If there is a common thread in Stefan Keller’s extremely varied music, it is probably not anything in the realm of style, form, or choice of materials, but rather a concept of music in which the idea of “performative presence” plays a significant role. For him, music is “a form of intensive communication encompassing all of the senses and the physical involvement of the listeners”.
The physical appeal of Keller’s compositions can be seen most clearly in his affinity for rhythm. There is hardly a composition, in which percussion instruments don’t play an important role. Keller’s complexly structured sound processes effortlessly mix elements from pop, electronic, and non-European music. His use of phenomena from a broad range of musical traditions does not treat the use of referential material as an ironic game with allusions and quotations but instead as a continuation and evolution of the material’s energetic potential. Keller once described this as “making the impact of the newly contextualized music one’s own.”
Ensemble Ascolta presents on this album four very different works from the highly virtuosic solo “Stück für Klavier” [Piece for Piano] to “hybrid gaits”, written for Ascolta’s unusual instrumental formation.
Production of Südwestrundfunks, licensed by SWR Media Services GmbH (1, 3, 4) | Production of Ensemble Ascolta (2)
Schaukel [Swing] for violin, violoncello, and piano
Breathe for piano, electric guitar, accordion and live electronic
Stück für Klavier [Piece for Piano]
hybrid gaits für percussion, keyboard, electric guitar, alto saxophone, trumpet and trombone