As a result of working with producer Russel Walder for the first time (which also reintroduced electronics to Keller's music), The Day I Met Myself involved lots of revision, and was a lengthy and arduous journey - but, much like the day that inspired it, Keller did stick with it, and ultimately earned his first ZMR award for "Best Neo-Classical Album".

 

Keller's next album, Nocturnes, emerged easily through a completely different process. "There's a photographer in San Francisco I know named Seth Dickerman who creates amazing photographs, and I had always wanted to write music that was inspired by them. My process for Nocturnes was to pick one photograph and tack it to the wall right where my piano is, look at it and ask, 'what does that sound like?' and improvise a piano piece. There's nothing that was written down at all. I would just record three or four different versions and then choose the best parts and paste them together." Nocturnes did so well on the radio that Hearts of Space named their show 'Nocturnes' the week they played the album.

Then, for Keller's 2015 album, La Strada, it was back to working with Walder and a bigger production sound, this time complete with an actual orchestra, everything written down and played in the traditional way by all the musicians at once in the same room. "I wanted to make an album that showcased my abilities in a grander, orchestral film score approach," Keller says.

 

There was also a less expected influence: "DEADMAU5's album while (1<2). I really love his approach to sound design and rhythm, and I wanted to infuse that kind of attitude into my music." In addition to winning a second ZMR Award for "Best Neo-Classical Album", La Strada also earned plaudits from Diliberto, who said it was Keller's “most ambitious and assured work to date,” and RJ Lannan of Zone Music Reporter, who called it “a brilliantly theatrical cinematic soundtrack.”

In a natural progression from La Strada, Keller's newest full-length album is an all-electronic cosmic travelogue called Ice Worlds.  Earning Keller yet another "CD of the Month" designation from John Diliberto, Ice Worlds is often disarmingly upbeat, taking the listener across terrain that, while definitely on the cool side, is more like what Deadmau5 might spin at an arctic discotheque where heavy bass beats are traded in for the crunch of ice and snow.  

-Steve Holtje

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