The Front Porch of Heaven (kevinkeller.com)
It takes a gift to be able to take all of the signatures and textures of mainstream film music – from droning underscores to Hans Zimmer-style orchestral swells to non-Western exotica – and turn them into compelling foreground music, devoid of the need for images, stripped of the functional limitations that movie and TV scores usually have by design. American composer Kevin Keller has done it with The Front Porch of Heaven. His ‘ambient chamber music’ feels deeply cinematic but it’s right there in front of you, not an accompaniment to anything but the space you are in right now. Using all he’s learnt from scoring films, TV and theatre productions in the last two decades, he fashions six powerful piano-led pieces that draw on modern classical minimalism, German synth music, soft rock, grand symphonies and more. The album peaks with the closing track “Solana”, a cycling piano melody that swirls and builds to an ecstatic rush you won’t forget anytime soon.