Get to know our In the Garden of Sonic Delights artists a little better through our Sonic Delights Artist Spotlights!
Meet Ranjit Bhatnagar (Stone Song) & Eli Keszler (Catenary)
Ranjit Bhatnagar is a sound artist who works with technology, language, and found materials to create interactive installations and musical instruments. His works have been exhibited across the United States and in Europe. In an annual project, he creates a new homemade musical instrument each day of the month of February — the Instrument-a-Day project is now in its seventh year.
Last summer, Bhatnagar worked with the art collectives Flux Factory and Rabid Hands to build a large-scale musical installation at the Palais de Tokyo Museum in Paris. His interactive sound work “Singing Room for a Shy Person,” commissioned by Amsterdam’s Métamatic Research Initiative, premiered at New York City’s Clocktower Gallery last spring, and moved to the Jean Tinguely Museum in Basel, Switzerland in October for the Métamatic Reloaded exhibition. He performed in the Uncaged Toy Piano Festival and Qubit’s Machine Music festival this winter, and is working with David Chang on a calligraphy- and gesture-based score for the Brooklyn Ballet.
Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, and currently based in New York City, Eli Keszler began playing drums at eight, and composing at twelve. He played in rock and hardcore bands, and his work retains an intense physicality and churning, often ferocious energy. Keszler’s installations and visual work employ piano wires of varying lengths which are struck, scraped, and vibrated by microprocessor-controlled motors. These installations are heard on their own and with accompanying ensemble scores, or solo performance, with Keszler’s aggressive, jarringly rhythmic, and propulsive drumming. His most recent project used 16 wires ranging from 100 to 800 feet long which were mounted off of the Manhattan Bridge. In an NPR All Songs Considered interview he said, “I like to work with raw material, simple sounds, primitive or very old sounds; sounds that won’t get dated in any way.” Often his work will appear accompanied by scores, drawings, and writings. A large body of his diagrams, screen prints, and detailed drawings was recently compiled in a collection ‘NEUM’ which accompanied his installation at the South London Gallery.
His installations and visual work have appeared at the Victoria & Albert Museum, South London Gallery, Tectonics Festival (Harpa Hall) Reykjavik, Centraal Museum in Utrecht, LUMA Foundation (Zurich), Boston Center for the Arts, and Barbican — St. Luke’s, amongst other places.
Keszler has toured extensively throughout Europe and the U.S., performing solo and in collaboration with artists such as Christian Wolff, Phill Niblock, Tony Conrad, Oren Ambarchi, Joe McPhee, Jandek, Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Coleman, T Model Ford, Ran Blake, and Ilan Volkov with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at venues including Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam), Barbican, ICA Boston, and Moma PS1 and has recorded solo releases for several labels. He has received commissions and awards from MATA, Gaudeamus, and String Orchestra of Brooklyn, and funding from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and is also a Meet the Composer Grant recipient. Eli Keszler is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music.
See their artworks in this week’s Featured Videos
[video_embed url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh-aj3-8kNw” caption=”Ranjit Bhatnagar, Stone Song”]
[video_embed url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCDYvB2fqxY” caption=”Eli Keszler, Catenary”]