Derek Keller has impeccable credentials in the field of classical composition; he holds a PhD from U.C. San Diego and has studied with composers as diverse as Roger Reynolds, Anthony Davis, George Crumb, David Lang, and Brian Ferneyhough. He also has extensive experience as a jazz and rock guitarist, and the music on this CD reflects the eclecticism of his background and interests. Two of the pieces, Attitudes…Self-Reflection (Version 2) and Impositions and Consequence lean most heavily toward his experience in jazz and rock. Two others, Fear... Ever Present for mixed ensemble and Morpheus for percussion quartet, represent a more integrated synthesis of his varied interests. They have improvisatory, dream-like qualities -- the first of nightmares and the second of more diverse dreamscapes. Fear…Ever Present, while using mostly small, quiet sounds and vocalizations, successfully evokes the panic that deep anxiety can induce. Morpheus is also evocative, but is more ambiguous and mysterious. Keller writes very well for percussion, and his aural images are inventively colorful and emotionally compelling. The percussion quartet red fish blue fish, conducted by Steven Schick, plays with sensitivity, and when necessary, abandon. The other ensembles represented here, NOISE, conducted by Harvey Sollberger, and the Derek Keller Ensemble, conducted by Fabio Fonseca de Oliveira, perform with high energy and dedication.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Fear...Ever Present, for amplified flute, guitar, cello, percussion & instrumentalists' voices|
|Impositions and Consequences, for soprano, tenor, baritone saxophone, electric guitar, piano/mellotron, contrabass & drum set|