Creeping industrial electronics, brittle percussion and warping visuals combine in the duo’s debut release as Pedagogy.

Pedagogy is the collaborative project from artist, sculptor and electronic producer Nate Boyce and avant-percussionist Eli Keszler.

Having performed live at festivals including LEV and Unsound, the duo are unveiling their debut release, a cyberfunk reimagining of French composer Olivier Messiaen’s piano work ‘Mode de valeurs et d’intensités’.

The original composition is considered Messiaen’s most cerebral work and is the first piece by a European composer in which pitch, duration, dynamics, and modes of attack, or timbre, are organised numerically. “When Eli and I started playing together we bonded over our mutual love of Messiaen’s music”, explains Boyce. “I’ve been obsessing over this piece for about a decade and working with a MIDI transcription of it for a few years now.” 

“I essentially left everything intact but altered the timbres in sections that correspond to the lower, middle and upper regions of the keyboard”, he continues. “When I assigned the lower region of the keyboard to a hard bass sound I realized how inherently funky the piece actually was, so it made sense to have Eli manoeuvre his syncopated rhythms around it.” 

“Our interpretation of it devolves midway through to a more constrained guitar synth riff on the basic mode of the piece before settling back into the original form. I was thinking of the intermittent digital shrieking sound that happens throughout as an abstract ornithological utterance invoking Messiaen’s involvement with birdsong.”

Boyce describes his visual accompaniment to the piece as “a kind of abstract, kinetic notation”, which is reminiscent of the same kind of skeletal, bio-mechanical imagery he so memorably brought to Oneohtrix Point Never’s MYRIAD “concertscape”.

Eli Keszler released his ninth solo record, Stadium, back in 2018, which was followed by an EP, Empire, the following year. Both releases are available now on the Shelter Press Bandcamp.

For more information about Nate Boyce, you can follow him on Instagram and view some of his work here.

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