Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, and currently based in New York City, Eli Keszler began playing drums at eight, and composing at twelve. Before finding an interest in experimental music and improvisation, he played in rock and hardcore bands; his work retains an intense physicality and churning, often ferocious energy. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory, where he studied composition with Anthony Coleman and Ran Blake. He has collaborated with Phill Niblock, Roscoe Mitchell, Tony Conrad, Joe McPhee, Loren Connors, Jandek, and many others, and has recorded more than a dozen CDs and LPs for ESP-DISK, REL, and PAN.
Keszler’s installations employ piano wires of varying lengths; these are struck, scraped, and vibrated by microprocessor-controlled motorized arms, giving rise to harmonically complex tones that are percussive yet resonant. These installations are heard on their own and with accompanying ensemble scores. Said Keszler in a NPR All Songs Considered interview, “I like to work with raw material, simple sounds, primitive or very old sounds; sounds that won't get dated in any way.” In addition, the patterns formed by the overlapping piano wires allow Keszler to create visual components that relate directly to the music, without having to use projections or other electronic equipment.
His visual work often features dense, fine detailed drawing and painting which use a variety of sources, from the surfaces of objects to large scale spaces, and intuitive design.His installations have appeared at Eyebeam (NYC), Boston Center for the Arts, Nuit Blanche NYC and the Shreveport MSPC New Music Festival with upcoming projects at the Tektonic festival in Reykjavik, Iceland, an installation for the Gaudeamus Festival at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, and a performance at Barbican in London.
Eli Keszler - CV (PDF)