GUIDED BY SOUND: Kevin Keller's Paradigm-shifting "Shimmer"
Composer Kevin Keller has been known to switch things up from album to album, but this year he took things a step further. In order to challenge himself and bring fresh ideas to his music, he essentially crowdsourced an entire album in 28 days. "I started with no narrative concept, no title, no idea really of what this music would be," Keller explains. Indeed, most of his previous twelve albums have told some kind of story, often from personal experiences. To break this pattern, he relaxed his usual creative control and asked fans for directions and ideas. From there, he designed new sounds and let those sounds guide him through each session.
The result of this experiment is his forthcoming full-length album Shimmer, releasing September 17.
Recorded entirely within the month of February, the album is Keller's response to the RPM Challenge, an annual challenge to create an album in one month. During its creation, Keller shared 2 minutes of new music every day on his blog, and asked fans to comment and make suggestions for the following day.
Shimmer contains some of Keller’s most propulsive tracks, bubbling with analog beats while also deploying a multitude of motifs that mesh like clockwork. The more meditative moments show off his compositional knack for beautiful, neoclassical melodies.
Kevin Keller is an American composer who has worked in the spaces between neo-classical, ambient, and electronic music for over 25 years. Combining acoustic piano, strings, and woodwinds with electronic instruments and effects, his style has come to be called ambient chamber music.
Keller has released a dozen albums, worked with musicians David Darling and Russel Walder, co-produced live concerts with Steve Roach and Robert Rich, and has even rubbed elbows with Brian Eno in his long career. His music has been awarded two Zonies (ZMR Awards) for “Best Neo-Classical Album”, and has also been heard on the popular Fox show “So You Think You Can Dance”, as well as original scores for film, television, and contemporary dance.