Kelly Moran


Kelly Moran is a pianist and composer from New York. As the main producer for her five solo albums, her intricately arranged electro-acoustic compositions have been described as accomplishing "the rare feat of making the work of a single individual sound like the artistic output of a veritable creative army." [Revolver]

An omnipresent balancing act between studied precision and free-form liberation forms the crux of Moran's art: to listen to any one of her releases is to shed any semblance of genre, of canon, and indeed, of common sense. Her work conveys an arresting array of stylistic influences: dazzling inflections of jazz, dreamy pop, impressionism, classical music, minimalism, and black metal. Moran's breakout album, last year's Bloodroot LP, thrilled primarily through feats of "prepared piano:" a experimental, grand piano-mangling playstyle pioneered by avant-garde luminary John Cage, which contorts an otherwise austere instrument into a vessel of chaotic whimsy. One of the most prominent experimental records of 2017, the album received praise from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and finished strong on countless year-end lists. Moran takes the prepared piano on an evocative journey and turns the instrument inside out, celebrating the piano and sound itself down to the cellular level.

Moran's horizonless vision is partially owed to extensive academic rigour. Shortly after earning her B.M. in piano performance, sound engineering, and composition at the University of Michigan, the artist enrolled as a fellow in University of California, Irvine's Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology MFA program in 2010. It was there that she finally fused her lifelong loves of dance and composition, perfecting the art of music in motion. Her master's thesis — a series of electro-acoustic compositions for piano and chamber ensemble penned to accompany modern dance performances — exists as a precursor to her current music's fluid, dance-ready DNA, inherent in its arrangements.

After completing her studies, Moran could be found in the studio, recording her own music, or taking the stage at area venues to perform alongside artists from across the avant-garde spectrum. To date, the artist's collaborative resume encompasses stints in the no-wave rabble-rousers Cellular Chaos on bass, the avant-rock band Voice Coils on synthesizer, and the experimental outfit Charlie Looker Ensemble on piano, to name a few; she has also composed alongside fellow pianist and long-term John Cage collaborator Margaret Leng-Tan (confirming Moran's direct connection to the New York scene), the Manhattan Choral Ensemble, and the esteemed percussion quartet Yarn/Wire.

Most recently, she has been working as a collaborator with revered producer Daniel Lopatin—known to most as Oneohtrix Point Never. Lopatin enlisted Moran in his live band, and made her keyboardist for global Age Of tour, his "medium-spanning installation and four-part epochal song-cycle." In March 2018, she was also awarded one of Roulette Intermedium's coveted 2018 Van Lier fellowships, enabling her to develop artistic endeavors even further. Moran currently lives and works in New York.

Kelly Moran

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