Eli Keszler seems intent on blowing open any instrument/object duality and basking in the cold light of courageous confusion. Brookline-born and New York-based, Keszler has been working with piano wire stretched and mechanically hit by robotic arms controlled by microprocessors. These wires are set up in various spaces: the Boston Cyclorama, McNeill Pumping Station in Shreveport, LA, and, most recently, the DUMBO archway of the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn.
“Archway” was installed as part of June’s extensive PAN_ACT festival, further complementing the already fascinating work that Keszler has done with PAN on Cold Pin and Catching Net. NPR commissioned Keszler and Brooklyn micro-drum corps So Percussion to write and perform something for the occasion. The 12-minute piece that came about from the collaboration was performed live between the construction and destruction of Keszler’s installation. Thankfully, NPR recorded the performance for our viewing and listening pleasure. Keszler and So Percussion feed off of mechanical and organic energy emanating between the installation and the musicians for a performance that is captivatingly physical and mesmerizing, continuously beckoning you back for repeated views. Witness below, and look out for Keszler’s new book of drawings and prints, NEUM.