The music of Rob Keeley

In his own words

It's not easy to write meaningfully about one's own music, especially, as in my case, I tend to prefer to allow the music to speak for itself, a risky business for many reasons.

While quite a few of my pieces have pictorial or descriptive titles, or at least those which suggest a mood or a place - images of water and bells are favourites (I know I'm not alone there!) - I usually go for abstract titles, and I have a strong nostalgia for the days when a composer could get away with the title 'Quintet', or 'Trio', and leave it at that.

And while in the 90's I was bitten with the 'big orchestra' bug, with two symphonies written in close succession and a piano concerto shortly afterwards, these days I prefer to write for small ensembles, duos or solos, preferring as I do, the greater intimacy afforded by these more economical (in both senses) media.

Early influences which go back to avid listening as a teenager: Britten, Messiaen and Tippett, perhaps more esoterically, that of Dallapiccola, Berio, Alexander Goehr and Elliott Carter, on top of (of course) all the great richness of tonal music, later leavened by studies with first Oliver Knussen and much later in Rome with Franco Donatoni: all these remain important, although I would say there is little that hasn't left some kind of mark on my work. Perhaps it is the sheer variety of music I have absorbed and continue to love which has meant it has taken me a while to make anything like a coherent synthesis of all these. So, the past couple of years have involved a good deal of revising of old scores, things written perhaps a little too quickly and easily, played once and then left to moulder (fester?) ....I have learned much from this experiences of revisiting things from ten or fifteen years ago, blushing at the numerous clumsinesses, but also curiously surprised and touched by ideas which, however rawly expressed, seem today strong and worth keeping.

So as my work-list shows, there is a catalogue of over sixty pieces which I acknowledge. As this website grows, I hope to add sample pages and links to audio files.