Kevin Keller (composer)

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Kevin Keller
Kevin Keller with Brian Eno, May 2013.jpg
Kevin Keller with Brian Eno, May 2013
Background information
Born (1967-04-27) April 27, 1967 (age 50)
San Diego, California, United States
Genres Contemporary classical, Ambient
Occupation(s) Composer, Producer
Years active 1986–present

Kevin Keller (born April 27, 1967)[1] is an American composer and producer known primarily for "ambient chamber music",[2] a style that combines live instruments with electronic effects.[3]


Starting out as a guitarist in his teen years, Keller turned to the piano while attending Jesuit High School,[4] inspired by the music of Claude Debussy, Brian Eno, and Harold Budd.[5] As a composition student, Keller composed ballet scores and chamber music, including a string quartet premiered by the Kronos Quartet at the 1986 Festival of New American Music.[6] Keller later studied Film Scoring at Berklee College of Music under the tutelage of Pinar Toprak.

Keller's first solo recording "The Mask of Memory" (1994) came to the attention of radio producer Stephen Hill, who included several tracks on a Hearts of Space program titled "Digital Planet"[7] in 1995. This was followed by a Living Room Concert and feature on Echoes, whose host John Diliberto named Keller's second CD "Intermezzo" as one of the Top 25 records of 1996.[8] Since that time, Keller has released 6 full-length recordings[9] and several EPs and compilations, working with musicians such as cellist David Darling, guitarist Jeff Pearce and Keller's own chamber ensemble of strings, woodwinds, percussion, and piano.[10]

Keller currently resides in New York City,[11] where he composes music for choreographers such as Dwight Rhoden,[12] Elisa Monte,[13] Amy Marshall,[14] and Ray Sullivan.[15] Keller's works are administered by BMI. His 2012 album "The Day I Met Myself" was produced by Russel Walder; the album won the ZMR Music Award for Best Neo-Classical Album of 2012.

Keller's work "A Star in a Stoneboat" (from his album "Across the Sky") was recently featured on So You Think You Can Dance, in a piece choreographed by Tyce Diorio.

La Strada[edit]

In late 2014, Keller announced that he was beginning a new project, again working with producer Russel Walder.[16] Keller described the inspiration for this project as coming from a "desire to shake things up, and to make music that is more exciting, more "in your face". Following this announcement, Keller shared several blog posts documenting the creative process, with the final entry dated January 31, 2015.[17]

Two months later, a Kickstarter project was announced, with the goal of raising funds to hire a mixing engineer.[18] The project was a resounding success, raising 258% of its goal amount, allowing Keller to hire the Salomé Chamber Orchestra, and Grammy-winning engineer Robert L. Smith. The album also includes guest musicians David Helpling (guitar) and Marta Karamuz (vocals). "La Strada" was released on October 16, 2015.[19]

Critics have praised "La Strada" as "a brilliantly theatric cinematic soundtrack...every track a thrilling narrative" (RJ Lannan/ZMR), and "a sweeping work of modern day classicism merging with electronic rhythms and a cinematic expanse." (John Diliberto/Echoes) The album won the ZMR Award for Best Neo-Classical Album, beating out both Ludovico Einaudi and Yo-Yo Ma.


  • The Mask of Memory (1994)
  • Intermezzo (1996)
  • Pendulum (1999)
  • Across the Sky (2002)
  • Gathering Leaves (2005)
  • Santiago's Dream (2006)
  • Riding the Purple Twilight (2008)
  • In Absentia (2009)
  • Not In My Name (2011)
  • The Day I Met Myself (2012)
  • Nocturnes (2013)
  • La Strada (2015)


  1. ^ "California births, 1905-1995". Family Tree Legends. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "PRX - Kevin Keller's Ambient Chamber Music". Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Amorisi, A.D. "Kevin Keller". Philadelphia City Paper. Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Foster, Michael. "Interview with Kevin Keller". Ambient Visions. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Anderson, Rick. "Review: "Gathering Leaves" by Kevin Keller". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Van Zyl, Chuck. "Profile: Kevin Keller". Star's End. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Program 381: Digital Planet". Hearts of Space. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Diliberto, John. "Essential Echoes". Echoes. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  9. ^ " - Kevin Keller Discography". Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "AllMusic - In Absentia". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "PRX - Ambient Chamber Music". Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "YouTube - Precious Blood". Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "Arrow's Path and Kevin Keller". Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  14. ^ "Amy Marshall Dance Company". Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "Miami Contemporary Dance Company presents Kevin Keller". Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
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External links[edit]