Andrew Keeling is a composer whose vocation only became fully apparent when he was 31. He has said, "I began to think that the musical and psychological pursuits of the first half of my life were insufficient to sustain into the second half of life. Composing presented itself as a solution to this dilemma." He had previously been a cathedral chorister, played as a multi-instrumentalist in various rock bands, and performed as a flute recitalist. Meeting such composers as Sir John Tavener, John Casken, Nicola LeFanu, Anthony Gilbert and Howard Skempton, and the result of embarking on a Jungian analysis in 1987, paved the way for his subsequent creative activities.
Since the late 1980's he has written music for the likes of Opus 20, Het Trio, The Hilliard Ensemble, The Apollo Saxophone Quartet, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Evelyn Glennie, The Goldberg Ensemble, Fretwork, Virelai, Gothic Voices, Jacob Heringman, Matthew Wadsworth, Catherine King, Steven Wray, Alison Wells, Ian Mitchell and many others. Some of this music has appeared on CD releases by the Discipline Global Mobile, Riverrun, Burning Shed, Metier and UHR labels, as well as being performed and broadcast worldwide. It has also been published by Faber, Fretwork Editions, Staunch Music and Alto Publications in the UK and PRB Productions in the USA. He has written that, "Both compositionally and analytically, I wanted to reconcile certain features of the rock music I knew and liked with the things I'd assimilated from contemporary classical music."
Since the late 1960's Keeling has been a keen advocate of the music of King Crimson, and in 1999 was invited to arrange new versions of the group's music, as well as the solo guitar Soundscapes, by Robert Fripp himself. Some of these have been performed, broadcast and recorded by The Metropole Orchestra of Amsterdam, the early music group Virelai and Contact Contemporary Music Ensemble. He has also written with former Fairport Convention vocalist Judy Dyble, former King Crimson/ELP lyricist Peter Sinfield and author/poet Alison Prince, and featured as an arranger for former Fairport Convention/Steeleye Span/ Albion Band founder member Ashley Hutchins, Ken Nicol (Steeleye Span and the Albion Band) and border-pipes player, Matt Seattle. In 2009 First Things, an album of his early acoustic songs, was recorded by Ken Nicol and released by MVS Recordings. Also as a flautist, together with former King Crimson violinist David Cross, he recorded and released English Sun, an album of nine improvisations, on Noisy Records.
Andrew Keeling is also co-author, together with Mark Graham, of A Musical Guide to King Crimson, a series of books exploring the music of King Crimson and published by Spaceward Publications.
In 1997 he was awarded the first PhD in Composition from the University of Manchester, and was subsequently a lecturer at the University of Liverpool and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.