Eli Keszler & Rashad Becker: Why Do Stuff? Approaching Sound & Music from the Outside

3 Apr 2019 – 8 Apr 2019

Cost of entry

€1299 - grants, bursaries and discounts available, see

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Occitanie, France


Travel Information

  • Bus from Toulouse, or Saint Girons
  • Nearest station: Toulouse. Then bus.
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A five-day residential workshop in the epic French Pyrenees, led by Eli Keszler and Rashad Becker


Access to the means of sound and music production has widened exponentially in the last two decades. As much as this increased access is a blessing, it also drowns musicians in an overwhelming variety of options that often mute the reason to engage with musical works in first place. Maintaining the production environment can easily become a job (and, for many, a passion) in its own right, whilst the huge variety of processes available form a constant stream of questions thrown at the composer/producer/sound artist; questions which require careful attention. Without proper attention to these questions, we risk becoming lost in a compulsive process of filling the hard drive with version after version of the same basic idea, up to a point where the idea itself becomes the object rather than the subject of the musical process.

What is this guitar angry with? Why should this filter become more generous or more stingy? Why is this phrase repeating itself without offering new insight to the problem at hand? Is it for rhetorical or for educational purpose? This workshop aims to help people from diverse artistic backgrounds who are working with sound and music to hold on to the process of creating work, despite obstacles to the narrative, without loosing determination and decisiveness.

"Why make work?" will lead into "how to make work", with a more compelling structure, and ultimately resolve into "work", equipped to speak for itself. The workshop tries to build a personalized catalogue of questions aimed at your own work through a series of practical and theoretical exercises, incorporating performance, site specific approaches, technical considerations and thought games transfering methods from other realms of media and fiction.

Eli Keszler is a New York based artist, composer and percussionist. His installations, music and visual work have appeared at Lincoln Center, MIT List Center, Victoria & Albert Museum, Sculpture Center, South London Gallery, Hessel Museum, Tectonics Festival Reykjavik, MoMa PS1 and many other locations, and he has collaborated with artists such as Laurel Halo, Oneohtrix Point Never, Laure Prouvost, Tony Conrad, Oren Ambarchi, Keith Fullerton Whitman and Aki Onda. Eli's latest album "Stadium", released at the end of last year on Shelter Press, garnered critical acclaim worldwide including bagging the prime spot as Boomkat's number one album of the year. Previous recordings have been released on Empty Editions, Esp-Disk, Pan and REL records, and he has received commissions from the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, ICE Ensemble, Brooklyn String Orchestra and So Percussion. Eli's work is regularly featured in Frieze, The New York Times and Wire Magazine amongst other publications, and he has taught at Brooklyn College, Columbia University, New England Conservatory, Dartmouth University, Washington University, Mass Art and UMass Boston.

Rashad Becker is a composer and musician residing in Berlin. His compositions are multilayered narratives populated by an ensemble of sonic entities, some smug, some shy, some agitators, others ready to surrender. Often there's a tragic-comical touch, like a cartoon version of what could be a requiem from a dream (or just as much a fertility dance from another dimension). Recent works include the cycle "Traditional Music Of Notional Species" released across two volumes on PAN, and a multi-part work called "Based On A True Story" that derives scores from historical occurrences in a sort of 'sonic staging'. In this context, he is currently commissioned by New York-based ensemble Alarm Will Sound and Derlin string ensemble Kaleidoskop. Rashad is mainly active as a solo artist but finds himself in a series of permanent collaborations alongside (of course) Eli Keszler, Moritz von Oswald and as a member of the formation Moleglove. Other and more sporadic collaborators have been Okkyung Lee, Andre Vida, Ashley Paul, and Valerio Tricoli."

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Exhibiting artistsToggle

Eli Keszler

Rashad Becker

Taking part


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