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Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, Eli Keszler began playing drums at eight, composing at twelve, and playing in rock and hardcore bands throughout his teens. Now based in New York City, his work retains an intense physicality and ferocious energy developed from these early experiences. Keszler's installations and visual work often use microprocessor-controlled motors to strike, scrape and vibrate various lengths of piano wire as well as other materials. His projects deal with bordering spaces between architectural space and performance – installation and composition. These installations can be heard both autonomously and with accompanying ensemble scores or solo performance featuring Keszler's aggressive jarringly rhythmic and propulsive drumming. One of his most recent projects mounted 16 wires ranging from 100 to 800 feet long off the iconic Manhattan Bridge, activated by the vibrational patterns in the bridge's structure as well as by a complex mechanical system. "I like to work with raw material, simple sounds, primitive or very old sounds," Keszler stated in a recent interview on NPR's All Songs Considered, "sounds that won't get dated in any way." His installations are often accompanied by scores, drawings, diagrams, screen prints and writings-- a large body of which were recently compiled in a collection 'NEUM' which accompanied his installation at the South London Gallery.

His installations and visual work have appeared at the MIT List Center, Victoria & Albert Museum, The Kitchen, South London Gallery, Luma-Foundation, Tectonics Festival (Harpa Hall) Reykjavik, Centraal Museum in Utrecht, Boston Center for the Arts, Barbican - St. Lukes amongst other places. He most recently presented a piece along with David Grubbs at the List Center at MIT.

Keszler has toured extensively throughout Europe and the US, performing solo and in collaboration with artists such as Christian Wolff, Phill Niblock, Tony Conrad, Oren Ambarchi, Joe Mcphee, Jandek, Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Coleman, String Orchestra of Brooklyn, T Model Ford, Ran Blake, and Ilan Volkov with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at venues including Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam), Barbican, ICA Boston and Moma PS1 and has recorded solo releases for labels such as PAN, REL Records and ESP-DISK'. He has received commissions and awards from MATA, Gaudeamus, String Orchestra of Brooklyn, Foundation For Contemporary Art funding and a Meet The Composers Grant recipient. He has spoken and taught at the St. Louis Museum, Washington University, UMass Lowell, New England Conservatory and Brooklyn College. Keszler is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music.

"Few artists have courted chaos as diligently and scientifically as the percussionist and composer Eli Keszler, whose performance-installation work incorporate small, motorized beaters that pattern and scuff, seemingly of their own accord, against elegant suspensions of amplified piano wire. Friday's event gave Mr. Keszler a chance to make a city landmark a part of the performance....But the bridge, with its steady automotive din of cars and intermittent subway-train thunder, lent new elements, including haunting sustained moans with an almost choral quality. The piano-wire litany... engulfed an audience seated under the resonant archway."

New York Times Review of Archway, June 2013


'Filtrations’ The Kitchen - Performance and installation – NYC (February 2015)

One and One Less - Exhibition and Performance w/ David Grubbs - MIT List Center (October-November 2014)

Performance at Galerie West with Konrad Smolenski ‘Volkspaleis’ - Den Hague (September, 2014)

Victoria And Albert Museum - Installation and Performance with Helm at the Boiler Room (February 2014)

Caramoor Festival – Catenary Installation (May to September 2014)
Luma Foundation - print in group show (January 2014 - May 30th)

AP News - Installation and performance - Zurich (April, 2013)

South London Gallery - NEUM (June to September 2013)

Archway (June 2013 )

Manhattan Bridge in Installation - Commissioned by NPR music, Issue Project Room, PAN Festival, Make Music New York and Department of Transportation

Barbican Performance and Installation - St. Luke's, London (September 2012)


Duo concert with Rashad Becker at The Empty Gallery -Hong Kong (March, 2015)

Tony Conrad at 75 Greene Naftali Gallery with David Grubbs - (March, 2015)

String Orchestra of Brooklyn Commission at Roulette - Brooklyn (March 2014)

CTM Festival 2014 – Breaker-NEUM – Berlin (February 2014)

Commission for Icelandic Symphony, Tectonics Festival - Reykjavik, Iceland (April, 2012)

Solo European Tour (April, 2010)

Performances in UK, Finland, Germany, France and Spain. Highlights include Lala Lumo Festival in Helsinki, Finland and Cafe Oto concert with Steve Beresford and Adam Bohman

Solo European/UK tour November 2009 Performances in Scotland, England, France, Spain, Italy, Czech- Republic, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Serbia. Highlights included Cave 12 (Geneva, Switzerland), Klub Gromka (Ljubljana, Slovenia) WIM (Zurich, Switzerland), OCII (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Extrapool (Nijmegen, The Netherlands)


James Hoff By Eli Keszler (cover story Bomb Magazine Fall 20

'On Xenakis' Preparatory Sketches – The Drawing Center Exhibition – Wire Magazine, Inner Sleeve (September, 2012)


BA from New England Conservatory of Music (2002)

Major in Performance and Composition -


Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant (2012)

MATA Composers Prize (2012)

Creative Connections Grant (2012)

MATA Composers Prize (2012)

Gaudeamus Composer Award (September, 2012)



Oren Ambarchi/Eli Keszler 'Alps' Duo Record (Dancing Wayang Records)

Catenary – Book (REL)

Neum - Book (REL)


Catching Net Collected Compositions and Installations (PAN-ACT) Aster (8MM) Eli Keszler/Joe Mcphee Duo (8MM Records) Eli Keszler/Keith Fullerton Whitman 'split' (NNA)


Eli Keszler 'Cold Pin' (PAN-ACT Berlin)

Red Horse (Type Records)

Oxtirn (ESP-Disk')


Aster (REL008) Red Horse (REL007)

APPEARS ON Ashley Paul Slow Boat (LP) Keith Fullerton Whitman "Rythmes Naturels (18re Partie)" INA GRM Commission, Paris (2012) Phill Niblock 'Asheli' "for saxophone and crotales" (2009) Geoff Mullen Armory Radio (Barge Recordings, 2008) Anthony Coleman Lapidation (New World Records, 2008)


Modern Painters Magazine - Introducing Eli Keszler

NY Times Review: June 2012


BOMB Magazine: http://bombsite.com/issues/1000/articles/7343

The Wire http://thewire.co.uk/video/eli-keszler_s-breaker-neum_wp_installation-at-reykjavik-harpa Pitchfork: Pitchfork: http://pitchfork.com/features/the-out-door/8901-number-25/3/