Keszler has recently emerged as a formidable creative force of the contemporary musical avant-garde.
The New York-based artist combines jarringly rhythmic, propulsive solo drumming with electro-acoustics and raw materialism, crafting complex and exploratory sonic organisms prone to erupting out of their own skins. In the words of a New York Times review, “Few artists have courted chaos as diligently and scientifically as Keszler."
Delivered live, Keszler’s work seethes with intense physicality and ferocious energy. He has toured throughout Europe and the US as a solo performer and in collaboration with luminaries such as Phill Niblock, Aki Onda, Tony Conrad, and Keith Fullerton Whitman.
Keszler’s large-scale, interactive installations employ piano wires of varying lengths, struck, scraped, and vibrated by microprocessor-controlled motors, and have been presented at the South London Gallery, Tectonics Festival, and the Barbican, among others. In 2011, PAN released Cold Pin, documenting Keszler’s large-scale piano wire installation and accompanying composition for cello, drums, guitar, and trumpet. The installation was made of up 14 strings ranging in length from 1 to over 7 meters and strung across a curved wall with motors attacking the strings, connected by micro-controllers, pick-ups, and rca cables, and was recorded in Boston's historic Cyclorama, a massive dome built in 1884.
Keszler has also released on R.E.L Records, Rare Youth, and 8mm Records, among others, and both The Wire and the Boston Globe named his Oxtirn (ESP-DISK, 2010) a record of the year. A printed collection of his drawings, diagrams, and screen prints, NEUM, accompanied his installation at the South London Gallery.