Josef Keller : The Story of a damned musician
Josef Keller is a musical-literary project that recreates the work and life of a fictional character who travels in the late 19th century Europe. It is a new multidisciplinary artistic concept that through music and literature provides a bridge between past and present. A way to recover and honor the memory of those artists who were forgotten and left behind.
Josef Keller (Vienna, October 27th, 1854 – Salzburg, February 24th, 1902) was a composer, pianist and guitarist pioneer of Austrian ethereophonic music. Despite being influenced by Minimalism and French Impressionism, his contributions were forgotten.
Ignored by the academy and admired by other composers of his era, his musical education was irregular. Most of his life he travelled through Europe carrying out a frantic, messy and turbulent life. By the late seventies, he settled for a few years in Paris, where he quickly made friends with personalities of the era like Monet, Sisley or Mallarmé.
He spent his later years in oblivion and most of his works were lost. It is believed that a great amount of them were destroyed by Keller himself after frequent panic attacks; which he suffered during the last years of his life. He was found dead in the winter of 1902 after several days in his room, surrounded by numerous empty bottles of absinthe. Buried in a mass grave in Salzburg, the death certificate states that he died from cirrhosis.
What do we make?
We recreate and “adapt” the few “surviving works” of Josef Keller. Ahead of his time , the composer was a misunderstood visionary who went unnoticed by the critics. We adapt his work to the language of our time, making use of all kinds of instruments, from a cello or violin to a synthesizer, through the accordion and guitar.
Also with publications in form of diary entries, poems and letters we show in our social media networks and our website how the life of a 19th century musician would be wandering through Europe. An original way to take a walk through history and get to know the important challenges of his time. Also, to develop the idea and bring realness we have created more characters of his time (loverd, friends, musicians..) that interact with him on social networks.