Chasing Homer is the latest musical work by Eli Keszler, an up-and-coming instrumentalist, composer and visual artist based in New York. The project is based on Keszler’s inspiring encounter with Hungarian author László Krasznahorkai, known for his collaborations with filmmaker Béla Tarr. While working on his new book of the same name, which will be published later this year, Krasznahorkai invited Keszler to create a “musical framework” to accompany the book. Together, they set off in search of Homer and his monumental Odyssey, travelling to the Croatian coast to collect impressions, stories, sounds and images. Their journey took them to the island of Mljet, home to the nymph Calypso in Greek mythology, where Keszler recorded street music, voices and nature sounds. These recordings, in combination with spoken passages from Krasznahorkai’s book and Keszler’s virtuoso percussion playing, form the musical and narrative fabric of the evening. Chasing Homer will be premiered at the Wiener Festwochen and is a powerful new statement in the work of Eli Keszler, who will perform the work live on his prepared drum set.
Listen to Eli Keszler here
To start the evening the versatile Austrian musician Lukas König will present his new project together with Berlin-based composer Audrey Chen.
Listen to Lukas König here
The concert will be followed by a party with free admission. The Wiener Festwochen present their last Night Shift: the Istanbul-based duo Insanlar will set the mood the Gösserhallen with their shamanistic techno-folk hybrid.
Listen to Insanlar here
- Artistic Team
Music, Field recordings Eli Keszler Text László Krasznahorkai Live sound diffusion Manuel Riegler
Based on the novella Chasing Homer by László Krasznahorkai
Premiere June 2019, Wiener Festwochen
Eli Keszler is a New York based artist, composer and percussionist. Keszler’s music, installations, and visual work have appeared at the Whitney museum, Lincoln Center, Greater New York at MoMa PS1 and many more. Next to collaborations with artists like Oneohtrix Point Never or Laurel Halo, Keszler played with artists like Tony Conrad, Jandek and Loren Connors, and has released solo records for Shelter Press, Empty Editions, Esp-Disk', PAN and REL records. As a composer Keszler has received commissions from the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, ICE Ensemble, Brooklyn String Orchestra and So Percussion.
László Krasznahorkai is a Hungarian novelist and screenwriter who is known for critical and demanding novels, often labelled as postmodern. He worked for some years as an editor until 1984, when he became a freelance writer. Several of his works, notably his novels Sátántangó and The Melancholy of Resistance (with the film title Werckmeister Harmonies) have been turned into feature films by Hungarian film director Béla Tarr. Krasznahorkai has received international acclaim from critics. Susan Sontag described him as »the contemporary Hungarian master of apocalypse who inspires comparison with Gogol and Melville«. W. G. Sebald remarked, »The universality of Krasznahorkai's vision rivals that of Gogol's Dead Souls and far surpasses all the lesser concerns of contemporary writing.« In 2015, he received the Man Booker International Prize, the first Hungarian author to be so awarded.
Lukas König is surely one of the most versatile voices of the current Austrian music scene. With his flamboyant Kœnig persona he regularly rocks festivals in Austria and beyond, often touring with local pop-export Nr. 1 Bilderbuch, channeling Hip-Hop, electronic Funk and a wide set of Jazz influences. His Duo koenigleopold with congenial musical partner Leo Riegler gave electronic Pop made in Austria a long needed new spin, a route he continues to follow as part of the experimental Pop-Supergroup 5K HD. To make the picture complete, one also has to mention Lukas König's skills as a seasoned improvisor on the drum-kit. He played and collaborated with a long list of great musicians, from Jazz to the world of New Composition, including Martin Siewert, Franz Hautzinger, Maja Osojnik, Klangforum Wien, Jorge Sánchez-Chiong and many more.
Audrey Chen began her relationship with sound through the cello and voice over 30 years ago and since the past 15 years, her predominant focus has been her solo work, joining together the extended and inherent vocabularies of the cello, voice and analog electronics. More recently, she has begun to shift back towards the exploration of the voice as a primary instrument, delving even more deeply into her own version of narrative and non-linear storytelling. She derives her sound material in continuous process, championing the "in-between" and overlooked. Her long awaited new solo-LP Runt Vigor was recently released to high acclaim on the renowned Karl Records imprint on Berlin.