Joshua Keeling is emerging as an adventurous voice in new music, drawing on diverse influences and innovative practices to yield a colorful musical palette. His repertoire includes chamber, orchestral, wind ensemble, and interactive electroacoustic compositions, as well as collaborations with filmmakers, choreographers, and playwrights. He was recently awarded first prize in the Beyer Awards from the National Federation of Music Clubs. His music has been performed both nationally and internationally at a number of venues and festivals including: the Society of Electro-Acoustic Music (SEAMUS) National Conference, the Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium, the San Francisco Festival of Contemporary Music, Prospectives International Festival of Digital Art, and the Accidental Music Festival. Joshua's music, which often takes inspiration from natural phenomena, combines harmonic materials from tonal, non-tonal, jazz, and spectral traditions as well as intricate and vibrant rhythmic patterns. In electroacoustic music, he explores real-time interaction between musicians and computers, as well as multi-channel spatialization. He received his D.M. from Florida State University. Additionally, he has studied at the University of Texas at Austin (M.M.), the Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber (Dresden, Germany), and Belmont University (B.M.). Dr. Keeling currently teaches composition and theory at Illinois State University.

Chamber Music, Wind Ensemble/Concert Band, Orchestra, Electro-acoustic, Film/Theater Music, Jazz

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PIano Quintet - Movement II

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I wrote this quintet during a period of rapid change and uncertainty. Although the piece is not intended to tell a story, it nonetheless includes some subtle reflections on my surroundings during the time I was writing it. I feel that there is an underlying theme of transcendence and hope. Throughout the piece, thematic elements undergo a number of dramatic transformations, reappearing in multiple contexts and characters. In the first movement, melancholy chorales and extended chord structures convey a contemplative depth. Beauty and sorrow are displayed simultaneously in interwoven melodies and textures. The second movement's sprightly theme interrupts the introspection; however, through a series of episodes, the theme soon develops into other characters: impetuous... then soaring... impassioned... and eventually desolate, aimless. Beneath the stricken ambience, though, fragments of the theme begin to appear, gradually gaining strength. Finally, the original theme returns, transformed and resolute, leading to conclusion that contains a glimmer of the spontaneity that began the piece.


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In October 2010, I had the pleasure of seeing my first meteor shower from a beautiful North Florida beach. In the extreme early morning hours, hundreds of meteors flooded the sky from all directions. Some were quick and dazzling; others, to my surprise, drifted on slower, winding paths across the sky before dissipating into the night. The sense of amazement I felt while watching this beautiful phenomenon is one that I will never forget. In Draconids, I have ventured to render my impressions of the experience in musical form. To ensure that the electronics are flexible and completely responsive to the performers, the computer uses pitch tracking, allowing them to interpret the music at their own pace. The instrumentalists act partly as illustrators—establishing materials to which the computer adds motion and color; and as observers, reacting both to one another and to the overall soundscape. Multiphonics in the instrumental parts introduce altered harmonic spectra that further expand the tone colors available for the computer’s extraction and manipulation. These multiphonic spectra are also reflected microtonally in much of the wind instruments’ melodic material­. Often, the melodic passages are consonant with the multiphonic’s harmonic spectrum, but even more often, I was fascinated by the sound of notes just outside the multiphonic spectrum. This effect can be heard especially in the final section, where the instrumentalists’ sound is convolved in real time with bassoon multiphonics, leaving behind long, sonic trails.

Sonata: Encounters for solo cello

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Rituals Part II

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