Our good friend Christopher Willits album came out today, make sure to stream it and if you’re feeling it use the link below to swipe up a CD or 12″.
SUPPORT: DIGITAL / VINYL / CD
“For years, I’ve imagined the work I do in music, photography, video/film, immersive audio and meditation all coming into one space,” says music-art guru Christopher Willits from his home in San Francisco. It’s an ambition that seems especially befitting of a worldly polymath like Willits. “Sound and light can transform and inspire our imaginations,” he continues. “It can be used as a tool to awaken our consciousness.” And that is exactly what he has set out to do with OPENING, the veteran Ghostly artist’s new immersive audio-visual project.
Across seven tracks of widescreen ambient music, 45 minutes of visuals shot over four years in multiple countries, seven photographs, and a multi-sensory, multiple channel live performance, Willits has created something which might better be thought of as an experience than a simple album. OPENING features Willits’ latest music since Ancient Future, his 2012 collaboration with Japanese pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto, and his recent production and mastering work on Tycho’s Awake. The vibrant, enveloping sounds we’ve come to expect from him are on full display. The quiet majesty of “Vision” ushers us into the sacred world Willits creates, a living universe that billows and heaves alongside slow-grooving songs like “Clear” and “Connect,” or with the textural minutiae and harmonic subtleties in “Ground” and “Now”. Closing out the album, “Wide” and “Release” offer the listener a gentle comedown through 15 minutes of transcendent audio, with Willits’ delicate guitar manipulations breathing life into the aether of finely textured atmospheres and soft-glowing synths.
The other integral facet to the experience of OPENING is Willits’ visual work. After building a library of images from his travels around California, Hawaii, Japan, and Thailand, Willits is unveiling an abstract narrative film, with seven scenes that correspond with the seven songs from the album along with seven limited edition photo prints. The 45-minute film interfuses music and a first-person perspective of meditative scenes—inspiring nature sections reminiscent of the films Baraka, Koyaanisqatsi and Planet Earth—to create the space of OPENING.
Willits says, “There are no actors or dialogue in this film. The audience and their perception is the main character, and everyone’s imagination is going to create some meaning that’s relevant to their own experience. My intention is to create a space where people can open up and expand into, relax and recharge.” OPENING is unlike anything Willits has accomplished before, perhaps because the audio-visual project is about expanding one’s mind to invite something new. Or, as Willits puts it, “For me, OPENING is about transformation, the experience of changing oneself to be more of who you know you can be, and, ultimately, the joy that comes with that change.”
Posting images of this piece sort of gives it away, so you’ve got to just hit play above and check it out. Excellent concept, cinematography, and edit. Check out more work from Russell Houghten and have a look at the prints he’s created from still frames on the Epic. Really well done.
Colorvision 13 features the work of Luke Wyatt aka Torn Hawk, straight from his slightly deserted youtube account. The channel is full of destroyed and altered VHS gems that might be some of the best alterations i’ve ever seen. Let this one ride out, its perfect all the way to the end.
We’ve released a new Tycho single and a GMUNK-directed video to go along with it. Lot’s process over at GMUNK’s blog. Enjoy!
Cover Art Credit
Design & Layout: Scott Hansen (Tycho)
Photography: Lukas Furlan
Video Credit List
Director: Bradley G Munkowitz
Assistant Director: Ian Colon
Executive / Line Producer: Andrew ‘Demansky Devankeys’ Devansky
Concept: Bradley G Munkowitz, Ian Colon, Joe Picard
Director of Photography: Joe Picard
1st Camera Assistants: Magaera Stephens, Noah Hassie
2nd Camera Assistants: Dakota Wilder Smith
Grips / Lighting: Tej Verde, Dakota Wilder Smith, Patrick Walsh
Props design and fabrication: Conor Grebel, Mike Williams
Practical FX design: Conor Grebel, Mike Williams
Lead Actress: Hannah Helena Bjørnø
Lead Actor: Eone Darke n’ Cray
Makeup: Melissa Capistrana
Production Company: Ground Control UK
Executive Producer: Michael Stanish
Editors: Bradley G Munkowitz, Ian Colon
Post Facility: Glassworks UK
Colourist: Matt Hare
Flame Artist: James MacLachlan
Process Photography: Dan Cowles, Maris Curran, Dakota Wilder
Process Editorial: Cyrus Tabar
Camera Rentals: Chater Camera, Keslow Camera
Equipment Rentals: Little Giant Grip & Electric
Extra Special Thanks: Autofuss + Bot & Dolly, Ghostly, Tycho
The Colorvision series is still rolling here on the blog. In this edition i’m including only Software artists, the Huerco S. still makes me laugh.
SUPPORT: VINYL SHOP
Napolian – 1 Peter 1:3-4
Huerco S. – Skug Commune
Thug Entrancer – Death After Life VI
Sculpture – Polymorphic Operator
In a time where the devaluation of music seems to be at it’s peak, fans and audiences expect every release to be either for free or donation based, which forces musicians to tour extensively or resort to day jobs in order to support themselves. Deru, an electronic artist who questions this establishment, explores an innovative release of his latest album, 1979. His approach influences listeners to place themselves in an appropriate listening environment, delivering an entirely new experience.
To help him with his vision, Deru enlisted a team of people including the visual artist, Effixx, who collaborated previously on the Outliers, Iceland: Vol. 1 project.
I sat with Deru & Effixx to discuss the themes and concept behind 1979:
Continue reading →
Yesterday I came across the reel of Jason Drew and was floored by these visuals. Still images really don’t do it justice but check out the work that Jason, Andrew Jones and crew at Future Deluxe did for Nervo. Would love to see these in person, colors and animation are hypnotic.